I am a scholar whose research focuses on the modern and contemporary United States. Though a historian by training, my work engages with insights from other disciplines, particularly international relations and American politics. My first book was published by Cornell University Press in 2018. I write widely for popular media as well as academic publications and host a podcast about American politics, foreign policy and culture called America Explained. I am also a member of the Young Academy Leiden. I previously held a research fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School, a teaching fellowship at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, and a civil service appointment in the British Cabinet Office.
I am a scholar of modern American history and foreign policy. While my work is mainly historical in nature, it is driven by a fascination with how the contemporary is shaped by the past. I engage with insights from nearby disciplines such as international relations and American politics in order to better understand the modern and contemporary United States.
I have published extensively on America's engagement in overseas counterinsurgency and nation-building, including a book on the Vietnam War, To Build as well as Destroy: The American Experience of Nation-Building in South Vietnam, available from Cornell University Press. My published articles have considered the war from a variety of angles, including as an episode in the history of international economic development.
More recently I have turned my attention to contemporary American foreign policy and placing the Trump presidency in historical context. My research has been published in The Washington Quarterly, The International History Review, The Historical Journal, The Journal of Cold War Studies, The Journal of Strategic Studies, and Small Wars & Insurgencies.
I am a passionate teacher and public communicator. In 2019, I received the Institute for History’s biannual teaching prize, the Carla Musterd Award. I was also previously nominated twice for the teaching prize of the Faculty of Humanities. I consider public communication to be a vital part of a scholar’s role and frequently publish opinion pieces and op-eds. My writing has been published on every continent, including in The Guardian, Foreign Affairs, The Los Angeles Times, and many more outlets. I also host a podcast called America Explained which explores topics in American politics and foreign policy through interviews and reporting.
Prior to arriving at Leiden, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Harvard Kennedy School, a Teaching Fellow at the UK Defence Academy, and a civil servant in the British Cabinet Office. I received my graduate training at the University of Cambridge and King’s College London.
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