Graduate Jacqueline Sutherland in the News

Jacqueline Sutherland was interviewed in her role as a counter terrorism expert. After graduating with a major in Politics and International Affairs from Wake Forest University in 2014, she received a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2015. She currently works as a Research Fellow for the Combating Terrorism Working Group of the London-based Asia-Pacific Foundation. The interview can be found on CTV News.

Bennett Clifford – Reassessment of Geostrategic Threats From the North Caucasus for the Republic of Georgia’s Foreign Policy

Bennett-CliffordSenior Bennett Clifford conducted research in Georgia in summer 2015. The research was supported by a Richter Scholarship and the findings have been published by the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies as part of its Expert Opinion Series. Congratulations Ben!

Bennett Clifford. Reassessment of Geostrategic Threats From the North Caucasus for the Republic of Georgia’s Foreign Policy. Expert Opinion No. 46. GFSIS. 2015. 28 p.

Bennett Clifford – Russian (Re)centralization and its Effects on the Insurgency in the Caucasus: Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria

Bennett-CliffordBennett Clifford’s article “Russian (Re)centralization and its Effects on the Insurgency in the Caucasus: Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria” was published in The UC Undergraduate Journal of Slavic and East/Central European Studies. Ben is a senior in the department.

This article examines the shifting distribution of insurgency related violence in the Russian Federation’s ethnic republics in the North Caucasus region after the end of the Second Chechen War (1999–2009). In the 1990s and early 2000s, the volatile Chechen Republic was the epicenter of insurgent activity. After the cessation of formal conflict, the Chechen Republic’s neighboring states began experiencing increased rates of violence. By evaluating the effects of direct presidential appointment in the Republic of Dagestan, the Republic of Ingushetia, and the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, I seek to demonstrate that there has been a change in the nature of insurgent violence in the North Caucasus. More specifically, the epicenter of tensions has shifted away from the Chechen Republic toward its neighboring republics as a result of Russia’s “power vertical” federalist policies, which divest governing power from local governments in favor of centralized control by Moscow. This strategy was first used by the Russian Federation in managing the Chechen Republic, but has subsequently been applied to other republics as well with deleterious effects on stability. Due to the overwhelming ethnic, religious, and political complexity of these republics, the current “top-down” model of federal governance creates the kind of sociopolitical conditions (e.g., clan-based competition, corruption, and ethnic conflict) that are most likely to spark insurgent reactions.

The article is available on

Alumni Profile – Catherine Jones

Catherine JonesCatherine Jones (’97) serves as General Counsel of Virgin Mobile Latin America, a mobile services provider with operations currently in Chile, Colombia and Mexico. She previously worked as an internal lawyer for the owner/operator of the Atlantis and One&Only hotel brands. Before going in-house, Catherine worked at a large law firm in Florida. She is fluent in Spanish and had an internship on the Supreme Court of Argentina while in law school at the University of Michigan. At Wake Forest, she double majored in Politics and Spanish and studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain. Outside of work, Catherine travels, scuba dives, tries new restaurants, spins and travels for work and pleasure (she recently visited Bhutan, Cartagena, Lima and Mexico City).



Anthony Myers: Jack D. Fleer Award

The 2015 winner of the Jack D. Fleer Award for Excellence in Honors in Politics and International Affairs is Anthony Myers. His thesis was entitled “Uneven Benefits, Uneven Burdens: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of the 1995 School Choice Plan in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.” Next year, he will be serving as a corps member with Teach for America in the North Carolina Piedmont Triad. After this two-year commitment, Anthony hopes to pursue a career in education policy, administration, or consulting.



Tillinghast attends Naval Academy Leadership Conference

This past January I had the opportunity to represent Wake Forest University at the 2015 United States Naval Academy Leadership Conference in Annapolis, Maryland. The mission of the conference is to address specific issues facing emerging leaders in both the military and civilian world by breeding understanding and identifying successful themes to overcome such obstacles. The four day conference was a mixture of panel discussions, small breakout groups, and informal dialogues amongst conference attendees. The participants ranged from ROTC cadets and Naval Academy midshipmen to civilian university students and professors which permitted very productive conversations on how to address ethical issues in the information age. The speakers ranged from Pat Finn, Cisco’s U.S. public sector vice president, to General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan; the diversity of life experiences which each speaker brought to the conference was matched by those of the participants in the conference having the effect of breeding a productive and friendly environment for discussion. My resounding takeaway from the conference was the high degree of similarity which characterizes successful and ethical leadership regardless of context. Overall the conference was very inspiring for me personally and I am honored to have had the opportunity to represent Wake Forest University and the Department of Politics and International Affairs.


Emma Northcott and Rachel Brown: Carl Moses Award


Emma Northcott won the Carl Moses Excellence in Research Award for her senior paper “Afro-American Ethnic Development in Latin America: A Transnational Evaluation of Citizenship.” She will next be pursuing a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.

Rachel-Brown-CarlMosesAwardRachel Brown has been selected as the “Honorable Mention” for the Carl Moses Excellence in Research Award for her senior paper “Basel III and Financial Inclusion.” Rachel will present her paper at the European Conference on Microfinance in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2015. She will join Ernst & Young LLP Financial Services Office Business Advisor Program in Charlotte, NC in September 2015.