Announcing Our Essay Contest Winners

Blog Post
Sept. 23, 2020

From COVID to climate change, racial injustice, weapons of mass destruction, and much more, U.S. security policy needs innovative responses to help us catch up to immense challenges. At the same time, the way the United States makes security policy – and who is at the table –needs to catch up to the realities of who our country is, and who security is for.

Earlier this year, the New Models of Policy Change Initiative issued a call for policy essays offering new ideas to reshape U.S. security policy. We received more than 100 submissions – from across the country and around the world, and from people with a range of backgrounds, employment, and life experiences.

Our essay authors had lots of ideas for ways to do U.S. security policy differently. A committee of prominent advisors from think tanks, government, and academia anonymously reviewed the top essays and helped us to select the winners.

We're thrilled to announce the five winners of our essay contest:

  • "Revamping Battery Storage Policies to Bolster U.S. National Security," Christopher Jackson, PhD Student in Chemistry, UC Berkeley
  • "Dismantle ICBMs to Fuel the Climate Transition," Emma Claire Foley, Program Associate, Global Zero
  • "Defending Democracy or Despots? Don’t Leave Artificial Intelligence Reform to Authoritarians," Ishan Sharma, Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow, Federation of American Scientists, & Ronit Langer, Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • "Holding the LINE: The US Role in Combating Information Warfare in Taiwan’s Electoral System," Margaret Baughman, student, Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs
  • "Coercion, Compromise, Contagion: Rebuilding the San Francisco Alliance System Into a Security Community for Managing Collective Risk," Shaun Ee, Nonresident Fellow, Atlantic Council

Additionally, these seven essays were selected as honorable mentions:

  • "Turtle Island and Compass: How We Strengthen U.S. Security Policy," Adom Cooper & Maureen Kelleher
  • "The Central American Conundrum: Toward a New Regional Security and Economic Order," Aroop Mukharji
  • "Winning the AI Revolution for American Diplomacy," Garrett Berntsen & Ryan Dukeman
  • "China vs everyone: The race for AI dominance," Lucas Irwin
  • "Confronting Catastrophic Risk: A New Approach to U.S. Security Policy," Nikita Lalwani, Alasdair Phillips-Robbins, & Sam Winter-Levy
  • "We Need an IRB for Security and Criminal Justice Technology in the United States," Ryan Mason
  • "Taiwan is the First Harbinger of the New Order," Vanessa Hope & Valerie Hudson

Please join us in congratulating our contest winners, and keep an eye out for the publication of their essays in the coming weeks.