2017 Lincoln Fellows

Jonathan Bronitsky is the Director of Strategy and Business Development at Javelin, a literary and creative agency located in Alexandria, Virginia. He has written for, among other publications, National Review, National Affairs, The LA Times, The American Conservative, The Weekly Standard, and The Federalist. Dr. Bronitsky has previously worked for the American Enterprise Institute and Levick Strategic Communications. His master’s thesis highlighted the rise of British-Muslim radicalization during the Bosnian War while his doctoral dissertation revealed the post-World War II origins of neo-conservatism. He received both his M.Phil in International Relations and Ph.D. in history from the University of Cambridge.

Ross Hunt is a partner at Murphy Nasica Associates, which he co-founded in 2009. Mr. Hunt provides strategic advice, polling, and data analysis for conservative candidates and caucuses. He directed the invention of statistical models of voter turnout and political opinion that were instrumental in securing the Republican majority in the Texas State Legislature from 2010 to the present. Additionally, Mr. Hunt aided in the elimination of a Democratic super-majority in the California State Legislature in 2014. He also supervised the development of web and mobile applications for political campaigning, including the award-winning canvassing application, Cyrus Mobile. Mr. Hunt holds a B.A. in liberal arts from St. John’s College and a Ph.D. in political theory from the University of Dallas.

Christopher Jacobs is the founder and CEO of the Juniper Research Group where he writes, researches, and analyzes topics such as education and health care. Mr. Jacobs has previously worked for the Conservative Review, drafting commentaries and detailed analyses on legislative developments and breaking news. He has also worked as a policy adviser for the Republican House Conference, a senior policy analyst for the Senate Republican Policy Committee, and a senior policy analyst for the Joint Economic Committee. Mr. Jacobs holds a B.A. in political science and history from American University and an M.A. in modern history from the University of London.

Caleb Johnson is an associate at AQR Capital, LLC, a global alternative asset manager. He is also an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute where he contributes to CEI’s research on financial regulatory issues, specifically as they relate to derivatives. Previously, Mr. Johnson was an associate director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) where he managed a program responsible for providing assessments on global terror, insurgent, and organized criminal networks. He remains an adjunct fellow at CSIS with the Transnational Threats Project. Mr. Johnson holds a B.M. in viola performance from Johns Hopkins University, where he also concentrated on Russian language and literature.

April Lawson works for David Brooks and Ross Douthat at The New York Times. Ms. Lawson provides research, editing, and substantive framing to biweekly columns on topics ranging from American moral narratives to campus politics. Her own research focuses on morality, feminism, and America’s current fragmentation in politics and culture. Previously, Ms. Lawson has worked at the New Haven Mayor’s office, the Department of the Treasury, and as a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. She holds a B.A. in anthropology from Yale University.

Megan G. Oprea is the editor of INBOUND, a daily foreign policy newsletter housed at The Federalist, where she is also a senior contributor. The Guardian and the Washington Free Beacon have also featured Dr. Oprea’s writings. She writes on topics including foreign policy, national security, Islam and the West, and terrorism. Dr. Oprea’s dissertation was on the linguistic, national, and religious identity of second-generation North African immigrants in France. She holds a B.A. in French and philosophy from Hillsdale College, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in French linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin.

James O’Keefe is an award-winning journalist. He is the founder and president of Project Veritas and Project Veritas Action, non-profit organizations dedicated to investigating corruption, dishonesty, waste, and fraud in public and private institutions. In 2017, his investigations into the DisruptJ20 movement led to the arrests of three individuals for conspiracy to commit assault at the National Press Club during the presidential inauguration. Mr. O’Keefe is also the recipient of the 2011 “Robert Novak Award for Journalistic Excellence” and was on the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for media moguls. He is the author of Breakthrough: Our Guerilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy. Mr. O’Keefe holds a B.A. in philosophy from Rutgers University.

Christopher Rufo is co-founder of the Documentary Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to producing and distributing documentaries on the themes of civil society and institutional reform. He has directed three films for PBS—Age of Champions, Roughing It, and Diamond in the Dunes—and has appeared on NPR, CNN, ABC, CBS, and FOX News. His latest film, America Lost, is an upcoming documentary that explores the collapse of family, economic, and community life in three of America’s forgotten cities. Mr. Rufo holds a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Kyle Shideler is the director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy. Mr. Shideler supervises the production of open-source reporting and analysis on daily terrorist activity, both international and domestic, with a focus on Sunni jihadist groups. Prior to that, he was the director of research and communications at the Endowment for Middle East Truth, where he delivered written and oral briefings to federal law enforcement, intelligence officials and congressional staff on important operations in the Middle East and Central and South America. He is a contributing author of Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace. Mr. Shideler holds a B.A. in politics and literature from Boston University.

Steven Stafford is a speechwriter for Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. He has previously served as communications director for former Congressman Joseph Pitts, and a legislative correspondent for Congressman Thaddeus McCotter. Mr. Stafford’s writing has been published by CNN, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Independent Journal Review, and many other publications. Mr. Stafford holds a B.A. in political science and English from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Samantha Strayer is a freelance writer and recently joined Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan as writer and editor for External Affairs. Mrs. Strayer previously worked at the Conservative Review and The Federalist as a copy editor. She also interned at the Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., where most of her research focused on classical charter schools. Prior to her career in political discourse, Mrs. Strayer worked in accounting, editing, technical writing, and owned her own small business. She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of California at Irvine and an M.A. in politics from Hillsdale College.

James I. Wallner is currently finishing a book on political conflict and consensus in the perfect regime and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Politics and the Congressional and Presidential Studies Program at the Catholic University of America. Dr. Wallner is the author of two books, The Death of Deliberation: Partisanship and Polarization in the United States Senate and On Parliamentary War: Partisan Conflict and Procedural Change in the United States Senate. He has published numerous articles on the American Founding, Separation of Powers, Congress, parliamentary procedure, and the budget process. Dr. Wallner is the former group vice president for research at The Heritage Foundation. Before joining Heritage, he was the executive director of the Senate Steering Committee during the chairmanships of Senator Pat Toomey and Senator Mike Lee. Prior to this, he served as legislative director to former Senator Jeff Sessions and Senator Pat Toomey. Dr. Wallner holds an M.Sc. from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and a Ph.D. in politics from Catholic University.