Hello! I am an instructor in the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech University, where I completed my PhD in the summer of 2022. I am also a two-time nonresident fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point. Finally, I am a projects director at the Peace, War, and Social Conflict Lab, connected to the Texas Tech Sociology Department but cross-pollinated by political science students and intentionally interdisciplinary.
My research focuses on the politics, strategies, and emerging technologies of international conflict and security. I map the incentives, opportunities, and constraints that structure the behaviors of key actors evaluating and engaging in crises and conflicts. In other words, when, why and how do states and nonstate groups fight? I also have a keen interest in how violent nonstate actors innovate to survive and advance their agendas. I examine how they perceive, harness, and proliferate dual-use commercial platforms like unmanned aerial systems.
I have two novel datasets collected to examine new questions and conventional ones at greater resolution. Military Operations with Novel Strategic Technologies in r (MONSTr) offers a comprehensive list of US military operations from 1989 to January 2021 featuring the means of force used, geocoded locations, combatant rosters, and information on structural dependencies between events within campaigns and wars. My dataset on violent nonstate actor drone adoption has received international attention and is considered a cornerstone in understanding quantitative trends on this phenomenon.
This typifies my posture toward research—I value rigorous, empirical, engaged scholarship that spans academic and practitioner spheres. My work has been published in several academic journals, two edited volumes, and policy venues. I have also collaborated with several entities including the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and the Office of Counter-Terrorism, the Global Counterterrorism Forum driving the intiative to operationalize the Berlin Memorandum, NATO's Vulnerabilities in the Drone Age working group, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and weTHINK.’s globally collaborative wargame working group on UAS attacks in urban settings.
Prior to the doctoral stage, I earned a BA in Intercultural Studies from Biola University, an MLitt in International Security Studies from the University of St. Andrews, and an MA in Political Science from Texas Tech University. During my undergraduate, I interned at the Pentagon in International Security, Middle East Policy. While there, I served as point of contact for the US–Israel Short Range Rocket Defense Working Group, a project mandated by Secretary of Defense Gates and Minister of Defense Barak that later evolved into the Iron Dome project. After undergraduate studies, I was a field officer on a university police force. Although neither academic nor tactical, I worked as a statewide administrative manager for an industrial services company following my first master’s degree and during the first three years of coursework for my PhD.
I’m also a real person. I love science fiction (reading ♥Stanislaw Lem♥, writing, and watching), scuba diving, being outdoors and in nature, traveling, playing the piano, board games (the more ruthless, the better), motorcycling, fitness, and animals (especially mine—Marcus and Six say hi).