Five Military Fellows Welcomed

This year the Security Studies Program is pleased to welcome five military fellows for the academic year. The members of the United States Army, Marine and Air Force services are all adding their expertise to the conversations that take place in our classrooms, seminars and hallways.

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L-R: Karl Schloer, Tom Pecina, John Burpo, Scott Jackson, D.A. Sims

Feature Stories

The MIT Security Studies Program was saddened to learn of the death of program founder and longtime friend of the program, Professor Jack Ruina, on February 4, 2015.

Jack Ruina not only co-founded the Defense and Arms Control Studies Program (DACS), now SSP, he led it through one critical generational transition, which helped to secure its future.

“Though an engineer, and committed to independent analysis of military technology, Jack helped turn SSP into a big tent, which welcomed political scientists, including me, into the core of the program,” said Barry Posen, Director of SSP. “This move was fundamental to SSP’s ability to navigate the surprise collapse of the Soviet Union, and adapt itself to the problems of the post-Cold War world.”

“Jack effortlessly brought together technologists and social scientists to address the central security issues of the Cold War, most particularly the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. He had easy access to nuclear experts around the globe and was a leader in the quest to temper the arms race.  As a founder of the Defense and Arms Control program at MIT he helped build the careers of many of today’s security specialists in and out of government,” said Harvey Sapolsky, Professor Emeritus and former Director of SSP.

“Upon his retirement, Jack left us a generous parting gift of an endowment to support the nuclear age dinner speaker series that bears his name,” Posen said. “The satisfaction that we draw daily from our lives in the Security Studies Program is an enduring gift from Jack.”

Prof. Ruina was an undergraduate at the City College of New York and did his graduate work at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, earning his MEE and DEE there.  He has been granted the Outstanding Alumnus Award from both colleges. He taught at Brown University and the University of Illinois; at the latter, he also headed the Radar Division of the Control System Laboratory. While on leave from the University of Illinois, he served in several senior positions at the Department of Defense, the last being Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, and was honored with the Fleming Award for being one of ten outstanding young men in government in 1962. He served on many government committees, including a presidential appointment to the General Advisory Committee, 1969-1977, and acted as Senior Consultant to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, 1977-1980.  He also held the post of President of the Institute for Defense Analyses. At MIT, he has held the position of Vice President for Special Laboratories and was Secretary of the MIT Faculty.

A more detailed article outlining all of Professor Ruina’s accomplishments and contributions may be found at




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What We Wrote

Mark Bell, grad student

“Questioning the Effect of Nuclear Weapons on Conflict,” with SSP alum Nick Miller, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp.74-92, February 2015. 

David Blum, alum

“A Bayesian Model to Assess the Size of North Korea’s Uranium Enrichment Program,” Journal of Science and Global Security (Princeton University Press) with John Bistline, Chris Rinaldi, Gabriel Shields-Estrada, Siegfried Hecker, and Elisabeth Paté-Cornell.

Joel Brenner, CIS Wilhelm Fellow

“How Obama Fell Short on Cybersecurity,”, January 21, 2015.

 “The New Industrial Espionage,” The American Interest, Vol. 10, No. 3, December 10, 2014.

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Where We Spoke

Noel Anderson, grad student

Speaker, “Explaining Trends in the Incidence of Civil War,” University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, January 13, 2015.

Presenter, “Competitive Intervention and the Angolan Civil War, 1975-1990,” Tobin Project Forum on National Security, Cambridge, MA, January 30, 2015. This paper was also presented at the International Studies Association annual convention, New Orleans, LA, February, 2015.

Mark Bell, grad student

Presenter, “Beyond Emboldenment: The Effects of Nuclear Weapons on State Foreign Policy,” Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, December 3, 2014. This talk was also presented at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Co-operation, December 11, 2014, and at the International Studies Association annual convention, New Orleans, LA, February 20, 2015.

Joel Brenner, CIS Wilhelm Fellow

Attendee, Cybersecurity Workshop, The Hague Center for International Studies, co-sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, February 5-6, 2015.

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Awards and Scholarships

Brendan Rittenhouse Green, alum and Austin Long, alum

The editors of the Journal of Strategic Studies are pleased to announce that Austin Long & Brendan Rittenhouse Green are the winners of the 2015 annual Amos Perlmutter Prize.

The prize, named in memory of the founding editor of the journal, recognizes the best essay submitted for publication to the Journal of Strategic Studies by a junior faculty member.

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Notes From All Over

Taylor Fravel, Faculty

Has been selected as one of the Top 20 American China Experts by the  China Foreign Affairs University, the nation’s leading diplomatic school.

Eugene Gholz, alum

Elected to the governing council of the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association. His three-year term began this February.

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