Next Generation Perspectives on Security in Asia
- Fiona S. Cunningham, Ph.D. Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Political Science
- Rupal Mehta, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Lisa Picheny, Political Affairs Officer, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, NATO
- Sharon Stirling, Senior Program Officer, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Piatkiewicz at DPiatkiewicz@gmfus.org.
The recent international arbitration ruling on the South China Sea, the first free elections in decades in Myanmar, Japan’s robust diplomatic endeavors, the lifting of the U.S. arms embargo towards Vietnam, and North Korea’s continuous belligerent posturing and the subsequent exploration from South Korea for more robust defense systems are only a handful of the notable changes that the Asia-Pacific geopolitical landscape has experienced in the past year.
In examination of these developments, The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) commissioned four papers from alumni of its 2016 Young Strategists Forum (YSF). Please join us for the release of their work in an edited volume entitled, “Shifting Dynamics: Next Generation Assessments on Asian Security.”
For more inforamation on the Young Strategists Forum, please click here.
Fiona S. Cunningham is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science and a member of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During the 2015-16 academic year, she completed a Ph.D. dissertation research fellowship at the Renmin University of China in Beijing. Her dissertation project examines military strategy in the nuclear, space, and cyber domains, with a focus on China. Her research on China's nuclear strategy was recently published in the quarterly journal, International Security. Before MIT, she was a research associate in nuclear policy at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, where she wrote on extended nuclear deterrence in East Asia and nuclear non-proliferation. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and French. Cunningham holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics and international relations from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney, both with first class honors.
Rupal N. Mehta is as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From 2014-15, she was a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow in the Belfer Center’s International Security Program and Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She is currently a researcher of the University of Nebraska’s National Strategic Research Institute, where she consults for USSTRATCOM, and an affiliated researcher and contributor with Cross-Domain Deterrence Project (Minerva Initiative) at the University of California, San Diego. Her book manuscript, The Politics of Nuclear Reversal, explores the conditions under which states that have started nuclear weapons programs stop their pursuit. Prior to beginning graduate school, she was a researcher at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. She received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of California San Diego and B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Lisa Picheny works in the Euro-Atlantic and Global Partnership Office at NATO HQ, where she coordinates relations with partners in the Asia-Pacific region including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Mongolia. She also provides support and advice to NATO senior officials and Allied committees on policy issues related to Asia-Pacific, and handles NATO’s interaction with contact countries, including Colombia, Singapore and China. From 2008-12, Ms. Picheny worked with NATO’s partners in the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to joining NATO, she worked with the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at Interpol’s Headquarters and at the University of Cairo. Ms. Picheny graduated from Sciences Po Paris in 2005 with a Master’s degree in political science specialising in Arab Studies. She speaks French, English, Spanish and Arabic.
Sharon Stirling is the senior program officer with GMF's Asia program. In this role, she coordinates the day-to-day running of the program and oversees its annual budget of more than a million dollars. Ms. Stirling manages GMF’s Japan portfolio, which includes annual U.S.-Japan-Europe forums: Trilateral Forum Tokyo and Japan Trilateral Forum, a renowned leadership development initiative for mid-career professionals from major democracies called the Young Strategists Forum, and high-level workshops and seminars in Brussels, Berlin, and Washington, DC. She also manages GMF’s developing portfolio of work on Southeast Asia, including the Southeast Asia Trilateral Forum, and oversees research products on transatlantic cooperation on a rising Asia. Prior to joining GMF, she was a TV news producer for NHK, Japan’s public broadcasting organization. Serving at NHK’s bureau in Washington, DC, her assignments included the U.S. State Department, the 2008 presidential election, and the 2008 global financial crisis. Ms. Stirling was born in the Philippines, spent ten years in Japan, four years in Taiwan, and a year in China, and has traveled extensively in Asia. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.