Introducing the Fall 2021 Marcellus Policy Fellows

The Marcellus Policy Fellowship is the John Quincy Adams Society’s most selective program, providing promising foreign policy minds an early-career opportunity to produce independent, impact-minded research under expert guidance. Fellows learn about US foreign policy from top scholars and path-breaking thinkers, refining their own ideas into a high-quality policy paper and supporting materials. The Society is pleased to announce the Marcellus Policy Fellowship’s Fall 2021 cohort.

Brandon Angel 

Brandon Angel is the Advocacy Associate with the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Brandon was recently selected as a participant in Charles Koch Institute’s Koch Associate Program. Brandon is a U.S. Army Infantry Veteran with time overseas at the DMZ in Korea and at Fort Carson, Colorado. Brandon earned his B.S. in Political Science with a minor in International Studies from Liberty University graduating Summa Cum Laude. Brandon is currently studying for an M.P.P. with an international focus from Liberty University.

Brandon will be writing about the implications of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the implications it has for the Central Asian region. The possibilities and enhanced diplomacy with the Central Asian states will be discussed as a necessary task for the United States to enhance their foreign policy goals. A restrained foreign policy recommendation will be included using diplomatic talks between the U.S. and key Central Asian states.

Rylee Boyd

Rylee Boyd is an M.Sc. candidate in Strategic Studies at the University of Aberdeen. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Alabama. She is a Research Assistant at the National Security Institute.

Rylee’s analysis focuses on reevaluating the U.S.-EU relationship. Rylee will examine key areas of contention and opportunity including defense and burden sharing, technology, and climate change. She will identify how the U.S. can pursue a smarter path of cooperation with the EU, and look into where such cooperation is not warranted. 

Zoe Desch

Zoe Desch is a recent graduate from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in Political Science and Studio Art and a certificate in International Security as an Notre Dame International Security fellow. She plans to continue her learning and begin contributing to policy through her career and future education, and she is working on securing full-time employment in the international security space. She has worked as an Executive Assistant at the National Defense University and as a Research Intern for projects at the University of Notre Dame and for the Bridging the Gap Project.

Zoe wants to write her Marcellus Policy paper on U.S. policy towards China with particular regard for regional politics and the South China Sea. The U.S. currently runs freedom of navigation operations through the sea and maintains alliances with a few east Asian countries. She wants to analyze whether these operations and alliances are necessary in order to protect U.S. interests. She also wants to address the future of U.S. engagement with the region as Taiwan seems to be a touch point of contention between the U.S. and China. She will explore recommendations rooted in a restraint-oriented foreign policy through this paper and her subsequent work.

Adam DuBard

Adam DuBard is a recent graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies where he received an M.A. in Conflict Management and International Economics. Originally from South Carolina, Adam has lived in Germany, Jordan, and Italy for a combined total of two years, and speaks varying levels of German, Italian, and Arabic. He has experience in fundraising, political campaigns, and communications, and is seeking to break into the peacebuilding and conflict sphere. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and German from the University of South Carolina.

Adam will be conducting research on the impact of economic sanctions on civilians as well as whether sanctions can achieve the stated policy aims that the U.S. sets forth. Sanctions have been utilized frequently by the U.S. in recent years without discussion over the humanitarian impact these measures have and whether these tools are effective at achieving their stated goals. Through his report he hopes to highlight the humanitarian cost of sanctions, as well as viewing whether these tools have been effective at altering state behavior and resolving conflict between the U.S. and other nations. 

Victoria Emerson 

Victoria Emerson is a senior at Northeastern University pursuing a dual degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and in History, Culture, and Law. An AROTC cadet and a former intern for both the Department of State and the U.S. Permanent Mission to the United Nations, she hopes to one day affect military policy abroad in both military and civilian capacities. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue her juris doctorate with a focus on international human rights law.

For Victoria’s policy analysis, she will analyze the role of the United States military footprint worldwide and explore the use and abuse of the Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in the wake of 9/11 by the U.S. President in recent decades. In light of increasingly myopic military actions taken at the behest of the previous few Commanders in Chief, it’s time Congress reassert its constitutional war powers, repeal the current Authorizations for Military Force, and limit the future passage of AUMFs and similar policy.

Grace Endrud

Grace Endrud is a sophomore at Duke University. She plans to complete a double major in Public Policy and International Comparative Studies with a minor in French. She is also the President of Duke University’s JQAS chapter. She is originally from Michigan.

For her analysis, Grace plans to explore the shortcomings of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine and human rights-based military intervention over the past few decades. She hopes to provide recommendations on how advocacy for human rights can be integrated into a restraint-based U.S. foreign policy.

Alyssa Kann

Alyssa Kann is a Research Assistant at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. Her work on influence operations and disinformation has been cited by CBS News, CNN, CyberScoop, and more. She was previously a Research Assistant at an academic lab studying extremism, where she specialized in social network analysis. She received her B.A. at Brandeis University on a merit scholarship, where she studied International Politics, Economics, and Environmental Studies. 

For the Marcellus Policy Fellowship, Alyssa plans to write about how expansive Congressional war authorizations have allowed unchecked American military intervention abroad. She is interested in exploring how war powers should be defined by Congress, and how to curb overreaches in the executive branch in matters of war. 

Emma Sanderson

Emma Sanderson is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado – Boulder where she studied International Affairs and Spanish. This summer, she received professional training in diplomacy with the Washington International Diplomatic Academy. She also interned with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and will soon begin a position with the Chicago Council’s Lester Crown Center on U.S. Foreign Policy. 

For Emma’s policy analysis, she will address the failure in the United States’ traditional foreign policy approach with Africa, which lacks robust political and economic strategy and threatens to evolve from a counter-terrorism operation into a mission for U.S. forces to contain China militarily. Her policy analysis will emphasize the need for a restraint-oriented posture in Africa that prioritizes addressing the root causes of insecurity utilizing diplomatic tradecraft.

Byron Stokes

Byron Stokes is a second year MSIT candidate within the School of Computing at Middle Georgia State University. His research interests include cyber diplomacy, deterrence, homeland security, and U.S. foreign policy.

Byron plans to call for a sound foreign policy that must include domestic renewal post-Afghanistan and Iraq. Over several decades the United States has abandoned domestic renewal in favor of “nation-building” abroad. The U.S. must turn inward and engage less militarily, while remaining true to its tenants of diplomacy and military restraint.

Jaime Vázquez

Jaime Vázquez is the Foundation Relations Coordinator at American Progress (CAP). Prior to joining CAP, he worked at the Organization of American States. Vázquez holds an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University’s School of International Service and a B.A. in International Relations from the Univeristy of Texas – Austin. 

Jaime will dedicate this fellowship to researching and writing on how the Biden Administration can improve its policy towards Cuba and combat pressures to enforce regime change amidst a sensitive political climate on the Island. 

Sahand Yazdanyar

Sahand Yazdanyar is the Advocacy Associate at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN). He recently completed a Next Leader Fellowship with the Institute for Policy Studies. Originally from Maryland, he received an M.A. from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas – Austin, where he focused on U.S. foreign policy as it relates to the SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) region. Sahand attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where he received an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Media & Communication Studies.

Sahand plans to write about the use of sanctions as a tool of foreign policy and whether it is in contradiction with a “human rights” centered foreign policy. He will seek to measure the effectiveness of sanctions by assessing case studies and deliver an alternative that is more in line with a foreign policy of restraint. Sahand hopes that this framework will shift the public understanding of sanctions and compel policymakers to refrain from using sanctions wholesale.

Zachary Yost

Zachary Yost is a freelance writer and researcher who lives in the Pittsburgh area. His work has been published in a variety of outlets including The National Interest, The Washington Times, The American Conservative, the Mises Wire, and the American Institute for Economic Research.

In his policy paper, Zack will be examining the U.S. relationship with Taiwan and exploring the potential to adopt a more hands-off approach to East Asia that allows the U.S. to balance against China by working with regional partners while minimizing U.S. forward deployment. This paper will discuss Taiwanese defensive capabilities, roadblocks that make U.S. military intervention in a conflict between Taiwan and the mainland unfeasible, potential non-military ways the U.S. could assist Taiwan through arms sales and diplomatic coordination, and potential Chinese reactions to an American retrenchment from East Asia.