Alexandra Mahler-Haug: 2011 Winner of the Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship

Though she graduated from Dartmouth in June, Alexandra Mahler-Haug '11 has continued her engagement in both academics and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College as a 2011 winner of the Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship. The Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship allows Alexandra to continue to work on her Honors Thesis in Government with members of the Dartmouth faculty and ultimately, pursue publication.
“The opportunity to work towards achieving publication of my research through the Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship is a wonderful culmination of my involvement with the Rockefeller Center,” Alexandra said. “I am truly honored to have the chance to continue to work on my research and take it one step further.”
Alexandra’s thesis, entitled “Going Corporate: Investigating state use of Privatized Military Companies in the post-Cold War era”, was also the recipient of the Rockefeller Prize in International Relations for 2011.
She cites the active involvement of the faculty, coupled with significant institution support, as being critical to the success of her research so far. “The positive reception of my research from members of the Dartmouth Faculty has been greatly encouraging throughout the entirety of the thesis process,” Alexandra said, “and the support of the Rockefeller Center and Dartmouth College continues to be particularly invaluable, as I undertake further work on my thesis and pursue publication.”
Alexandra’s interest in military outsourcing and Privatized Military Companies began during her Sophomore year, when she took a class with Professor Bridget Coggins, who later became her primary thesis advisor. This interest continued through her Junior year and during Alexandra’s time abroad, when she studied at the London School of Economics and completed a research project on the post-Cold War evolution of the ‘market for force’, or the Privatized Military Company industry.
But Alexandra’s time with the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs as a Class of 1952 Intern during her Junior summer was particularly formative. Alexandra’s research, which quantitatively and qualitatively analyzes the outsourcing of security and military functions by states, was greatly informed and shaped by the professional experience that was made possible by the Class of 1952.
“Working for the Subcommittee opened my eyes and allowed me to experience first-hand some of the many complexities and challenges that are inherent with military contracting and outsourcing,” said Alexandra. “My internship provided me an invaluable base of knowledge that was the foundation for many of the ideas that shaped my thesis research during my Senior year—and the generous support given to me as a Class of 1952 Intern made that experience possible.”
The Rockefeller Center also provided a research grant to support Alexandra in her thesis research.
Alexandra does not foresee her involvement with the Rockefeller Center ending with the Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship. Rather, she said, “I like to think of the Fellowship as being yet another facet of my time as a ‘Rocky student.’ Once the Fellowship ends, I am confident that there will be yet another way for me to stay involved and engaged.”
As an undergraduate at Dartmouth, Alexandra was a Rockefeller Center First-Year Fellow and a Dickey Center War and Peace Fellow, and was involved with the Rockefeller Center's Policy Research Shop, Next America: Campus Initiative, and America Reads. Alexandra was also Captain of the Dartmouth Figure Skating Team, and competed as a member of the team throughout her four years at Dartmouth.