On April 22nd, in place of the typical Wednesday Seminar, SSP hosted a special Faculty Roundtable with Taylor Fravel (as moderator and a panelist), Jim Walsh, Vipin Narang, Richard Samuels, and Barry Posen. The purpose of the Roundtable was to discuss the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has on the various dimensions of international politics, and what ongoing risks the pandemic poses for existing international crises and hotspots. Many other members of the SSP community were invited to join the conversation, making for a lively discussions of issues ranging from nuclear security and nonproliferation to contemporary East Asian politics, reflecting the broad regional and topical expertise of SSP faculty and graduate students.


As the new Fall 2020 semester approaches with a new cohort of visiting scholars, SSP bids farewell and best wishes to its superb outgoing class of Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows, Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellows, Military Fellows, and visiting scholars. You can read more about the individual fellows and their programs below.



The Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship, the Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellowship, and SSP's reseach affiliates represent an important core of SSP’s research efforts, and the programs bring together outstanding early-career scholars from across the world. The Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows typically focus on issues related to the security dimensions of arms control and nonproliferation, whereas Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellows focus on grand strategy and more general international security themes. This year’s cohort produced considerable research published in several leading journals. While some fellows will be continuing onto the second year of their Fellowship at Harvard, all will be departing MIT, and all will be missed! You can read what our fellows' post-SSP plans are below.

Alex Lee, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow — Alex will continue working on redrafting his dissertation into a book manuscript and expanding his research focus on Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Andrea Chiampan, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow — Following his time at SSP, Andrea will be returning to Italy to complete a manuscript for an upcoming book.

Daniel Jacobs, Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellow — After he leaves SSP, Daniel will begin a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Notre Dame.

David Allen, Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellow — After leaving MIT, David will be heading to the Harvard Kennedy School to complete the second year of his Fellowship.

Ryan Musto, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow — Next year, Ryan will be a MacArthur Nuclear Security Fellow with the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University.       

Paul Van Hooft, Research Affiliate — Paul will be moving onto a position as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) in the Netherlands, where he will be working a program on trans-Atlantic relations and European grand strategy.

Peter Dutton, Research Affiliate – Peter will return to the Naval War College to continue his research.

Jonathan (Yoni) Shimshoni, Research Affiliate – Yoni will be returning to Israel to continue his research


The SSP Military Fellows program represents a unique opportunity for both scholars and practitioners of international security to produce policy-relevant research and academic programming, all under the same roof. With representation from the four largest military service branches, this year’s Fellows presented on a variety of perspectives from within the US Armed Forces on a range of technical, doctrinal, and strategic developments in the US military during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. They also organized and implemented larger study trips for the SSP Community, such as a field trip focusing on naval history to the USS Constitution museum ship in Charlestown. Our Military Fellows were an important part of the SSP community this year, and we wish them the best of luck with their next endeavors, which you can find below.

Terry Hahn,  Lieutenant Colonel, US Army – Following his fellowship, Lieutenant Colonel Hahn will serve as Provost Marshal for the U.S. Army V Corps in Kentucky.

Tucker Hamilton, Lieutenant Colonel, US Air Force — After leaving SSP, Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton will serve as Military Director for the MIT AI Accelerator, a new joint partnership between the United States Air Force and MIT designed to solve Air Force issues using artificial intelligence.

Jonathan Riggs, Lieutenant Colonel, US Marine Corps — After departing SSP, Lieutenant Colonel Riggs will serve as Operations Officer for the Marine Forces Central Command in Florida.

Evan Wright, Commander, US Navy — After leaving MIT, Commander Wright will serve as Captain of the USS COOPERSTOWN based out of Florida.



The 2019-2020 fellowship year was truly an extraordinary one for the MIT Security Studies Program fellows. From war game exercises with professors Eric Heginbotham and Richard Samuels and after work meetups with other fellows, to the fascinating speakers at our Wednesday Seminar series and the novel coronavirus health pandemic that brought life to a standstill—this was a year for the memory books.

We asked the outgoing fellows of the Military, Stanton, and Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft fellowships to reflect back on their rollercoaster of a year. In the process of shedding light on their experiences, the fellows also remind us of the vital role they play in the Security Studies Program (“SSP”) community, as well as the wide-reaching impact they can have with the knowledge they’ve gained from their fellowships. The interview below has been edited for clarity and brevity. What were some of the highlights of the fellowship year for you?

David Allen, Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellow:

"It’s a real testament to SSP that this has been such a great year in general, but if forced to choose, I think Simon Miles’ Wednesday Seminar was a real highlight for me, and of course the Ruina and Doolittle dinners were great evenings."

Tucker Hamilton, Military Fellow- U.S. Air Force:

"The main highlight was working with and getting to know the amazing individuals that make up SSP. Both faculty and students are thought leaders: humble, kind, open minded, and wicked smart! Another was the class "field trip" to the USS Constitution. It was great spending time with everyone outside the classroom environment. The weekly seminars were another highlight—wonderful speakers discussing complex topics and as a community challenging each other to think critically and grow."

You can continue reading the interview with SSP's Fellows on the main SSP site.


For more updates about SSP's Alumni and their recent activities, please see our Alumni Profile page on the SSP website. Our featured alumnus for this issue is Paul Staniland, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and a Nonresident Scholar in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.