Our Fall 2023 Marcellus Policy Fellows

After a highly competitive selection process, the John Quincy Adams Society is pleased to announce its Fall 2023 cohort of Marcellus Policy Fellows. This is the Society’s seventh cohort of fellows. The Fellows will spend the next ten weeks learning from top experts on foreign policy as they develop a think tank style policy analysis on a pressing issue facing U.S. strategy. They will also be trained to produce supporting materials to make their work more likely to have impact, culminating in production of an op-ed and a one-page policy memorandum. Past fellows have gone on to work at a number of prominent foreign policy institutions.

Nick Ayrton is an International Studies undergraduate student at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service. He previously served as a Cryptologic Technician in the U.S. Navy. Currently, Nick works as a student research assistant at the Economic Statecraft program and contributes to his own publication, “The Asia Cable.” His policy analysis for the Marcellus Policy Fellowship will explore the merits of an offshore balancing strategy in East Asia. Read Nick’s paper here.

Thomas Cunningham is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Counterterrorism from Nichols College.  Now a father and family man, Thomas served as an active-duty Marine from 2012-2019. Thomas’s paper will analyze the pursuit of regime change in American statecraft since the end of World War II. It will propose alternatives to frequently employed strategies of regime change, including overt and covert military operations, political maneuvers, economic inducements, social engineering, and propaganda. Read Thomas’s paper here.

Sol Halle is a 2023 Fulbright Scholar and an International Relations graduate student at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arkansas with a double major in International Studies and Political Science, along with a minor in French. Having lived in Argentina, Chile, the U.S., South Africa, and Spain, she has a deep passion for intercultural exchange, diplomacy, and international cooperation. She has interned with the U.S. Department of State, participated in research projects while abroad, and co-authored a book publication on the impact of blue zones on longevity and quality of life in “Hacia una tercera edad activa: longevidad, calidad de vida y tecnología.” Sol’s paper will propose a refocusing of U.S. foreign policy towards water security initiatives, presenting an opportunity for enhanced engagement with the Global South in the face of escalating climate crises and increased competition with Russia and China. Read Sol’s paper here.

Junyang Hu is a Research Associate for U.S.-China PAX sapiens at the One Earth Future Foundation and a non-resident Lloyd and Lilian Vasey Fellow at the Pacific Forum. Interested in alliance politics, coercion, U.S.-China relations, and Asia-Pacific security, Junyang’s works have been featured in International Affairs, The National Interest, The Diplomat, CHINA-US Focus, and Oxford Political Review. He received an M.A. in International Relations from The University of Chicago and an M.Sc. in Security Studies from University College London. His policy analysis explores how to reconfigure the U.S.-Japan military alliance for a changing geopolitical landscape.

Liam Martin is an Ohio native studying history at Hillsdale College and through Hillsdale’s Center for Military History and Grand Strategy. His academic interests include grand strategy, warfare, counterinsurgency, and international law in the 19th and 20th centuries. Outside of class, Liam plays for the rugby team, is a member of Delta Tau Delta international fraternity and the Phi Alpha Theta history honorary and is working to establish a JQAS chapter. After graduation in the Spring, Liam hopes to attend Officer Candidate School and commission in the U.S. Army. Liam will be researching and writing on how America can secure its supply lines of critical minerals to avoid dependence on China in tech, energy, and national security. Read Liam’s paper here.

Jack McGrath is a recent graduate of George Washington University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in History. He served as Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator and President of the Roosevelt Network. He is an alumnus of Southern Maine Community College. Jack’s paper will examine the intentions and outcomes of the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba and propose an alternative policy framework for U.S.-Cuba relations rooted in restraint and the advancement of mutual interests. Read Jack’s paper here.

Clay Parham is a Ph.D. student at Baylor University studying Political Science. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Baylor University and a Master of International Affairs from the Bush School at Texas A&M. Additionally, Clay is an officer in the Texas Army National Guard. His research interests include U.S. defense policy, military strategy, and political science pedagogy.  His paper argues that while the United States navigates its relative decline, it should avoid Thucydides’ Trap by contracting its interests. Read Clay’s paper here.

Sam Ryu is pursuing his M.A. in International Relations at American University with a focus on foreign policy and national security. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Arizona State University and was a scholar in a U.S. intelligence community program, where he researched and analyzed Middle East-related foreign policy issues. Sam’s policy analysis examines U.S. foreign policy towards Syria and whether the U.S. military presence is in the American national interest. Read Sam’s paper here.

Maheen Safian is a graduating senior from the American University School of International Service, with a regional focus in the Middle East and North Africa and specializing in American Foreign Policy and National Security. Previously, she worked for the Permanent Pakistan Mission to the United Nations as a Sustainable Development Advisor, where she advised regarding development strategies for nations in the Global South and represented the Islamic Republic of Pakistan during General Assembly convenings. Her policy analysis will propose “The Future of U.S.-Taliban Relations from A Realist Lens,” a restraint-minded proposal for American policy towards Taliban-controlled Afghanistan that best promotes U.S. security objectives in the region. Read Maheen’s paper here.