Founders’ Foreign Policy Fellowship

The U.S.S. Constitution in Tripoli during the Barbary Wars.

Founders’ Foreign Policy Fellowship

June 5 - 9, 2022
Mount Vernon, VA; Monticello, VA; Montpelier, VA; Philadelphia, PA; New York, N.Y.; and Boston, MA

From June 5 – 9, 2022, Common Sense Society convened the Founders’ Foreign Policy Fellowship—a five-day-long intensive series of seminars that examined the distinctive moral and political principles of U.S. statecraft as understood by its Founders.

Intended for recent college graduates and early-to-mid career professionals with an interest in foreign policy broadly understood, its purpose was to provide participants with an understanding of what the Founding Fathers envisioned as the role of America in the world, and to connect that timeless vision to the contemporary national security, commercial, and human rights policy issues we face today.

Convened at historic locations—including Mount Vernon, Monticello, Montpelier, the National Constitution Center, the Alexander Hamilton Custom House, Fraunces Tavern, and the Old South Meeting House—the program provided a total immersion experience, enabling participants to wrestle with the dilemmas of statecraft and to tread the same ground as Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Jay, Hamilton, and Adams.

2022 Faculty

Mr. Seth Cropsey began his career as assistant to the secretary of defense and was later commissioned as a naval officer. He served as deputy undersecretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration and acting assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict in the George H. W. Bush administration. Confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he became director of the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau in the George W. Bush administration. Following 15 years as a senior fellow at Hudson Institute, Mr. Cropsey founded Yorktown Institute in 2022 and is the Institute’s president.

Dr. Michael Federici is professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University and chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations. He served on the faculty at Mercyhurst University from August 1993-May 2017. While at Mercyhurst, he was faculty senate president and on the university’s Board of Trustees from 2011-2013 and 2007-2009. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in politics from The Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C., and his B.S. in economics from Elizabethtown College. Dr. Federici has published five books, The Challenge of Populism, Eric Voegelin: The Restoration of Order, The Political Philosophy of Alexander Hamilton, Rethinking the Teaching of American History, and a co-edited collection of essays called The Culture of Immodesty in American Life and Politics: The Modest Republic.

Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon is a senior fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization. The author of eight books, including The Utopian Conceit and the War on Freedom and Why America is Such a Hard Sell: Beyond Pride and Prejudice, she has published over two hundred articles and reviews and makes frequent appearances on radio and television. Over three decades, she has also taught at the National Defense University, George Washington University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the Institute of World Politics, and currently at American University.

Dr. Jeffry Morrison is professor of American studies at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, and director of academics at the federal government’s James Madison Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia. He graduated with distinction from Boston College and from Georgetown University, where he earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in government. Dr. Morrison has also held faculty positions at Princeton University, the U.S. Air Force Academy, Georgetown University, and Regent University. He has published as author or editor five books on American political culture, including The Political Philosophy of George Washington, and chapters, articles, and reviews in numerous scholarly publications in fields including history, political science, and religion. He has lectured at colleges and historic sites throughout the United States and in England, and made media appearances on radio, in journalism, and on television.

Dr. Tyson Reeder is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia, where he is an editor with the Papers of James Madison, specializing in Madison’s tenure as secretary of state. He is the author of Smugglers, Pirates, and Patriots: Free Trade in the Age of Revolution and the editor of The Routledge History of U.S. Foreign Relations. He is currently writing a book on foreign meddling and foreign collusion in James Madison’s America, under contract with Oxford University Press. He has published in the Washington Post and major historical journals including the Journal of American HistoryJournal of the Early RepublicOxford Research Encyclopedia, and others.

Dr. Jeffrey Rogg is an assistant professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies at The Citadel. His research areas include U.S. intelligence history, civil-intelligence relations, comparative intelligence, and national security policy. The Intelligence Studies Project at The University of Texas at Austin recognized Dr. Rogg’s innovative study of American civil-intelligence relations with the Bobby R. Inman Award in 2019. Dr. Rogg is currently working on his manuscript, The Spy and the State: The Story of American Intelligence.

Dr. Garrett Ward Sheldon is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and an ordained Christian minister. He has taught political theory, American political thought, law, and religion. He has published ten books, including The History of Political Theory: Ancient Greece to Modern America, Religion and Politics: Major Thinkers on the Relation of Church and State, The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson, and The Political Philosophy of James Madison. He was in residence at and commissioned by, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, and a visiting scholar at the University of Vienna, Trinity College (Dublin), Moscow University, the University of Istanbul, and Princeton.

Mr. Marion Smith is the President and C.E.O. of Common Sense Society, which he founded in 2009. CSS is an international network that promotes the principles of liberty, prosperity, and beauty. He is also the chairman of Washington, D.C.’s National Civic Art Society, a former visiting fellow in the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation, and the former executive director and C.E.O. of the congressionally authorized Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a bipartisan educational, research, and human rights nonprofit. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from South Carolina’s Wofford College and earned an M.A. from Central European University. His writings have been published in The HillLos Angeles TimesNational ReviewPoliticoUSA TodayThe Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He is a regular guest on network and cable television channels, including ABC, NBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and CSPAN.

Dr. James R. Sofka specializes in international relations and political leadership in the era of the American Founding. He has designed and delivered innovative academic, executive education, and general audience courses in these fields in both traditional and distance-learning formats and teaches regularly for the Brookings Institution, the Federal Executive Institute, and the University of Virginia’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He previously taught in the Department of Politics in the University of Virginia, where he also served as dean of the undergraduate honors program in the College of Arts and Sciences. A Jefferson scholar specializing in diplomatic history, Dr. Sofka has published widely on American foreign relations in the Founding era and has contributed to international conferences organized by American and European universities and global research institutions such as the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, where he has held two fellowships.

Dr. Joseph Stoltz is director of the George Washington Leadership Institute at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. He previously was a member of the United States Military Academy Department of History. He studies the Continental Army and is currently writing a history of its Main Army. He is the author of A Bloodless Victory: The Battle of New Orleans in History and Memory. He earned his Ph.D. in history at Texas Christian University and his B.A. and M.A. in history at the University of New Orleans.

Dr. Jerry Weinberger is a professor emeritus of political science and university distinguished professor at Michigan State University. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Benjamin Franklin Unmasked: On the Unity of His Moral, Religious, and Political Thought. From 1997-2001 he was chair of the Department of Political Science. He received his B.A. from The University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He won the Michigan State University Teacher-Scholar Award, has won fellowships from the Earhart Foundation and the Institute for Educational Affairs, and has twice been a senior research fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the director of the LeFrak Forum and co-director of the Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modern Democracy.

2022 Fellows

Dr. Scott Abel has worked with the University of Michigan, the National Library of Singapore, Kean University, and Union County College. He received a B.A. in history from Washington College in Chestertown, MD, an M.A. from Rutgers University, and a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University.

Mr. Jakub Bartoszewski works in the energy industry with a focus on oil and gas trading. He has an M.A. in international affairs from the Bush School of Government and Public Service of Texas A&M University and a B.A. in economics from New York University.

Mr. Marco Carralero is a consultant at a multinational services firm. Previously, he worked at Tesla, served as a 2019 Publius Fellow, and was a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship recipient. He lives in Southern California.

Dr. Jennifer Chisholm recently completed an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in the U.S. Department of State as a foreign affairs officer. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Ph.D. in sociology in October 2019.

Mr. Matthew Cookson has experience in international missions and has worked at The Heritage Foundation and Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. He graduated from Texas Christian University with a B.A. in marketing.

Mr. Jacob DePeralta works for the president’s office at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has a master’s from Pepperdine University School of Public Policy with a specialization in national security and international relations. Before CSIS, Jacob worked on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and human rights departments.

Dr. Elizabeth Ervin is an adjunct professor with the University of Mount Olive and a recent D.B.A. in business administration leadership from Walden University. She is an award nominated researcher and a sixteen year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry. She has multiple publications focused on work-life harmonization in regulated industries and learning management.

Mr. Trevor Guy has held a variety of positions serving in government at both the state and federal level. He is specifically interested in U.S. policy toward NATO and Eastern Europe.

Mr. Gage Klipper has a B.A. in economics from Michigan State University and an M.A. in international politics and military affairs from The Citadel. He has worked as a social media consultant for conservative politicians and organizations, and is currently interning at the Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life.

Ms. Mazuba Mafwenko is a Fulbright scholar from Zambia, who is pursuing her master’s in public affairs at the Harry S. Truman School of Government and Public Affairs, University of Missouri-Columbia. She has a B.A. in international relations from the University of Pretoria and an honor’s degree from the University of Cape Town respectively. She is an aspiring career diplomat.

Mr. Roy Mathews is a public policy associate at the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure in Arlington, VA where he researches energy, transportation, and infrastructure issues. He is a graduate of Bates College, a former Fulbright fellow, and a former intern at The Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and in the office of Senator Tim Scott. His pieces on energy and security have been published in The National Interest, RealClearEnergy, and RealClearWorld.

Mr. Daniel Patterson is a consultant who specializes in the delivery of technology programs for government clients. He is currently supporting the U.K. Ministry of Defence. He studied philosophy and politics at the Universities of Glasgow and Sydney and is keenly interested in international relations, freedom, and enterprise.

Ms. Cassandra Ponzi is a 2022 graduate of Ashland University and the Ashbrook Scholar Program where she majored in history and political science. She will continue her education in Ashland’s M.B.A. program in the fall and will be working as an admissions representative for Ashland University.

Ms. Emily Rees is a program associate at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni where she writes about higher education and philanthropy and manages social media and digital presence. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 2020 with a B.M. in music performance and has a private flute studio.

Ms. Ashley Simons is a recent Queens College graduate with a B.S. in computer science and a B.A. in political science. Highlights of her college career include internships at the White House, NASA, and the U.S. Department of State. This summer she is working as a docent at the Montauk Lighthouse. She has an interest in the growing problem of cyber threats and how it affects both national security and individual citizens.

Mr. Andrew Song is a senior at Yale University, studying global affairs and energy studies. He is the battalion commander for Yale Naval ROTC, a Stanford Gordian-Knot Defense Innovation Scholar, a William F. Buckley Jr. Student Fellow, and has authored several military publications. He will be reporting to Naval Nuclear Power School after graduation to begin his training as a submarine warfare officer.

Mr. Titus Techera is executive director of the American Cinema Foundation and host of the A.C.F. movie podcast. He is a scholar of political philosophy and culture critic for Law & Liberty, the Acton Institute, Modern Age, Return, and the European Conservative.

Mr. Cameron Vega is a 2021 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow studying international organizations, nuclear statecraft, and Eastern Europe at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He received a B.A. from Arizona State University in both political science and the great books and his senior capstone was on the permissibility of nuclear weapons in just war theory. He is originally from Mesa, Arizona.

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