Featured Stories


Fiona Cunningham was featured in the MIT News discussing her work on China and its use of technology in conflict. Cunningham says of her research: “I want to understand the changing nature of warfare and how new technologies have become both opportunities and restraints for countries in international politics. These questions are the kinds of questions that global leaders are thinking about when they are grappling with the rise of China, how technology factors into the current U.S.-China trade war, and how technology does or doesn’t fit within national boundaries.” For the full story, visit the MIT news website.


“I started the Ph.D. without a clear sense of where I would go next. I’d gotten a public policy masters, and then I had worked at the Pentagon, so part of the appeal of the Ph.D. was that it would open up the academic option. […] At that time, I was not making a conscious choice between the academic track and thinklanda […] I’m not much of a life planner. […] A career spent mainly in think tanks has worked out well for me. I carry out and oversee research which is meant to be policy-relevant and usually is.”

See full interview on the SSP Home Page.


M. Taylor Fravel has officially begun his term as Director of Security Studies Program at MIT and welcomed everyone new and returning at our annual welcome dinner.


SSP welcomed the following new fellows who have joined us for the 2019-2020 academic year.


L-R: Tucker Hamilton, Terry Hahn, Evan Wright, Jonathan Riggs

Lieutenant Colonel Terry Hahn, US Army

Lieutenant Colonel Terry Hahn is an Army War College Fellow with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Security Studies Program. He is a 1996 graduate of Saint Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa and a 1999 Distinguish Military Graduate from the Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia where he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant into the Military Police (MP) Corps. Lieutenant Colonel Hahn has held numerous key and developmental command and staff positions at the platoon to Combatant Command levels and most recently commanded a Military Police Battalion with the US Army Criminal Investigation Command. He was responsible for the oversight and the execution of all Army felony-level criminal investigations, criminal intelligence services, and preventive policing activities throughout the entire Indo-Pacific Region. Lieutenant Colonel Hahn has deployed in support of Operation Joint Guardian, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts in Business and Organizational Security Management.

Lieutenant Colonel Tucker Hamilton, US Air Force

Lieutenant Colonel Tucker Hamilton is the United States Air Force’s 2019-2020 MIT Security Studies Program Military Fellow. Prior to his assignment, he served as Commander and Director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force flight test squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California. His unit was responsible for the developmental flight test of all three variants of the F-35. Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton earned his commission through the University of Colorado ROTC program in 2002. He attended Specialized Undergraduate Pilot training with a follow-on operational assignment in the F-15C at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He later served as an Air Liaison Officer in Germany and as an initial cadre of the MC-12 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance aircraft in Afghanistan. He attended USAF Test Pilot School in 2011. Upon graduation, he conducted flight test on the F-15C & F-15E at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He also served as a Program Manager for the F-35 Joint Program Office in Washington D.C.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Riggs, US Marine Corps

Lieutenant Colonel Riggs is the 2019-2020 Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow at the MIT Security Studies Program. Commissioned in April 1998 as an infantry officer, Lieutenant Colonel Riggs has held command positions at the platoon, company and battalion level. During these periods, he deployed operationally with the 6th and 7th Marine Regiments in support of the Global War on Terrorism, twice with the operating forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and once for Operation Enduring Freedom. Lieutenant Colonel Riggs’ staff assignment includes the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). This tour included working in the J34, J35, and the Senior Integration Group (SIG) with the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Lieutenant Colonel Riggs’ formal military education includes attendance at The Basic School, the Infantry Officers Course, the U.S. Army Field Artillery Captain’s Career Course, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Joint Forces Staff College. Lieutenant Colonel Riggs holds a Masters of Military Studies from Marine Corps University.

Commander Evan Wright, US Navy

Commander Evan P. Wright is a native of Millis Massachusetts. He was commissioned via the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in May of 2003; receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. In addition, he maintains a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). He first served at sea in USS COMSTOCK (LSD 45) as the Combat Information Center Officer and Training Officer, deploying to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In his next sea tour he served as Training Officer in USS HALSEY (DDG 97), deploying to Seventh Fleet in 2007. He also served as the Engineer officer in USS STOCKDALE (DDG 106) and USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN (CG 57), helping them both earn the Battle Efficiency award. Additionally, he served as the Executive Officer in USS STOCKDALE (DDG 106), deploying to Seventh and Fifth Fleet in support of Operations Inherent Resolve and Enduring Freedom. Ashore, Commander Wright was assigned to OPNAV N512 as lead Action Officer and Strategic Planner in the Strategic Laydown and Dispersal (SLD) portfolio. Prior to OPNAV, he was assigned to N72 as the Future Operations Officer at Surface Warfare Officers’ School Command.


L-R: Ryan Musto, Andrea Chiampan, Alex Lee

Andrea Chiampan

Andrea Chiampan obtained his PhD in International History at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva in 2017. Since then he ahs been a fellow of the Sir Michael Howard Center for the History of War at King’s College London (KCL), an Agnese N. Haury Fellow at NYU, and a Swiss National Science Foundation Fellow. His first book project, Flawed Architects, Resilient Technologies, and the Making of the Second Cold War follows the trajectory of cruise missile development in the 1970s and 1980s and its entanglement with détente, arms control, and transatlantic diplomacy. At the same intersection between history of technology, diplomatic history, and security studies also finds place his second book project tentatively entitled Five Missiles in the Same Hole: A History of GPS in the Cold War and sponsored by the SNSF. Portions of his research on NATO, transatlantic relations, and nuclear history have appeared in journals such as Diplomacy & Statecraft, the International History Review, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, as well as in a forthcoming article in Diplomatic History.

Alex Lee

Alex Chang Lee holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Irvine. Alex also holds an M.A. in International Security Studies from Korea University and a B.A. in International Studies from Southern Methodist University. Before joining the SSP at MIT, Alex was a 2016-2017 Japanese Doctoral Fellow at the University of Tokyo, 2015-2016 Fulbright Scholar at the Korea University, and 2016 James Kelly Non-Resident Fellow at Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). His specializations include nuclear non-proliferation studies, East Asian regional studies, comparative foreign policy, and international security studies. The objective of his work as been primarily analytical, aiming at a better understanding of why Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are experiencing different outcomes in their nuclear decisions in the post-Fukushima era and how these deviating outcomes will influence these states’ non-nuclear weapons and nuclear energy policies, and US foreign policy towards East Asia in the coming years. Alex is currently working on redrafting his dissertation into a book manuscript and expand his primary research focus on Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Ryan Musto

Ryan A. Muston holds a Ph.D. in history from the George Washington University, master’s degrees in international and world history from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, and a B.A. (hons.) in history from NYU. During his doctoral studies, Ryan served as a Nuclear Security Fellow with Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil. His specializations include nuclear history, Cold War international history, and the history of U.S. foreign relations. Ryan’s work as been published in Diplomatic History, Diplomacy & Statecraft, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and Americas Quarterly, amongst other outlets. Ryan is currently completing a book manuscript on the international history of regional denuclearization.


L-R: Daniel Jacobs, David Allen

David Allen

David Allen is a postdoctoral Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft Fellow at MIT’s Security Studies Program. His book project, Every Citizen a Statesman, shows how the U.S. Foreign policy elite tried to reconcile diplomacy with democracy by embarking on a program to educate the public in world affairs, with limited results. David received his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in 2019. He took a double first in History from the University of Cambridge, and also holds an MPhil in Historical Studies, with distinction, from Cambridge. He was previously an Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and a History and Public Policy Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, both at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research has been published in the Historical Journal, the Journal of Cold War Studies, and Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations. Beyond history, he writes on classical music as a critic at the New York Times.


Daniel Jacobs

Daniel Jacobs is a Grand Strategy, Security, and Statecraft fellow at MIT’s Security Studies Program and the Belfer Center’s International Security Program. Previously, he was Candidate-in-Residence in the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University. His research interests include international relations theory, security studies, and political economy, and his dissertation examines the effect of international finance on the choice of grand strategy. Daniel holds a B.A. (Honors) in Political science from McGill University and a M.A. (Honors) in international relations from the University of Chicago.