The NATO Defense College (NDC) recently selected Seton Hall University Assistant Professor Sara Bjerg Moller of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations as an Eisenhower Defense Fellow.
Moller, who heads the School of Diplomacy’s International Security concentration, is a specialist on alliance politics and military interventions.
In an interview with The Setonian, Moller explained precisely what her involvement as a research fellow entails, such as conducting interviews and doing research on the Alliance’s adaptation measures in the Baltic States and Poland.
Starting in 2014 NATO took several steps to strengthen its security efforts on the eastern flank in response to a changed security environment.
Moller is writing a report that analyzes these changes and the implications for the Alliance. The report builds on Moller’s previous research on how alliances change and adapt, including a book project she is currently completing on the evolution of command and control in wartime coalitions.
“Looking at peacetime organizational changes, like the ones currently underway in NATO, was a natural next step,” Moller said.
Moller further discussed the beneficial impact her research has on opportunities for students at Seton Hall, including information that can help students land internships and jobs through her affiliation with the NATO Defense College.
“My fellowship at NATO Defense College is a prime example of how faculty at the School of Diplomacy and IR are always searching for innovative ways to bridge the gap between our academic research, the policy world, and teaching, in order to give our students the exposure and skills they need to succeed in an increasingly complex world,” Moller said.
The NDC’s mission includes contributing to the effectiveness of the North Atlantic Alliance as a center of education, outreach, and research on transatlantic issues. Each year the NDC Research Division selects, on a competitive basis, three Eisenhower Defense Fellows. The fellowship carries with it a three month research stay at the NDC, located outside Rome, Italy. The three elected candidates of the Eisenhower Research opportunity will be notified of their acceptance in mid-November.
Jacob Abel, a junior diplomacy major and Seton Hall student that once had Moller in class said, “I think Professor Moller is very fitting for this position. Professor Moller is obviously very well educated in the field of international relations and often pushed me to work harder to better understand the field overall.”
Caroline Hall, a junior diplomacy major said, “I think she’s incredibly qualified for it, she’s one of the most knowledgeable professors I’ve had.”
When asked by The Setonian whether she believes if being a woman in her field puts her at a disadvantage in any way, Moller replied, “In life, regardless of where you go, you are bound to encounter people with prejudices. But there are subtle and not-so-subtle ways you can break through the bias. I prefer to let the quality of my work and research speak for me, professionally.”
Moller will be returning to Seton Hall for the Spring 2019 semester, where she will be teaching a class on International Conflict and Security (DIPL 2120) and a Master’s level course on American Grand Strategy (DIPL 6132).
Caitlin Gartley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.