It is with a healthy amount of humility and anticipation that I introduce myself as an international affairs writer here at SOFREP. I have been an avid reader and fan of the site’s writers and features for quite a while and I am eager to become part of the great team assembled here. What follows is a short summary of my academic and professional background.

I grew up in Chicagoland just a stone’s throw south of the city. I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate work at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and was awarded a Master of Arts in Political Science (international relations and foreign comparative politics) from Northern Illinois University in 2006. My postgraduate program consisted of foreign policy and national security policy studies and focused regionally on Eastern Europe and Russia with special concentration in the Balkans and Caucasus. In conducting research analysis, most of my program consisted of international relations theory, international institutions and governmental organizations, international security, international political economy, international law, non-state actors, asymmetric warfare, international and third world economic development, governance, and democratization. I also conducted in-depth research on international security conventions and nuclear non-proliferation regimes. The second portion of my postgraduate work, foreign comparative political studies, focused on post-Cold War Russian Federalism in the wake of the Beslan School Hostage Crisis of 2004.

After completing my graduate program at NIU in 2006, I enlisted in the United States Army as an All-Source Intelligence Analyst (35F). Following initial training, Iwas assigned to 1-32 Infantry Battalion, 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division and deployed to Kunar and Nuristan provinces, Afghanistan in 2009. I had an opportunity to cut my teeth as an analyst in an incredibly important area of operations with an incredibly tough battalion stocked with men with multiple tours and an impressible history of valorous acts. I owe much of my subsequent Army career to the outstanding Non-Commissioned Officers in 1-32 IN.