Chris Dictus is pursuing a doctorate in political science from the University of Virginia. He also holds a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Committee on International Relations. His research interests center on the determinants of foreign policy decision-making. In particular, he studies the role of intelligence communities and elections in the policy-making process.
Layla Picard is a doctoral student in UVA’s Department of Politics. She studies national security policy, political violence, civil-military relations, and military institutions. Her current research focuses on discrimination in the US armed services, public perceptions of the military, and reactionary extremist militancy in the US. Layla received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied the history, politics, and languages of Southwest Asia. Prior to entering graduate school, Layla spent ten years as executive director of the Yemen Peace Project, conducting public-facing and congressional advocacy on behalf of Yemenis and Yemeni Americans
Chen Wang is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Virginia specializing in International Relations. In the 2020-2021 academic year, he will be a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies (ISCS) at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. His research focuses on leaders’ reputation-building, diplomacy and foreign public opinion, terrorism, and China’s foreign policy. His dissertation examines under what conditions leadership turnovers tend to increase the risk of interstate conflicts. He is also completing a book manuscript (with Philip Potter) that examines how competing priorities facing the Chinese government shape its responses to political violence in Xinjiang. His work is forthcoming in the British Journal of Political Science. He received B.A. in Economics and M.A. in International Economics from the University of International Relations, Beijing and M.S. in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University.
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