Yangon, Myanmar


I am a Ph.D. candidate with the School of International Service at American University and a Visiting Researcher at UNU-WIDER (2023). I was a Predoctoral Visiting Research Scholar with the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies (ISCS) at George Washington University (2020-2022). 

My research focuses on the political geography of subnational state-building, political order, and conflict at the margins of the state. My dissertation project examines the social origins and processes of state-building in the border highlands of India's northeast and Myanmar. 

Before starting my doctoral program in 2014, I worked for the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Thailand on transborder human trafficking and labor migration issues in Southeast Asia. I also worked at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC, covering free trade, security affairs in Northeast Asia, and civil war termination in Africa. I was also a former journalist in Seoul, South Korea. I hold a MA degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, where I first developed my academic interests in state-building and civil war. 

You can reach me at mk1841a [at] american [dot] edu.