Farewell to the 2013–14 Class of National Security Affairs Fellows

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Colonel Thomas Womble asks a question at a Hoover conference.
Hoover Institution
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkins contributes to the discussion at a Hoover conference.
Steve Gladfelter
Lieutenant Colonel Brant Eggers speaks at a panel at the Hoover Spring Retreat.
Steve Gladfelter
Colonel Eric Shirley speaks at a panel at the Hoover Spring Retreat
Hoover Institution
Commander Steve Newlund solutes the flag at a ceremony with ROTC students.

Since 1969, the Hoover Institution has offered representatives of the US military and government agencies the opportunity to conduct independent research on topics relevant to their respective branches of government and to the practice of diplomacy through the National Security Affairs Fellowship program (with the fellows referred to as NSAFs).  With the class of 2013–14 leaving at the end of June, it is an opportune time for the Hoover Institution to outline their accomplishments during the past year.

This year’s class had seven fellows, representing all branches of the military: Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkins, representing the US Air Force; Lieutenant Colonel Roy Collins, representing the US Air Force; Lieutenant Colonel Brant Eggers, representing the US Marine Corps; Commander Steve Newlund, representing the US Navy; Colonel Eric Shirley, representing the US Army; Captain Troy Stoner; and Colonel Thomas Womble, representing the US National Guard. 

In addition to the academic papers required by their fellowship, Atkins and Shirley also published articles for Hoover and other media sources.  Atkins published an article on Edward Snowden and intelligence, coauthored with Hoover research fellow Marshall Erwin, for SFGate , and wrote a guest post on crowdsourcing intelligence for Just Security. Atkins and Shirley coauthored a piece on nuclear nonproliferation in Iran for Real Clear Markets.  Shirley also wrote an essay for Hoover’s Military History Working Group entitled “Provocation in a Time of Uncertainty.”

The NSAFs also participated at several conferences throughout the year, including visits by distinguished guests General Kehler and General Livingston.  Atkins and Hoover senior fellow Amy Zegart organized a conference on intelligence, and many of the fellows spoke at a panel on military affairs at the Hoover Spring Retreat.

Besides the academic research, conferences, and courses, the NSAFs also mentored Stanford students interested in military affairs as well as ROTC students.  Many of the NSAFs, including Collins, spoke fondly of the mentorship program in their interviews (see below).  For NSAF Newlund, this meant buying a new flag, with his own money, for the flagstaff outside Stanford’s Green Library and teaching his students how to properly and ceremoniously raise a flag. The students’ barely contained excitement and appreciation of the lesson was heartwarming to see.

This year Hoover launched a new tradition,  interviewing our NSAFs about their time at Hoover and in the military.  Many of the NSAFs generously took the time to candidly discuss their views and experiences, giving insights on Hoover and their service.  You can find the interviews here:

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