RCLS Student Scholars Program

The Reiss Center on Law and Security Student Scholars Program provides NYU Law students research and mentorship opportunities in the field of national security law and policy. The competitive selection process seeks to identify outstanding 2L and 3L students with relevant academic and professional experience who are interested in pursuing careers in national security. The Student Scholar position is compensated.

Student Scholars contribute to the Reiss Center’s mission and research agenda by working closely with and providing research for the Reiss Center’s leadership and experts; working with the Just Security team, including potential opportunities to publish in the online forum; and contributing to the development and execution of the Reiss Center’s program of work. Student Scholars are encouraged to attend the Reiss Center’s many events and panel discussions and invited to participate in the Reiss Center’s private convenings with leading figures in the field. They are provided opportunities to participate in national security events and fora outside of NYU. Student Scholars enjoy mentorship opportunities from a diverse range of national security thinkers and practitioners, and are encouraged to become integral members of the national security law and policy community that the Reiss Center works to cultivate at NYU School of Law.


The application period for the 2020-21 Student Scholars Program is now closed. Information on the application process for the 2021-22 year will be released in spring 2021.

Mari Dugas headshot Mari Dugas is a 2L at NYU School of Law, where she is the Co-President of the National Security Law Society, Professional Development Co-Chair of the Latinx Law Students Association and a Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Fellow. Prior to law school, Mari worked at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she served as the Project Coordinator for the Center’s Cybersecurity Project and the Defending Digital Democracy Project. She supported the Projects’ work in enhancing cybersecurity and incident response preparedness of election security officials through tabletop exercises. She is spending her 1L summer with Cooley’s Cyber/Data/Privacy group in Washington, D.C. Mari graduated with a BA in Political Science and Russian Area Studies from Wellesley College.

Nicholas Tonckens headshot Nicholas Tonckens is a 2L at NYU School of Law, where he is Co-President of the National Security Law Society and a board member of the NYU chapter of the American Constitution Society. He was previously a Program Manager at the Mentor Group, a legal think tank specializing in technology and national security law. He is spending his 1L summer at Access Now, a non-profit that protects and promotes digital rights around the world. He graduated cum laude from Bowdoin College as a double major in Government and Legal Studies and Russian Language and Literature, and was the 2016 Russian Scholar Laureate. He is interested in the intersection of national security, technology and civil liberties, particularly issues of surveillance and privacy, as well as content moderation and free expression.

Julia Brooks Julia Brooks is a 2L at NYU School of Law, where she is a Furman Public Policy Scholar. Prior to law school, she worked as a Senior Legal Research Associate at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, where she specialized in international humanitarian law and policy. She spent several years working in Germany on human rights and transitional justice, including at the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility & Future,” the German Parliament, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as a Senior Fellow with Humanity in Action. She also worked in Bosnia on post-conflict justice and governance at the Office of the High Representative and in The Hague at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Julia holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Public Policy from Brown University, magna cum laude.

William Dawley William Dawley is a 3L at NYU Law, where he is a Senior Articles Editor for the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics. While at NYU Law, he has served as a teaching assistant for Professor Richard R.W. Brooks and is working as a research assistant for NYU Law’s Classical Liberal Institute and Professor Richard Epstein. During his 1L summer, he interned for Judge Esther Salas of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He is spending his 2L summer as a Law Clerk in the Washington, D.C. office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Prior to law school, he worked as a Private Equity Paralegal in Cleary Gottlieb’s New York office and interned for Congressman Bill Shuster in Washington, D.C. William earned his BA in International Relations and Political Science from Lehigh University in 2015.

Peter machtigerPeter Machtiger is a 2L at NYU School of Law, where he is a Co-President of the National Security Law Society, the President of Students for the Education and Representation of Veterans, and part of the International Refugee Assistance Project. Prior to law school, he was an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps. He is spending his 1L summer working for the Chief Judge of a US District Court and assisting on a research project related to the law of armed conflict. Peter has a BA from Harvard University in Government.

Erica MaErica Ma participated in the student scholars program as a 2L at NYU School of Law, where she was a Staff Editor for the New York University Law Review. Prior to law school, she worked at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, an international security think tank in Washington, DC. Over her 1L summer, she worked with the United Nations International Law Commission in New York and Geneva under the auspices of the NYU International Law and Human Rights Fellowship Program, providing research on topics relating to the law of armed conflict. Her interests include international humanitarian law, the use of force, and emerging technologies in armed conflict. Erica earned a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude, in International Relations and Modern Middle Eastern Studies.

Ariana RowberryAriana Navarro Rowberry participated in the student scholars program as a 2L at NYU School of Law, where she was a Staff Editor for the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics and the President of the National Security Law Society. Prior to law school, she served as a Special Assistant on the National Security Council during the Obama Administration, where she staffed the Senior Directors for North Africa and Yemen, and Israel, Egypt, and the Levant. She also interned in Vice President Biden’s National Security Affairs Office. She spent her 1L summer at the Department of Justice’s National Security Division in the Office of Law and Policy. Earlier, Ariana worked at the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Initiative at the Brookings Institution as a Herbert Scoville Jr. Fellow. While there, Ariana researched the evolution of the U.S.-Japanese alliance. Ariana’s career in national security began working on nuclear policy at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Ariana has a BA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with highest honors in Peace, War, and Defense and Political Science.