Brian Starks

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science & International Affairs

Brian’s research centers around the current and future state of strategic trade, existing proliferation pathways, and how these issues impact private industry and academia.

  • Bachelors | University of Georgia  | 2012| International Affairs & Business Management
  • MIP  | University of Georgia  | 2014  | International Security & Nonproliferation
More About

While completing his Bachelors at UGA, Brian became involved with the Center for International Trade and Security (CITS) through its undergraduate security policy course.  During the program, Brian discovered a passion for nonproliferation and strategic trade policy. It’s a complicated field, with sometimes competing economic, political, technological, and security interests.

After completing his Masters, Brian began working at an aerospace company to ensure compliance with arms export regulations and sanctions. In addition to the private sector, Brian has interned at Department of Energy national laboratories to better understand the government’s ongoing nonproliferation efforts. These experiences ultimately led Brian to grow increasingly intrigued by possible new, advanced research in the arms control and nonproliferation field.

Brian’s doctoral research goals emphasize better understanding contemporary nonproliferation challenges, weaknesses, and how subnational actors (i.e. companies and universities) are affected by these issues. Ultimately, he hopes to begin a public sector career that strengthens national nonproliferation efforts.

If you’re a SPIA student interested in policy work (private or public sector), please feel free to contact Brian with any questions.

Of Note

During Spring 2017 Brian and Chris Tucker, a CITS staff member, published an article discussing pitfalls and challenges facing universities who engage in advanced, dual-use research. The article, titled “Export Control Compliance and American Academia“, can be found at the Strategic Trade Review.

Research Interests

Upon completing his Masters, Brian began working for an aerospace company that produces both civilian and military products. This experience sparked new interests, specifically he wanted to generate research specializing in how modern strategic trade (conventional weapons and “dual-use” technologies) impacts governments, business, and even universities. Brian intends to use network analysis to identify proliferation pathways to better inform today’s policymakers and ensure continued support for economic, technological, and security interests.