Gil Barndollar is a Senior Fellow at the Catholic University of America’s Center for the Study of Statesmanship (CSS). His writing has appeared in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The National Interest, The American Conservative, US Naval Institute Proceedings, and The Marine Corps Gazette, among other publications. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and holds an MPhil and PhD in history from the University of Cambridge.
From 2009 to 2016, Dr. Barndollar served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps. He deployed twice to Afghanistan, as a light armored reconnaissance platoon commander and as a combat advisor with the Georgian Army. He also led a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) platoon during deployments to Guantanamo Bay and the Persian Gulf. He continues to serve in the Rhode Island Army National Guard.
During his fellowship Gil will conduct field research to do reporting and long-form writing on the under-explored international security issue of the use of Sudanese mercenaries as proxy force in Libya. His goal in doing so is to examine the human side of proxy wars, providing insight into the expendable surrogates who are doing much of the world’s fighting today.
A former U.S. Air Force special operations pilot and a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Nolan Peterson is a conflict journalist and travel writer whose adventures have taken him to all seven continents. He is the author of, “Why Soldiers Miss War,” as well as two fiction collections.
As a war correspondent, Peterson has reported extensively from the front lines in eastern Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He’s lived in Ukraine full time since the war began in the summer of 2014 and was the first American journalist to embed with Ukraine’s regular army in combat. In October 2015 Peterson retraced the path of Tibetan refugees on a solo hike across the Himalayas from Nepal to China. He also spent several months on assignment in the Himalayas reporting on Tibetan freedom fighters.
A Florida native, Peterson graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in French. He attended graduate school at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. After leaving the Air Force in 2011, Peterson completed a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he was a McCormick Foundation fellow.
During his fellowship, Nolan will produce a series of articles that will analyze lessons learned about hybrid warfare from the battlefields of Ukraine. He will also look beyond the trenches in the Donbas, leveraging his years of experience in Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe to shed light on the rapidly evolving balance of military power in this volatile region.
Margaret Seymour is currently a graduate student at the University of Missouri studying journalism and strategic communications. As an active duty intelligence officer with the U.S. Marine Corps, Seymour successfully completed three tours overseas. As part of her transition to the Reserves, Seymour ran across the United States, raising $100,000 for veterans, Gold Star families and special needs athletes. She currently serves as an independent researcher and writer based in Beaufort, SC. She received a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Loyola University, a Master’s in Military History from Norwich University, and a PhD in International Studies from Old Dominion University. Her dissertation work focused on the U.S. use of soft power to counter-terrorism.
During her fellowship she plans on developing a series of articles distilling and expanding on her research into soft power approaches to combatting terrorism.