Our 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 release the Fall 2021 Marcellus Policy Analyses which can be found below.

Rylee Boyd

Rylee Boyd is a Program Assistant at the National Security Institute. Rylee’s analysis focuses on the need for the US to reevaluate its defense relationship with Europe given the change in the geopolitical landscape since the end of the Cold War. Rylee argues the U.S. should prioritize its own security interests and drawdown its presence and influence in Europe. Read Rylee’s analysis here.

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. Zoe argues the US should re-focus its approach in Asia away from a primacist approach which has failed to curb a rising China, and instead implement a defensive approach to maintain stability. Along with establishing a defensive approach, Zoe argues the US should do more in the diplomatic, economic, and trade realms to match China and to promote US interests. Read Zoe’s analysis here

Adam DuBard

Adam DuBard is a Program Associate at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Adam argues the US should reduce its use of comprehensive economic sanctions as a means of effecting policy change. Adam charts cases where the use of sanctions produced unintended consequences in Venezuela and Syria and how they actually undermined US interests. Read Adam’s paper here

Emerson Victoria Johnston 

Emerson Victoria Johnston is an undergraduate at Northeastern University. Victoria lays the case for the repeal of the 2001 AUMF. The 2001 AUMF lacks scope and barriers to its use which has resulted in several administrations relying on it for military operations abroad, many of which have little to do with the original focus of the authorization. Victoria argues for the repeal of the 2001 AUMF, along with requiring specific language to be used in any future AUMF, and increased transparency from the Executive Branch on uses of force. Read Emerson’s paper here

Alyssa Kann

Alyssa Kann is a Research Associate for the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. Alyssa argues in support of rethinking the US’s approach to war powers. An expansive interpretation of the 2001 AUMF and more has granted the executive branch too much authority to decide where and when the US should go to war. Alyssa argues Congress should pass the Senate’s National Security Powers Act or the House’s National Security Reforms and Accountability Act and repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, She also gives more recommendations for how Congress can reassert itself in foreign policy decision-making. Read Alyssa’s analysis here

Emma Sanderson

Emma Sanderson is a Research and Communications Assistant with the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Emma argues the US should reassess its militarized approach in Somalia and shift towards a diplomatic approach. The US mission in Somalia has not led to a decline in militancy or achieved its national security interests, and the US approach ignores root causes and fosters instability. Emma argues the US should introduce stronger diplomatic efforts, increase oversight, and engage with Somalis if the US is to effect lasting change and achieve its interests in Somalia. Read Emma’s analysis here.

Byron Stokes

Byron Stokes is a second year MSIT candidate within the School of Computing at Middle Georgia State University. Byron’s paper focuses on the urgent need to reform foreign military financing. FMF aid to countries like Egypt has not had positive impacts for US security nor for democratic norms. Byron recommends the FMF program transition from a grants program to a loan program. He also advises the creation of metrics to ensure FMF is being used properly, and greater Congressional oversight over the process to ensure FMF fits in with the American public’s interest. Read Byron’s analysis here

Jaime Vázquez

Jaime Vázquez is the Foundation Relations Coordinator at the Center for American Progress. Jaime’s analysis argues the US should shift its approach towards Cuba from one of retribution for Cold War-era grievances to one of engagement. Jaime charts the geopolitical and economic benefits associated with normalizing relations with Cuba. Jaime creates a constructive framework from which policymakers can act with Cuba on a myriad of challenges such as climate change, global pandemics, and more. Read Jaime’s analysis here.

Sahand Yazdanyar

Sahand Yazdanyar is the Advocacy Associate at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN). Sahand argues the US should reevaluate its sanctions regime against Iran. Current sanctions policy against Iran does not work and increases the likelihood in which Iran will act against US interests. Sahand argues the US should provide sanctions relief, attempt to find common ground with Iran through meaningful diplomatic efforts, and support a regional détente between Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Read Sahand’s paper here.

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. Zachary’s analysis focuses on how the US policymakers can better support Taiwan. Due to Chinese A2/AD capabilities, the US Navy’s poor state of combat readiness, and the inherent vulnerability of US bases in the Asia-Pacific, the US should not focus on intervening in a potential cross-strait invasion. Instead, due to Taiwan’s strong defense potential, the US should bolster Taiwan’s capabilities without a security guarantee and at little expense to US taxpayers. US policymakers should avoid conflict with a nuclear-armed China while giving Taiwan the ability to deter or defeat a potential invasion by China. Read Zachary’s analysis here