“Bobby R. Inman Award” for Student Scholarship

1917-2011

2019 “Bobby R. Inman Award” Winners Announced

The recipient of the 2019 “Bobby R. Inman Award” for student scholarship on intelligence is Jeffrey Rogg, a Ph.D. candidate in history at the Ohio State University concentrating on conflict, peace and diplomacy.  His paper, Deciphering the “American Black Chamber,” chronicles the rise and fall of the Cipher Bureau and introduces a theory of “civil-intelligence”relations in the U.S. 

The graduate student semifinalist is Peter Roady, a Ph.D. candidate in U.S. history at Columbia University. His paper, Constructing a New Legal Framework for Intelligence: The Ford Administration, the National Security Agency, and the Year of Intelligence, reexamines based on archival sources the internal deliberations of the Ford Administration aimed at blunting efforts to legislate a charter for U.S. intelligence, limiting the scope of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and preserving executive primacy over intelligence activities. *The graduate semifinalist paper is not currently linked while it is under review for journal publication.

The undergraduate semifinalist was a research team at Yale University comprising Julia Carro, Catherine Falls, Levan Margvelashvili, Mykolaj Suchy, and Gordon Xiang. Their report, Twitter Influence Campaigns, draws conclusions about Russian disinformation methodology from three recent case studies.


2018 “Bobby R. Inman Award” Winners Announced

The recipient of the 2018 “Bobby R. Inman Award” for student scholarship on intelligence is Peter Scoblic, a DBA candidate at Harvard Business School. His paper, "Beacon and Warning: Sherman Kent, Scientific Hubris, and the CIA's Office of National Estimates" exploits original archival research to offer a fresh look at the "father of estimative intelligence" and also a timely warning on the predictive utility of intelligence analysis. The winning paper is now available in the Texas National Security Review

The graduate student semifinalist is Alexander Chen Campbell, a Master of International Affairs candidate at Columbia University. His paper, “Why Israel's Civil-Military Relationship Helps Explain Intelligence Failures", identifies potential hazards to Israel's policymaking process posed by the analytic dominance of the Directorate of Military Intelligence. 

The undergraduate student semifinalist is Ari Weil, a recent graduate of Pomona College and now a master's candidate in International Relations at the University of Chicago. His paper, "Terrorist Celebrity: Online Personal Branding and Jihadist Recruitment and Planning" skillfully documents the increasingly sophisticated use of social media tools and models by terrorist leaders. 


2017 “Bobby R. Inman Award” Winners Announced

The recipients of the 2017 “Bobby R. Inman Award” for student scholarship on intelligence are Welton Chang, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, and Elissabeth Berdini, a J.D. candidate at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. Their paper, “Restructuring Structured Techniques in Intelligence Analysis,” challenges whether the use of structured techniques improves the quality of intelligence analysis in the absence of reliable metrics for gauging possible overcorrection. The underlying research was supported by the ODNI's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and was supervised by David Mandel and Philip Tetlock.

The graduate student semifinalist is Andrew Indorf, a recent graduate of Stanford Law School. His paper, “Blocking the Backdoor Loophole: A Case for the Unconstitutionality of U.S. Law Enforcement Queries of Data Collected Under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008,” argues that the ability of federal agencies to use foreign intelligence information for law enforcement purposes should be constrained during the upcoming congressional reauthorization of the FAA.

The undergraduate student semifinalist is Joyce Koltisko, a senior at Yale University majoring in Global Affairs and Economics. Her paper, “The Current Status of Suspicious Activity Reporting and Considerations for Fusion Centers in the Future Development of the SAR Program,” proposes greater standardization of SAR collection and analysis criteria to improve the performance of regional intelligence fusion centers and to achieve a sustainable balance between civil liberties and domestic security concerns.


2016 “Bobby R. Inman Award” Winners Announced

The Intelligence Studies Project of the University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the winner and two semifinalists of the second “Bobby R. Inman Award” recognizing outstanding student research and writing on topics related to intelligence and national security during the 2015-2016 academic year.

The recipient of the 2016 “Inman Award” is Quentin Buckholz, a Masters of International Affairs candidate at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. In his paper, “The 1980’s War Scare: Misperceptions, Mistaken Beliefs, and Missed Signals in US-Soviet Relations,” Mr. Buckholz assesses how the Soviet Union came to believe in the threat of a nuclear first strike by the United States in the early 1980s, and how US intelligence misinterpreted or dismissed that fear.

The graduate student semifinalist is Daniel Severson, a recent J.D. and M.P.P. graduate of Harvard University. His paper, “National Security Reporting Requirements: Managing the Tension Between Secrecy and Accountability,” explores the potential benefits and limitations of reporting requirements mandating disclosure to Congress of the legal rationale underlying certain sensitive intelligence activities.

The undergraduate semifinalist is James “Jake” Barnett, a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Barnett’s History Honors Thesis, “When Culture Eats Strategy: Examining the Phoenix/Phung Hoang Bureaucracy in the Vietnam War,” uses statistical methods to assess the effectiveness of (and accountability for) US counterinsurgency programs undertaken during the Vietnam conflict.

More than 150 high-quality papers from students at dozens of U.S. colleges and universities were submitted in the second Inman Award competition. The papers were evaluated on their academic rigor, clear presentation, creativity, and the potential to contribute positively to the US intelligence community. The Intelligence Studies Project extends sincere thanks to the participating students (and their professors) for continued support of this unique award program.


2015 “Bobby R. Inman Award” Winners Announced

The Intelligence Studies Project of the University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the winner and two semifinalists of its inaugural competition recognizing outstanding student research and writing on topics related to intelligence and national security.

The recipient of the 2015 “Bobby R. Inman Award” for student scholarship on intelligence is Donald Kretz, a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas. His paper, Strategies to Reduce Cognitive Bias in Intelligence Analysis: Can Mild Interventions Improve Analytic Judgments, makes research-based recommendations to help analytic managers systematically filter certain cognitive biases from intelligence analysis.

The graduate student semifinalist is Cullen Nutt, a PhD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His paper, Chronicle of a Correction Foretold: The Push and Pull of Nuclear Intelligence Detection, assesses U.S. and Israeli intelligence analysis of WMD programs in Libya and Syria, developing a model to explain when it is most likely that western intelligence agencies will detect the existence of a hidden nuclear weapons program.

The undergraduate student semifinalist is C. Philip Nichols, a recent graduate of Pennsylvania State University. His paper, CT Strategies: Leadership Decapitation vs Mid-Tier Elimination, uses statistical methods to analyze the relative past success of competing counterterrorism strategies.

With over one hundred impressive papers from students at dozens of U.S. universities and colleges, the papers were evaluated on their academic rigor, clear presentation, creativity, and the potential to contribute positively to the U.S. intelligence community. In addition to the $5000 cash award for the winner and the $2500 semifinalist cash awards, these three papers, linked above, will be posted on the Strauss and Clements Centers websites and will be made available to current intelligence practitioners.

The Intelligence Studies Project was established at the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 as a joint venture of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security. The Project’s mission is to improve understanding of intelligence activities and institutions through research, courses and public events bringing intelligence practitioners together with scholars, students, and the public. The Inman Award recognizes more than six decades of distinguished public service by Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Admiral Inman served in multiple leadership positions in the U.S. military, intelligence community, private industry, and the University of Texas. His previous intelligence posts include Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice-Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency, and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. He continues to serve as a teacher and mentor to students, faculty members, and current government officials while occupying the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.