Meet the 2012 FAS Security Scholars

By July 10, 2012

Launched as part of FAS’s new Science and Security intiative, the Security Scholars Program provides students with experience in science and security policy. FAS staff and members from government, academia and policy fields mentor scholars on collaborative and independent research. Through this partnership, scholars contribute to the ongoing security debate with reports, articles and blog posts for publications and website. This summer, FAS welcomes four scholars who will conduct research on cyber security, Brazil’s uses of nuclear technology, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and security challenges related to climate change.

Summer 2012 Scholars

This summer, FAS welcomed four bright, young scholars who are conducting independent research on current security threats.

Andrea de Sá

Andrea de Sá is a student at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2011, Andrea studied abroad at Oxford University, where she completed independent work on how anti-terrorism policies influence militant nationalist movements across the European Union. Upon her return, Princeton University awarded Andrea the 2012 nomination for the Center for the Study of the Presidency in Washington, DC. As a fellow with CSPC, Andrea works to evaluate intelligence reform under the Obama Administration. Andrea is also a fellow of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, where she participates in track-two diplomatic efforts on issues related to Iran, Afghanistan, and Syria. At the Federation of American Scientists, Andrea has initiated a research project on the Brazilian nuclear program. She hopes to examine the technical, legal, and political issues surrounding the Brazilian Navy’s development of nuclear submarines, and seeks to extrapolate implications for  developing or non-aligned countries.


Nilsu Goren is a second-year doctoral student at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, specializing in International Security and Economic Policy and a graduate fellow at CISSM, focusing on nonproliferation issues. Prior to coming to Maryland, she was an instructor at Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey, and a research assistant at Monterey Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) Washington, D.C., office, where she worked on export control and illicit nuclear trafficking issues. She holds an M.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Economics from Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey. At FAS, her research is focusing on the security aspect of climate change in the Middle East and nuclear energy generation.


Libby Osher is currently a masters candidate in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.  She graduated in 2011 from the George Washington University where she received her BAin International Affairs with a regional concentration in the Middle East and a minor in Semitic Languages. In her third year at GWU Libby spent a semester at the American University of Cairo in Egypt where she focused on Arab and Muslim political and religious movements and furthered her Arabic language studies.  Libby is focusing on cyber security and bioterrorism at FAS.


Ravi Patel is currently a senior at Stanford University, where he is majoring in Biology, with a minor in International Relations. He is also pursuing honors in International Security Studies. At FAS, he is investigating Pakistan and its nuclear weapons program. Ravi is an avid traveler and has traveled to nearly 40 countries. When he is not in school or traveling, Ravi is researching bone regeneration using stem cells at UCSF’s surgical research laboratory.


Be a Security Scholar at FAS:

FAS is looking for graduate and post graduate students who have a solid background in security and science studies and are interested in pursuing careers in the science policy field.

Scholars will work with FAS staff and distinguished members from government, academia and policy fields on collaborative, independent research project on one or concurrent issues. Additionally, scholars will have the opportunity to write reports, articles, op-eds and blog posts for publication on the website, the Public Interest Report (PIR), which is FAS’s quarterly magazine for science and security issues, and other publications. At the end of the program, scholars will have at least one publishable piece contributing to the ongoing security debate.

Throughout the program, FAS Security Scholars will be mentored and encouraged to use their expertise to inform policymakers and create recommendations on national and international security policy. This program will also provide interdisciplinary training for the scholars and serve as an outlet for them to showcase their views to the public. With the opportunity to translate ideas into recommendations, this program will allow future security leaders to take the first step forward in their careers, while developing necessary skills to further scholarship in the science and security field.

To apply:

Please send your resume, cover letter and 1-2 page research proposal describing a significant, specific security concern related to nuclear security, energy, water, food, cyber security, conventional arms trafficking, and terrorism, in the world today in which you would like to investigate. In the proposal, please address possible ways to deepen public understanding of the security concern, and potential solutions to this problem.

The application deadline for summer 2012 has passed. Please stay tuned for future application opportunities.

Categories: Security Scholars