Aman Madan

Aman Madan’s research spans a broad canvas. From medieval philosophy to contemporary religious mobilization, he operates at the nexus of religion and politics, focusing on how societies have shaped and given life to the ‘religious’ throughout history. In addition to his doctoral studies on the philosophy of religion, Madan offers expertise on issues related to armed actors, political Islam, and contemporary religious movements in South and Central Asia as well as the broader Middle East.

Madan previously worked for the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, and Perseus Strategies. He is currently a Research Associate in Religion and Political Mobilization for Critica Research and Analysis, a DC based research institute. He has also worked in Lebanon, Jordan, and India and his writings have appeared in The Washington PostThe New ArabThe DiplomatTRT World, and The Wire (India).

Madan speaks Arabic, Persian, and Urdu.

Sowon Park

Sowon Park is a Ph.D. candidate in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia, where she is also a graduate fellow at the National Security Policy Center for the 2022-23 academic year. Before joining the NSPC, she was a graduate fellow at the Democracy Initiative’s Statecraft Lab from 2020 to 2022. Her research interests include international security, foreign policy, and public opinion. Her dissertation project focuses on the intersection of domestic politics and interstate signaling. In her work, she explores the impacts of contentious domestic debate in the US legislature on the dynamics of interstate bargaining.

Matthew Frakes

Matthew Frakes is a Ph.D. candidate in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia. His work focuses on United States diplomatic and political history, with particular emphasis on the late Cold War and the emergence of the post–Cold War world. His dissertation, titled “Rogue States: The Making of America’s Global War on Terror, 1980–1994,” examines the transition to the new global order that replaced the Cold War world. It traces the rise of strategies to fight the emerging national security threats of rogue states, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction from the early Reagan years to the aftermath of the Gulf War. He holds an M.A. in history from the University of Virginia, an M.Sc. in international and world history from the London School of Economics, an M.A. in international and world history from Columbia University, and an A.B. in history from Princeton University.

Yuji Maeda

Yuji Maeda is a doctoral student at the Department of Politics, University of Virginia (UVA). He is also Research Fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), Tokyo. His interests include International Relations theory, military history, security in East Asia, and U.S.-China relations. Prior to joining NIDS and UVA, he obtained MSc in International Relations (Research) from the London School of Economics, with an award-winning dissertation: “Neorealism and the Conduct of War: Systemic and Behavioral Implications of the Russo-Japanese War.”

Justin Winokur

Justin Winokur is a third year PhD student in History at the University of Virginia, where he researches America’s Cold War warfare state under Professor William Hitchcock. Justin is a 2022-23 Fellow at UVA’s National Security Policy Center, the 2022-23 Fellow for UVA’s Governing America in a Global Era, and an Associate of the Applied History Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. From 2018-2020, Justin was a Research Assistant to Professor Graham Allison at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, where he was also the Center’s Applied History Project Coordinator. He holds an MA in History from the University of Virginia and a BA in International Relations (summa cum laude) from Connecticut College.