Planning, Governance & Globalization Doctoral Students

Planning, Governance & Globalization Doctoral Students 2016-12-08T06:24:45+00:00

These students are currently studying in the doctoral program in Planning, Governance & Globalization. Full listing of students

Martin Cho

Martin earned a BA in History from the University of Illinois (1999) and a MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University (2013).

His research interests are in the geopolitics and development of energy resources.

Prior to enrolling at Virginia Tech, he worked in investment banking, covering natural resource and infrastructure companies. Martin later worked at the Department of Energy focusing on new energy technology and on international policy.

Martin Cho

Carl Ciovacco

Carl is a PhD student in the Government and International Affairs Program. His research focus is on national security and the social construction of threat perception. He is currently writing his dissertation on the evolution of American threat narratives around China.

Formerly an American military officer with experience in the intelligence community, he currently works in the financial industry.

Carl holds a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from West Point and a Master in Public Policy in International Security and Political Economy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Carl Ciovacco

Sonya Finley

Sonya earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (International Relations/German Literature) from Emory University in 1990 and a MPA (International Relations) from Cornell University in 2000. She is a PhD candidate in the Government and International Affairs program at Virginia Tech (National Capital Region).

Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University after a 26 year career as an Army Strategist. Her professional experiences include advising senior uniformed and civilian leadership within the Department of Defense in assignments ranging from Asia to Europe and the Middle East, as well as teaching at the United States Military Academy at West Point and the National War College at the National Defense University. She is a former East-West Fellow and former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her research interests include national and defense strategy, public diplomacy, and political and information warfare.

Sonya Finley

Pishtiwan Jalal

Pishtiwan was born in Iraqi Kurdistan the same year five thousand Kurds were massacred by chemical weapons, nearly two hundred thousand Kurdish women and children were buried alive in the desserts of Arabia, and 5,000 villages (including his) were destroyed. He grew up and finished school within a civil war zone.

After earning his BA at the University of Kurdistan-Hewler, he started a masters program in International Security at the same university and worked as the deputy manager of Radio Dewran. After winning a scholarship from the Kurdistan Regional Government, he moved to Washington, D.C. earned an MA in International Affairs at the Catholic University of America, and worked as a research assistant at the Rethink Institute.

His main research interests are terrorism, Islamic radicalism, political Islam, democracy and the Kurdish issue.

Pishtiwan Jalal

Craig M. Johnson

Craig’s research interests include international organization and nuclear security regimes.

He holds an MA in Security Policy Studies from The George Washington University and a BA in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

He is a Seminar XXI Fellow with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a recipient of the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholarship Award. He currently serves as a national security analyst for the United States Government.

Craig M. Johnson

Joe Karle

Joe earned a BS in Political Science from Central Michigan University (2010) and an MA in International Relations (2016) from Texas A&M University.

His interested in analyzing US nation building efforts in the Middle East since 9/11, particularly the way interactions between US personnel and local leaders (governmental and military) impact the development of governance and security structures.

Joe served as a paratrooper in US Army’s 3/509th Parachute Infantry Regiment as was deployed to Afghanistan from 2011-2012.

Joe Karle

Gregory Kruczek

Greg’s research interests are nationalism studies, ethnic conflict and civil war, and Middle Eastern Christian communities. His doctoral dissertation examines how Assyrian-Christian communities in Iraq have responded to ISIL and the breakdown of the state.

Greg worked at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, and Penn State University’s Center for Network-Centric Cognition and Information Fusion. He was also an instructor in the Department of Political Science at Susquehanna University, teaching classes on world affairs and comparative domestic politics.

Greg has a B.A., B.S., and M.A from Penn State University.

Gregory Kruczek

Rick Landgraf

Major Walter “Rick” F. Landgraf III is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.

He earned a BA in Political Science from McDaniel College in 2003, an MPIA from Virginia Tech in 2010, and an MS in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University in 2013.

He has over 13 years of experience in intelligence analysis and collection operations, including three years of combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently posted in the United Kingdom serving as an intelligence liaison.

His research interests are NATO-Russia relations, de facto independent states, and post-Soviet conflicts.

Gela Merabishvili

Gela holds a BA in international Relations and an MA degrees from Tbilisi State University. On a graduate level, he narrowed his focus on the politics of South Caucasus (2013). He also holds a MA degree in European Studies from Maastricht University (2012).

His professional background includes internships at the Embassy of Georgia to Hungary, Center for EU Enlargement Studies, and the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs (all in Budapest) and research assistantships at Center for European Policy Studies, and European Stability Initiative (both in Brussels). He is interested in how sub-state actors, such as cities and regions, influence international politics.

In terms of geographic regions, he is interested in the EU, particularly its foreign and security policy, Russia, and the countries in their shared neighborhood.

Gabriel Mitchell

Gabriel is the US Representative of Mitvim – the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies. O

riginally from the United State, Gabriel moved to the Middle East after completing his Bachelor of Arts in History at The Ohio State University. He also holds an Master of Arts in Political Science from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Gabriel’s interests include regionalism, majority-minority politics, and the formation of state foreign policy. His dissertation explores the relationship between energy policy and foreign policy in Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Gabriel Mitchell

Eric Reading

Eric serves as Executive Vice President for Chemonics International, a leading global development firm promoting meaningful change around the world to help people live healthier, more productive, and independent lives.

During his career he has worked in development policy and program implementation in governance, urban development, conflict, food security, energy, health, education, environment, gender, and economic growth in more than 40 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America and lived in Egypt and Kosovo. His research focuses on the dynamics shaping global development policy and practice.

Eric holds an M.A. (1993) and B.A. (1992), both in international affairs from Florida State University.

Eric Reading

Kevin Rosier

Kevin earned a BS in International Economics from Georgetown University and a MA in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Kevin works as a macroeconomic analyst covering sub-Saharan Africa in the Office of Monetary Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. He previously worked for the State Department overseas as an economic Foreign Service Officer serving in Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and China. Kevin has also worked as an economic and trade analyst at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission and as a research associate at the Harvard Business School U.S. Competitiveness Project.

His research interests are in international political economy, macroeconomics, and international development.

Kevin Rosier

Jeannette Ruiz

Jeanette received an undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Her research interests focus on understanding how information and communication technologies (ICTs) impact and empower informal networks as tools for re-shaping economies, polities, and international relations. She has worked as a contractor serving the Department of Defense.

Jeannette Ruiz

Dallas Shaw

Dallas is a PhD candidate who is devoted to pursuing his love for Jesus Christ, his family, and the Virginia Tech SPIA program.

His research interests include third party interventions in intrastate conflict, the impacts of 2nd battlefield foreign fighters, and understanding how organizations innovate and adapt.  He is currently working on developing theories of symbiotic adaptation and artificial adaptation as causal mechanisms to explain how intervening military and civilian representatives develop governance in weak, failed, or failing states.

He is also a recently retired Marine Corps officer who has served 27 years in conventional and special operations units and led Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He currently teaches expeditionary warfare to Marine Corps captains and international officers with the Marine Corps University.

When he is not working or studying he spends copious amounts of time adoring his wife Jeannette, visiting his son Hithem in North Carolina, wrestling with his youngest son Sami, teaching professional ethics courses, or fellowshipping with friends from church.

Dallas Shaw