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14 September 2020

Defence Studies Department PhD student lands highly competitive US-based fellowship

Whitney Grespin has been appointed fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy


Whitney Grespin, a PhD researcher at the Defence Studies Department (DSD) joins the exclusive 2020-21 cohort of fellows at The National Endowment for Democracy’s Penn Kemble Forum, based in Washington DC.

The Forum engages emerging foreign policy and national security leaders in bipartisan conversations, providing an opportunity to share ideas across sectors and explore the role of democracy and human rights within the context of a broad range of policy challenges.

Whitney said:

Through this fellowship, I look forward to broadening my understanding of the role of democracy and human frameworks to apply to my work on security force assistance and defence institution building as well as engaging with a broader community of practice.

Whilst studying her PhD on the US Government use of contractors to train partner militaries, Whitney has also contributed to institutional development programmes across five continents, namely working as an advisor to the Somali Ministry of Defense in Mogadishu and supporting the US Army War College’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute as a Peace Operations Analyst. She is also a key member of the King’s Centre for Military Ethics and, alongside Professor Whetham, led the revision of the Ethics in Peace Operations course for the Peace Operations Training Institute.

Whitney has received departmental support for her PhD work through the in addition to her DSD Studentship/Graduate Teaching Assistant placement at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, She added:

DSD's support for my extracurricular/complementary engagements with my community of practice has been foundational to the progress of my academic work at King's and has helped pave the way for me to attain this new fellowship at the Penn Kemble Forum

The Penn Kemble Forum is part of the National Endowment for Democracy, which is a unique, private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. They support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.

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Whitney Grespin

Graduate Teaching Assistant