Brian Starks

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

Brian strives to develop innovative research to better address today’s nonproliferation challenges facing academia, private industry, and governments.

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

While completing his Bachelor’s degree 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 that led him to the Masters in International Policy program.

After completing his Master’s degree, Brian began working at UTC Aerospace Systems to maintain compliance with federal export regulations and sanctions. To better under the American government’s ongoing nonproliferation efforts, Brian has spent time at Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laborary, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. These experiences have led Brian to grow increasingly intrigued by possible new, advanced research opportunities in the arms control and nonproliferation field.

While completing his doctoral research, Brian became a CITS Pre-Doctoral Fellow, where he provides training to international audiences on various topics including counterproliferation policies, government-industry outreach, and illicit proliferation financial networks. He often develops simulations for participants to understand how to navigate complex regulations, and identifying potential regulatory vulnerabilities.

Brian’s doctoral research strives to better understand contemporary nonproliferation challenges, weaknesses, and subnational actors’ roles. Ultimately, he hopes to begin a public sector career that strengthens international nonproliferation efforts while maintaining contributions to academic research.

Of Note

Brian 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

Brian’s doctoral research uses publicly available, federal law enforcement information to construct a network analytical approached to investigate today’s illicit proliferation patterns and tactics. Relatedly, Brian is beginning to analyze how hidden financial networks facilitate the unlawful flow of sensitive technologies, and how countries can best mitigate these efforts. In addition to unlawful activities, Brian’s research also includes government policies to regulate dual-use (i.e. chemical, biological, or nuclear) technologies and their impact on academic research and legitimate, commercial trade.