Miller Center

Miller Center National Fellowship

Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year, the National Fellowship Program, a longstanding initiative of the Miller Center, will fall under the leadership of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation at U.Va.. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, created in 1980, currently offers the premier graduate fellowship and undergraduate scholarship at the University. To learn more about the National Fellows Program, including how to apply, click here.

Meet The Fellows

Carl Bon Tempo - History, University of Virginia

Project: The Politics of American Refugee Policy, 1952–1980

Bon Tempo photo

Carl Bon Tempo is Associate Professor of History at the State University New York, Albany.

Bon Tempo's work explores the links between domestic political history and America’s role in the world. He maintains a particular focus on the histories of refugees, immigration, and human rights.

Bon Tempo wrote his dissertation on the formation and implementation of the American government's policies toward refugees between 1952 and 1980, arguing that the study of refugee policies provides an opportunity to examine how Americans (in and out of government) conceived of citizenship and "American-ness" in the post-World War II era – and that these conceptions vitally influenced the intent and character of specific refugee policies and programs. He displayed that post-World War II era American refugee policies and laws, and the contentious deliberations that produced them, resembled the larger debates about citizenship and national identity occurring during that period.

Selected Recent Publications

Americans at the Gate: The United States and Refugees During the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2008).

From the Center-Right: Freedom House and Human Rights in the 1970s and 1980s” in  Petra Goedde and William Hitchcock, eds, The Human Rights Revolution: An International History,  (New York: Oxford University Press, January 2012).

American Exceptionalism and Modern Immigration History in the United States.” in Jamey Carson and Sylvia Soderlind, eds., American Exceptionalisms (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, December, 2011.)


Rebecca Brubaker - International Politics, University of Oxford

Project: From the Un-Mixing to the Re-Mixing of Peoples: Understanding U.S.-Led Support for Minority Returns Following the Ethnic Conflict in Bosnia

Brubaker photo

Fellowship year: 2014

Mentor: Susan Hyde, University of California, Berkeley

Rebecca Brubaker completed her doctorate in the Department of International Development, University of Oxford, where her research focused on international solutions to forced displacement following ethnic conflicts. Following graduation, she became a Visiting Fellow at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to her scholarship, she has worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Migration Unit, the UN Development Program, and spent extensive time in the field. Brubaker is the recipient of numerous awards including a Fulbright Scholarship, a Rhodes Scholarship, and a Smith Richardson Fellowship (Yale). 

Brubaker’s dissertation focused on the U.S.-led response to the 1990s' ethnic conflict in Bosnia. Her work illuminated the multilateral attempt to reverse the ethnic conflict through the return of displaced people.  The policy emphasis on “re-mixing” people, interpreted through a policy of minority returns, and supported and coordinated on an international scale, was unprecedented in contemporary history.


Shamira Gelbman - Political Science, University of Virginia

Project: Coalitions of the Unwilling: Insurgency and Enfranchisement in the United States and South Africa

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Fellowship year: 2006

Mentor: Elisabeth Clemens, University of Chicago

Shamira Gelbman is the Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wabash College.

Gelbman's research interests include race, social movements, and democratization in the United States and South Africa. 

Based on a paired comparison of the American civil rights movement and the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa, Gelbman's dissertation argued that state actors' responses to social movements vary with changing coalition dynamics at both the elite and mass levels. Specifically, the confluence of intra-regime conflict and labor-civil rights coalitions provides the incentives for democratic concessions that would otherwise be too politically risky for public officials who are beholden to constituencies that oppose suffrage expansion to undertake.

Selected Recent Publications

"Interest Groups, Twitter, and Civic Education.” in Civic Education in the Twenty-First Century: A Multidimensional Inquiry (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015): 273-290.

Affirmative Action.” Encyclopedia of Politics of the American West, ed. Stephen L. Danvers (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2013). 

Alien Land Laws.Encyclopedia of Politics of the American West, ed. Stephen L. Danvers (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2013). 


Evan D. McCormick - Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

Project: "Between Revolution and Repression: U.S. Foreign Policy and Latin American Democracy, 1980-1989"

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Evan D. McCormick is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

He joined the CPH in August 2015. Evan's research focuses on the history of U.S.-Latin American relations during the Cold War, with a focus on the intersection of U.S. development policies, Latin American democracy, and human rights. Evan is currently expanding his research and writing interests in presidential and public history through involvement in the CPH's Collective Memory Project, an oral history program that focuses on specific aspects of the administration of George W. Bush.

Before joining SMU, Evan was a dissertation fellow at the Miller Center and an Eisenhower/Roberts Fellow of the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College. He was the recipient of the University of Virginia's Albert Gallatin Graduate Research Fellowship and a junior fellow in the University of Virginia Society of Fellows. 

Evan received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 2015.

His dissertation, “Beyond Revolution and Repression: U.S. Foreign Policy and Latin American Democracy, 1980-1989,” explored the history of U.S. efforts to promote democracy amidst Latin American civil conflicts during the Reagan years. Evan earned an M.A. in international relations from Yale University (2007) and a B.A. in international relations from Boston University (2003).  Before returning to academia, he served as a policy analyst at the Department of Homeland Security where he specialized in U.S.-Latin American security issues. His work has appeared in The Journal of Cold War Studies.

Selected Recent Publications

"Freedom Tide? Ideology, Politics, and the Origins of Democracy Promotion in U.S. Central America Policy, 1980–1984." Journal of Cold War Studies 16, no. 4 (Fall 2014)


Michael Morgan - History, New York University

Project: The Origins of the Helsinki Final Act, 1954–1975

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Fellowship year: 2008

Mentor: Tony Judt, New York University

Michael Morgan is Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Morgan’s research focuses on the international history of the twentieth century, especially the Cold War. His current project examines the origins of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, a 35-country agreement that was a turning point in East-West relations and a landmark in the history of human rights.  He teaches courses on the history of international relations since the seventeenth century and the history of human rights.

Morgan's dissertation argued that the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in August 1975 was a turning point in the history of the Cold War. The brief ceremony in the Finnish capital was the culmination of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), one of the largest and most ambitious diplomatic undertakings in European history. Over the course of nearly three years, 35 countries jointly hammered out an agreement that covered almost every aspect of international affairs, including sovereignty and borders, economic and commercial relations, and human rights. By injecting human rights into geopolitics for the first time, by calling the centuries-old principle of absolute sovereignty into question, and by raising the possibility of reunifying a divided Europe, the Final Act had profound consequences for the future of the Cold War. It crystallized the difference between the political systems of Eastern and Western Europe, secured communist recognition of basic human rights standards, and, most importantly, bolstered dissident movements across Eastern Europe. Since the end of the Cold War, the Final Act's contribution to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe has been widely acknowledged, and Morgan's dissertation, based on newly-declassified material from North American and European archives, was the first comprehensive account of how and why it came into being.

Selected Recent Publications

The Ambiguities of Humanitarian Intervention.” in Hal Brands and Jeremi Suri, eds., The Power of the Past: History and Statecraft (Brookings Institution Press, 2015)

The Seventies and the Rebirth of Human Rights.” in Niall Ferguson, Charles Maier, Erez Manela, and Daniel Sargent, eds., The Shock of the Global: The International History of the 1970s (Harvard University Press, 2010).
The United States and the Making of the Helsinki Final Act.” in Fredrik Logevall and Andrew Preston, eds., Nixon in the World: American Foreign Relations 1969–1977  (Oxford University Press, 2008).


Stephen Porter - History, University of Chicago

Project: Defining Public Responsibility in a Global Age: Refugee Resettlement in the U.S., 1933 to 1980

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Stephen Porter is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati.

Steve Porter explores the intersection of humanitarianism and extensions of U.S. power over the long twentieth century. He has considered these issues in his book, Benevolent Empire? U.S. Power, Humanitarianism, and the World’s Dispossessed(University of Pennsylvania Press, Oct. 2016), as well as through shorter publications and professional presentations. Central to his research interests are changing conceptions of ethical responsibilities and rights as well as the ways in which a panoply of state and non-state actors have collaborated – productively and otherwise – in innovative strategies to managing refugee crises and other humanitarian dilemmas wrought by war, persecution, upheaval, and other disruptive phenomena so emblematic of the modern world order. These efforts include both international aid initiatives on behalf of vulnerable populations abroad and domestic programs to systematically resettle select groups of political refugees admitted to the U.S.
 
His current research agenda includes pursuing these themes through the past several decades. He is additionally examining how Cold-War era U.S.-Americans, operating outside of government, engaged with counterparts in communist countries in efforts at nongovernmental diplomacy when their respective states largely maintained adversarial postures toward one another.
 
At the University of Cincinnati, he has served as director of the International Human Rights Certificate, chair of the Tolley Scholarship in International Human Rights, and chair of the Taft Center’s Human Rights Research Group. He is a former fellow of the Institute for Historical Studies. He has a PhD in History from the University of Chicago.

Selected Recent Publications

Benevolent Empire: U.S. Power, Humanitarianism, and the World's Dispossessed. (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).

Humanitarian Diplomacy after World War II: The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.” in Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy. (Oxford University Press, 2015).


Vanessa Walker - History, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Project: Ambivalent Allies: Advocates, Diplomats, and the Struggle for an 'American' Human Rights Policy

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Vanessa Walker is the Joseph W. And Diane Zerbib Assistant Professor of History at Amherst College.

Walker's primary areas of interest are the history of U.S. foreign relations and the history and politics of human rights. With both of these topics, she likes to focus on the interchange between international and domestic spheres and actors. She approaches foreign relations in broad terms to engage ideology, race, gender, culture, and (of course) policy, as important forces in shaping the United States’ global interactions through out its history.  Moreover, she likes to explore how foreign entities—both governmental and non-governmental—have shaped the country domestically, influencing American ideals, identities, society, and government institutions. Her current book project, for example, brings together high-level diplomatic and political history with that of activist networks and social movements to argue for the centrality of Latin America in the development of U.S. human rights policies and debates in the Ford and Carter presidencies. At its core, the project is a study of how foreign policy is made in a democracy, situating diplomacy in a larger social and political domestic context, and it traces the deep and inextricable connections between international structures and policies, and domestic dissent and reform in the 1970s. Although her primary focus is on the United States, Walker has also done research in Latin America and the Middle East, and enjoys offering comparative and transnational courses rooted in broader global contexts, such as seminars on Cuba and the United States and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Walker's dissertation examined the interactions between advocacy groups and foreign diplomats in the 1970s and early 1980s, revealing the way human rights policy was conceptualized, implemented, and evaluated. Highlighting the role that Chilean and Argentine advocates played in catalyzing the emerging human rights movement in Washington, D.C., her dissertation sought to place this advocacy-diplomacy relationship in its proper international context. More broadly, Walker considered how the Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations approached human rights as a component of the U.S. relations with Latin America. Her dissertation placed particular emphasis on the Carter administration's relations with Chile and Argentina, and reevaluated its successes and failures in the context of a larger human rights moment, and its objectives to redirect U.S. foreign policy away from Cold War containment and intervention.

Selected Recent Publications

At the End of Influence: Rethinking Human Rights and Intervention in U.S.-Latin American Relations.Journal of Contemporary History, 46, No. 1 (January 2011): 109-135.

Critically Relevant and Genuinely Critical.” In "Fifty Years of William Appleman Williams’ Tragedy of American Diplomacy: An Anniversary, a Discussion, and a Celebration,” Passport, 40, No. 2 (September 2009): 35-6.


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