Alexandra Chinchilla will receive her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Chicago in August 2021. During the 2020-21 academic year, she was a USIP-Minerva Peace and Security Scholar and a Hans J. Morgenthau Fellow with the Notre Dame International Security Center. During the 2021-22 academic year, she will be a post-doctoral fellow at The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College.

Alexandra’s research examines how great powers use training and advising to directly shape the militaries of states and armed non-state actors. She also explores how this training and advising, in turn, affects political violence, democracy, human rights, and civil-military relations. Her dissertation examines how great powers intervene in civil wars using training and advising as a means to manage local partners who do not share their interests and lack military capacity. Using game theory, original quantitative data, interviews with US military advisors, and a case study of US intervention in El Salvador (1979-89), her work shows how great powers use military advisors as a key tool to manage the local partner by monitoring and influencing its military.

Alexandra’s work is published in the Journal of Peace Research and International Politics. It is supported by The Charles Koch FoundationThe Pearson Institutefor the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, and The Social Sciences Research Center at the University of Chicago.

From April 2019 to March 2021, Alexandra was the Senior Data Research Fellow at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST), where she led the Data Analytics team in producing research on suicide terrorism and conflict for both academic and policy audiences.

Alexandra earned an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago, and a B.S. in Foreign Service from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, with a concentration in international security and a minor in Russia and East European Studies. She speaks Polish and some Russian and held internships or fellowships with The RAND Corporation, the Political-Economic section at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, and the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.

Read more about Alexandra on her website.