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

Charles Halvorson - History, Columbia University

Project: "Valuing the Air: The Politics of Environmental Regulation from the Clean Air Act to Carbon Trading"

Halvorson photo

Charles Halvorson has been selected as the 2016 Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellow.

Fifty years ago, the environmental movement convinced Americans that strong regulations were needed to protect human health and the natural world against the compounding detritus of industrial society. Meanwhile, environmental economists offered a different solution: let markets value the environment by pricing the social effects of degradation. Congress went with the environmentalists, passing legislation in the early 1970s to protect the public health from noxious emissions and effluents, regardless of the costs involved.

But as the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quickly discovered, defending major regulatory interventions against an onslaught of criticism from regulated industries required environmental advocates to convincingly establish the economic benefits of environmental protection. Over the 1970s, EPA officials invested millions of dollars in staffing economists at the agency and funding critical new research on the pecuniary benefits of regulatory protection at universities across the country. In the late 1970s, the agency began experimenting with emission trading and other market and economic incentive programs, putting EPA at the forefront of the larger regulatory reform movement.  

By leaning on cost/benefit analysis to justify regulations and turning to market trading to lower the costs of enforcement, EPA contributed to the ascendance of economics in policymaking. Yet by simultaneously rejecting economists’ calls to let markets price the environment, EPA preserved into the present the political salience of the moral and romantic values of 1970s environmentalism. 


Shelley L. Hurt - Political Science, The New School for Social Research

Project: Institutionalizing Food Power: U.S. Foreign Policy, Intellectual Property Rights, and the Agricultural Biotechnology Industry, 1972–1994

Hurt photo

Fellowship year: 2004

Mentor: Ronnie Lipschutz, University of California, Santa Cruz

Shelley L. Hurt is Assistant Professor of Political Science Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Hurt teaches courses on Biological and Chemical Arms Control and Development, Security Studies in Global Perspective, Science, Technology, Power and Politics, War, Trade, and American Political development. Her research interests include U.S. foreign policy, science and technology policy, security studies, international law and organizations, globalization, and American political development.

Hurt's dissertation investigated U.S. policymakers' use of the market and law, domestically and internationally, to foster a favorable climate for the agricultural biotechnology industry. She hypothesized that this state strategy evolved in response to declining U.S. hegemony in the early 1970s when the pressure of international competition became a paramount concern for U.S. officials. Subsequently, food came to be seen as a fundamental national resource with the potential to propel the U.S. back into an undisputed hegemonic position. She argued that in response to this geopolitical pressure, U.S. policymakers and courts enacted a complex set of legal rules and regulations to create the conditions for this industry to flourish. The culmination of these domestic policies led to U.S. insistence on incorporating the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Selected Recent Publications

Hybrid Rule and State Formation: Public-Private Power in the 21st Century. with Ronnie D. Lipschutz, eds. (Routledge Press, 2015)

"Military's Hidden Hand: Understanding the Origins of Biotechnology in the American Context, 1969-1972." in State of Innovation: The U.S. Government's Role in Technology Development, Fred Block and Matthew Keller, eds (Colorado: Paradigm Publishers, 2011).


Christopher Jones - History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Project: Energy Highways: Canals, Pipes, and Wires Transform the Mid-Atlantic

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Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: John McNeill, Georgetown University

Christopher Jones is Assistant Professor of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University.

Jones is a historian of energy, technology, and environment who studies how we have come to use and depend on fossil fuel energy sources and how these decisions have changed the ways we live, work, and play. 

Jone's dissertation argued that energy transporters occupied a central position between producers and consumers and actively shaped the mid-Atlantic's energy history through choices about how canals, pipes, and wires were built, how they were operated, and where they went. His project consisted of three sections analyzing the transportation and consumption of coal (1820–1860), oil (1860–1900) and electricity (1900–1930). In his work, Jones drew on and integrated the insights of historians of technology, energy, industrialization, regional development, and the environment. He additionally highlighted the social effects of the transportation of energy and included social policy implications.

Selected Recent Publications

Christopher Jones is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

Routes of Power: Energy and Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2014).


David Karpf - University of Pennsylvania

Project: Network-Enhanced Goods and Internet-Mediated Organizations: The Internet's Effects on Political Participation, Organization, and Mobilization

Karpf photo

Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: Henry Farrell, George Washington University

Dave Karpf is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, where he teaches courses in strategic political communication. His primary area of research is on the Internet and American political associations. He is the author of two books -- The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy (Oxford University Press, 2016).  

Karpf's dissertation argued that the Internet is enabling new forms of political association, engaging geographically diffuse communities-of-interest in a host of participatory activities that were infeasible under previous information regimes. He discussed how this is leading to the emergence of internet-mediated organizations that take advantage of the online environment to construct novel solutions to traditional collective action problems. In 2009, Karpf earned his Ph.D in Political Science from UPenn. 

Selected Recent Publications

The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy (2012, Oxford University Press).


Andrew Kelly - Political Science, Northwestern University

Project: Entering the New Frontier: The Origins and Development of Scientific Capacity in the United States and Great Britain

Kelly photo

Fellowship year: 2012

Mentor: Gerald Berk, University of Oregon

Andrew Kelly has been selected as the Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy.

Andrew Kelly is the Patrick Henry Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.  Kelly's dissertation, “Entering the New Frontier: The Origins and Development of Scientific Capacity in the United States and Great Britain,” explores the role of exchanges of scientific expertise and the effect on expanding state capacity in the United States and Great Britain. His fellowship will be supported by the Monell Foundation and is a perfect example of how the Miller Center along with Monell are contributing to a fast-growing new field that seeks to shed light on the co-evolution of technology and democracy.

Kelly is currently working on a new project that examines the growth of private insurance plans within Medicare, and how the public-private partnerships that developed have impacted policy change over time.

Selected Recent Publications

Rocco, Philip, Andrew S. Kelly, Daniel Beland, and Michael Kinane, “The New Politics of US Health Care Prices: Institutional Reconfiguration and the Emergence of All-Payer Claims Databases.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (Volume 42, Number 1: 5-52.  February 2017).

Kelly, Andrew S.  “Boutique to Booming: Medicare Managed Care and the Private Path to Policy Change.”  Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (Volume 41, Number 3: 315-354.  June 2016).​


Sarah Kreps - Government, Georgetown University

Project: Power, Arms, and Allies: U.S. Multilateralism in an Age of Unipolarity

Kreps photo

Sarah Kreps is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University and the co-director of the Cornell Law School International Law-International Relations Colloquium.

Kreps' research focuses on issues of international security, particularly questions of conflict and cooperation, alliance politics, political economy, and nuclear proliferation. Current projects examine the effect of war on domestic institutions; the ethics of conflict; and the relationship between financial costs of war and democratic accountability.

Her dissertation asked: Why does the unipolar power often intervene multilaterally when it has the capacity to act alone? What explains the variation between the broad multilateralism associated with interventions such as the first Gulf War and, conversely, cases in which the U.S. is more willing to exercise its freedom of action and intervene more unilaterally, as in the 2003 Iraq war? Kreps's dissertation addressed these questions through a combination of theoretical and empirical work on U.S.-led interventions since 1945. Kreps discussed the role of domestic politics, normative constraints, international structure, and the "shadow of the future" on U.S. decisions to intervene multilaterally when a unilateral option is available. Ultimately, her research explained why and under what conditions the hegemony intervenes multilaterally against a weaker adversary and when the U.S. privileges unilateral approaches to intervention.

Selected Recent Publications

Coalitions of Convenience: United States Military Interventions after the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2011).

"The Next Drone Wars: Preparing for Profileration.Foreign Affairs, March/April 2014.

"Ground the Drones? The Real Problem with Unmanned Aircraft.Foreign Affairs, 4 December 2013.

"Political Parties at War: A Study of American War Finance, 1789-2010." with Gustavos Flores-Macias, American Political Science Review 107, No. 4 (November 2013): 833-848.


Margaret Pugh O’Mara - History, University of Pennsylvania

Project: Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Politics and the Roots of the Information Age Metropolis, 1945–75

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Margaret O'Mara is Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington.

O'Mara's research interests include: Silicon Valley, national politics, economic globalization, postindustrial cities, and higher education. Her current research project examines the technology industry's impact on politics, culture, and place since 1970. She also works with government, business, and civic organizations on projects exploring how innovation drives growth and change.  Most recently, she was the lead curatorial advisor to the Bezos Center for Innovation at Seattle's Museum of History and Industry.

O'Mara's dissertation, "Cold War Politics and the Roots of the Information Age Metropolis, 1945–1975," examined the effect of Cold War politics upon urban space in the United States during the 30 years following World War II. She specifically explored the way in which the increased national focus on higher education and scientific research during the 1950s and 1960s strongly encouraged the suburbanization of people and industry – particularly the rapidly growing advanced scientific sectors – in metropolitan areas in many different parts of the country, including the major metropolitan areas of Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Northern California's Silicon Valley.

Selected Recent Publications

Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Elections That Shaped the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).

"The Environmental Contradictions of High-Tech Urbanism." in Jeff Hou, Ben Spencer, Thaisa Way, and Ken Yocum, eds., Now Urbanism: The Future City is Here (Routledge, 2014).

"The Uses of the Foreign Student.Social Science History 36, no.4 (December 2012).

Cities and Suburbs." in Lynn Dumenil, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History (Oxford University Press, 2012).


Douglas O’Reagan - History, University of California, Berkeley

Project: Science, Technology and Diplomacy: American, British, and French Efforts to Extract German Science and Technology During and Following the Second World War

O'Reagan photo

Fellowship year: 2014

Mentor: James Hershberg, George Washington University

Douglas O'Reagan has been selected as the Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy.

Douglas O'Reagan is a postdoctoral fellow in Digital Humanities in the Departmentof History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2016 where he works closely with faculty members of Humanities subjects (History, Literature, Global Studies and Languages, and Comparative Media Studies/Writing) to produce a comprehensive assessment of the needs, current capacity, and future uses of digital humanities at MIT.  Prior to joining MIT, O'Reagan was visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities in the Department of History at Washington State University

O'Reagan's dissertation, "Science, Technology and Diplomacy: American, British, and French Efforts to Extract German Science and Technology During and Following the Second World War," provided a comparative perspective and analysis of the possibilities and difficulties of international technology transfer.  Following the Second World War, the United States, United Kingdom, and France operated cooperative yet competitive efforts to extract technology, industrial machinery, and scientific personnel from Germany. The United States and United Kingdom began these efforts in a joint study of German military technology for use against Japan, yet they quickly expanded to cover all aspects of civilian industrial technology, and the newly-established Gaullist French government eagerly joined in, each nation anticipating great value from these "intellectual reparations." Some aspects of these programs have become something like common knowledge - the most famous case being the German aeronautical engineers led by Wernher von Braun drafted into American space research through "Operation Paperclip" – but they have rarely been considered in a wider context, as a phenomenon international in character but with key differences in the programs' implementation and goals in each national context. O'Reagan's dissertation also examines the role of access to shared technology in postwar international economic integration; how each nation's postwar challenges, and a growing perception of the importance of science and technology in overcoming them, impacted early Cold War diplomacy; and how these local circumstances shaped each country's experience of the broader phenomenon of the drawing together of industry, academic institutions, and governments experienced by each nation during and quickly following the war.

Selected Recent Publications

"Learning to Code, Learning to Collaborate.Berkeley Digital Humanities blog, July 9, 2015.

"French Scientific Exploitation and Technology Transfer from Germany in the Diplomatic Context of the Early Cold War." International History Review (February 13, 2014)

HistoriCal Outreach Podcast


David Reinecke - Sociology, Princeton University

Project: "Network Struggles: Re-wiring American Network Industries for Competition, 1970-2005"

Reinecke photo

Fellowship year: 2015

Mentor: Richard John, Columbia University

David Reinecke has been selected as the Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy.

David Reinecke is currently a PhD candidate in sociology at Princeton University.  With a background in the history of science and technology from the University of Pennsylvania, his work takes a comparative-historical approach to the study of market formation.  His dissertation compares the deregulation of four network industries in the United States (electricity, natural gas, railroads, and telecom) from 1970 to the present with a focus upon struggles in each industry to define the appropriate form of networked competition.  How the physical networks of each industry were politically reconfigured differently, the dissertation argues, sent these industries down divergent market trajectories. 

His past work has examined entrepreneurial middle class formation during the industrial revolution, the emergence of genre science fiction in the pages of lowbrow pulp fiction magazines, and the legal problem of classifying the nationality of ships captured at sea by privateers—all published or forthcoming in different academic journals.  With Janet Vertesi at Princeton, he is currently engaged in studying how NASA spaceflight missions get funded (short answer: they don’t) and is helping to advise future missions on questions of socio-technical organization.  For more information, visit www.david-reinecke.com or tweet @davimre


Joy Rohde - History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Project: "The Social Scientists' War": Expertise in a Cold War Nation

Rohde photo

Joy Rohde is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Rohde specializes in U.S. national security policy and the history of science. She is interested broadly in the role that scientific experts—especially social scientists—play in American national security and foreign policy. Her book, Armed with Expertise: The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War, investigates the Cold War origins and contemporary consequences of the Pentagon’s social research contracting system. Her current research projects include a study of the role social scientists play in the Global War on Terror and a longitudinal study of the myriad ways the American state has deployed cultural knowledge over the last century to understand, manage, and control its perceived enemies.

In the late 1950s, Army officials and civilian social scientists joined forces to combat the spread of communism to the so-called "emerging nations" of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This fusion of social science and statecraft reached its acme at the Special Operations Research Office (SORO), an interdisciplinary research institute created in 1956 by the Army and American University. For 15 years SORO's political scientists, social psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists worked with Pentagon officials to illuminate the complex social processes involved in the creation of stable, democratic nations. But as the Vietnam War intensified in the late 1960s, a vocal community of academicians lambasted their Army-funded peers as servants of a war-mongering state, forcing SORO's closure in 1969. Rather than severing their close ties to the American state, however, SORO's experts relocated to a network of Washington think tanks and consulting agencies. From there, social scientists continued to influence American national security policy while the authority of their academic counterparts waned. Rohde's dissertation used the case of SORO to examine the multifaceted ways that social knowledge and state power extended, shaped, and reinforced one another during the Cold War.

Selected Recent Publications

"Police militarization is a legacy of cold war paranoia." The Conversation, October 22, 2014.

Armed with Expertise: The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013). 

From Expert Democracy to Beltway Banditry: How the Anti-War Movement Expanded the Military-Academic-Industrial Complex.” in Mark Solovey and Hamilton Cravens, eds., Cold War Social Science: Knowledge Production, Liberal Democracy, and Human Nature (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012): 137-53.

The Last Stand of the Psychocultural Cold Warriors: Military Contract Research in Vietnam.Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 47 (2011): 232-50.


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