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with General Jones at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, 2010

For as long as I can remember I have been troubled by the question of how power and its exercise - especially in the form of force - are justified or legitimized. In Political Science, this has led me to study civil-military relations, military organizations, and laws/norms of armed conflict. In more literary and philosophical fields it led me to the study of mythologies, heroic epic, and concepts of virtue and nobility.

As an undergraduate at Duke University, I studied History and Linguistics as well as Political Science, focusing on the Medieval and Renaissance periods and on Germanic languages. This included special training in Middle High German and Old Norse, in both of which I read the epic and romantic literatures. I studied abroad at University College, Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, where I did a concentrated course on Celtic Civilization, taking classes in History, Archaeology, Heroic Literature, and Irish language.

As a graduate student at Duke, I spent several years abroad, primarily in Germany at universities and research institutes in Erlangen and Berlin. My dissertation research also took me to the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Netherlands for extended stays. I spent my final year of dissertation writing at Harvard University on a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, and then had the opportunity to do Columbia University's Summer Workshop on Military Operations and Strategy (SWAMOS) at Cornell in the summer of 2007. In fall of 2007 I returned to Germany for the first half of a post-doctoral fellowship from the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. I spent the second half of that two-year fellowship at the Center for Transatlantic Relations (Johns Hopkins, SAIS) in Washington, DC. I started my appointment at UNI in Fall of 2009. In 2013 I was awarded an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations, which allowed me to spend one year working in the government - I chose to go to the Pentagon. In 2014, I accepted a faculty appointment at the U.S. Naval War College, where I currently work in the National Security Affairs Department.

At Duke, I also worked as a writing tutor and led a poetry writing workshop for undergraduates.

Aside from my academic publications, I have also worked as a translator and language editor on some European publications. I translated the textbook The United Nations: an Introduction, by Sven Bernhard Gareis and Johannes Varwick (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) from German to English, and I was the language (and frequently content!) editor on the text European Military Law Systems, edited by Georg Nolte (Berlin: De Gruyter Recht, 2003).

I am forever grateful to the wonderful professors I had at Duke, especially Robert O. Keohane, Ole R. Holsti, Michael Gillespie, Ruth Grant, Hein Goemans, Don Horowitz, and many others. Special thanks go to my endlessly patient and helpful dissertation committee, who continue to support and advise me: Peter Feaver, David Soskice, Chris Gelpi, Alex Downes, and Tim Buethe.

Outside of academia, I have been dancing Argentine Tango since 1997/8 and teaching dance since 2004. I am an avid beach volleyball player, cross-country skier, backpacker, and kayaker, and rock climber. I also have two large adopted shelter mutts whose mission in life is to leave as much hair as possible all over my house.