At the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterrorism (CTEC), our mission is to drive change in pursuit of a more just world by advancing education, research, and analysis across the critical domains of domestic extremism, transnational emerging threats, and online trust and safety. We do this by delivering critically needed research and analysis to effectively move us towards a safer world where individuals in every community can thrive. We achieve this through:

  • Our Resources and Intelligence: CTEC’s team of professionals have honed the expertise and methods necessary to identify and gather intelligence and insights that inform the state of the threat landscape for terrorism and extremism. Ensuring we gather the highest quality of reliable data from our thorough efforts to explore dynamics as they unfold and rapidly evolve is critical to a well-informed understanding of the problem that needs to be countered.
  • Our Approach: CTEC’s expert staff take a rigorous approach to systematically researching and analyzing the information and intelligence we gather in order to identify the key trends and factors contributing to the current threat landscape and what’s needed to address them. We marry the strengths of traditional open-source intelligence with deep academic subject matter expertise.
  • Our Impact: Using proprietary open-source methods, we gather high-quality intel to deliver groundbreaking findings to fill critical gaps that inform effective policies, strategies, and tactics across sectors combating extremism and terrorism. We do this while training students and junior researchers to collaborate and contribute in the Center’s projects, fostering the next generation of researchers and analysts to continue and grow our impact.

About the Fellowship

The Michael Donnelly Fellowship, named in honor of our late friend and colleague, carries forward his legacy by supporting two underrepresented MIIS students each year with demonstrated financial need through a funded research position. 

Each semester, CTEC seeks a highly motivated, qualified, and enthusiastic Middlebury Institute of International Studies graduate candidate for the Michael Donnelly CTEC Research Fellowship. In contrast to CTEC research assistant positions, this fellow is not a CTEC employee, and he/she/they will have significant autonomy. With extensive help from CTEC staff and external experts, the fellow will complete substantial research within CTEC’s major research areas either in conjunction with an established project or of their own design. The fellow will receive mentorship in research design, execution, and writing from CTEC staff. Final reports or papers developed by Michael Donnelly Fellows will be considered either for publishing through CTEC or as part of a larger project that will be published elsewhere. While publication of fellows’ research cannot be guaranteed, this fellowship is designed to support and facilitate the completion of publication-ready research.

The fellow will also have the opportunity to work on recurring CTEC initiatives, such as public outreach through social media and contributions to future short-form publications like newsletters.

A new fellow is selected each semester. The fellowship comes with a one-time $6,000 stipend paid in the middle of the semester. Fellows will commit to work an average of 15 hours per week on their research. 


  • Underrepresented student with demonstrated financial need.
  • Interest in extremism and terrorism. 
  • Strong independent worker with a desire to make a significant contribution to an ongoing research project or to design and implement a project from scratch.
  • Ability to complete in-depth foreign-language research is desirable.
  • Experience with mixed-methods analysis (e.g. data analysis) is a plus.
Al Smith headshot

CTEC Michael Donnelly Fellow, Spring 2024

Al Smith is a first year Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies candidate from New Orleans, Louisiana. Prior to his time at Middlebury Institute he earned his Bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University where he majored in International Security and Conflict Resolution. Before starting undergrad Al spent almost two decades stationed in various locations as a United States Marine. He speaks English and Spanish and is pursuing the Financial Crime Management specialization. During the Spring 2024 semester Al will be exploring how various criminal enterprises like drug trafficking, intellectual property theft, and various scams are used to fund terrorist operations.


CTEC Michael Donnelly Fellow, Fall 2023

Muskan Agrawal, from New Delhi, India, has a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Soka University of America. She has worked as a political analyst and campaign manager with Polstrat and the Indian Political Action Committee and is fluent in Hindi, English, and Spanish. During her fellowship, she researched soft domestic terrorism and compared hate speech and other repressive tactics across Chile, Japan, India and the US. To read her report, click here

Kojin Glick

CTEC Michael Donnelly Fellow, Spring 2023 

Kojin Glick is a Master’s candidate in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies at the Middlebury  Institute of International Studies. His interests align traditional security studies with data analytics with a particular focus on emerging technologies, namely the use of new media technologies by threat actors. He is also pursuing a specialization in financial studies to augment his technical approach to security studies. Before coming to MIIS and joining the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC), Kojin worked in privacy tech leading day to day operations, and continues to maintain a small web development firm, called Moonstripe Design. Kojin graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, another bachelor’s degree in Media Studies, and a professional certificate in full-stack web development.

During the Spring semester at MIIS, Kojin will be researching new methods of visualizing relationships using the Telegram API to identify potential threat actors in various extremist spaces.

Jacob Koren

CTEC Michael Donnelly Fellow, Fall 2022

Jacob Koren graduated from MIIS in 2023 with a Master of Arts degree (STEM-designated) in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies. During his time as a fellow, he investigated neo-Fascist extremism with a focus on accelerationist movements within the context of the Russia-Ukraine war. Jake researched Far-Right extremist organizations on both sides of the conflict, such as the Azov Regiment (formerly Azov Battalion), the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Wagner Group, Rusich, and the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), and how these groups are playing critical roles in promulgating accelerationist ideology. Additionally, he discussed the global security implications and appropriate government responses to countering such groups. 


CTEC Michael Donnelly Fellow, Spring 2022

Astrid Askenberger is a Swedish Master´s candidate in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She studied feminism, gender, and ethnic studies at UC Santa Barbara and has a bachelor´s degree in human rights from Lund University. During her bachelor´s, Astrid wrote theses on sexual violence in peacekeeping missions and Incel violence. She has also worked with a leadership development company for the last five years. In the last half-year, Astrid has worked on a project for the competition Invent2Prevent, in which her group is now one of three finalists.

Myles Flores

CTEC Michael Donnelly Fellow, Fall 2021

Myles graduated from MIIS in 2022 with a degree in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies. During his studies at Middlebury, he worked at CTEC, where he received the Michael Donnelly Fellowship and wrote an article on the New World Order Conspiracy Theory. He also supported numerous projects at CTEC, which included researching extremist groups, conducting open-source intelligence, and assisting with qualitative datasets. 


CTEC Michael Donnelly Fellow, Spring 2021

Skyler Stokes, MANPTS ’22, will be joining us as CTEC’s first Michael Donnelly Research Fellow. She has worked previously at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Stimson Center, and the office of then-Senator Kamala Harris, and currently works as an intern at NSI. She is excited for the opportunity to conduct independent research on a topic of her own choice, an opportunity she noted was rare for someone at this stage in their career

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