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; serving as Student Staff Editors for Just Security, 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. Past Student Scholars have gone on to serve in the State Department, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Congress, private practice, and as judicial clerks.
Former RCLS Student Scholar Mari Dugas (2020-2021) discusses her experience.
Don Chen is a rising 2L at NYU School of Law and a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar. He is an incoming Co-President of the National Security Law Society and the Law and Government Society. Before law school, Don worked as a staffer in the House of Representatives, and conducted war powers research and advocacy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. He also taught English in Taiwan through a Fulbright fellowship. Don graduated from Pomona College in 2018 with a B.A. in International Relations. During his 1L summer, he will work at the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs at the Treasury Department.
Jake Dow is a rising 2L at NYU School of Law, where he is a recipient of the Arthur T. Vanderbilt Scholarship and an incoming Co-President of the National Security Law Society. Before law school, Jake worked as an associate at Beacon Global Strategies, served as a research assistant for Dr. Colin Kahl at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and interned for Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and at National Security Action. Jake received an MPhil in International Relations and Politics with distinction from Cambridge University in 2020, and graduated from Stanford University in 2019 with a B.A. in Political Science and Honors in International Security Studies. He will spend his 1L summer with the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Wendy Leben is a rising 3L at NYU School of Law, where she is a member of Moot Court Board, Student Staff Editor for Just Security, and Producer, Director, Writer, and Actor for Law Revue Revue (the law-themed musical comedy troupe). As a law student, she interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and in New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. Before law school, Wendy was a senior intelligence analyst in the Department of Defense for 13 years, including deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Denver with bachelor’s degrees in Physics and International Studies. She volunteers assisting Afghan refugee applications and representing children in the foster care system. Wendy will spend her 2L summer at Goodwin-Proctor.
Leila Chang is a rising 2L at NYU Law and a recipient of the ASPIRE Cybersecurity/Public Service Scholarship—a full-tuition scholarship awarded to one incoming student each year who is passionate about cyber and information security and dedicated to a career in government. Before law school, Leila spent two years working in Washington, D.C. as an analyst in Booz Allen Hamilton’s National Security Group. She has interned with the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in South Korea and with the FBI. She graduated from Yale University in 2019 with a B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. She will spend her 1L summer with the Appellate Staff of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.
Rachel Greene is a rising 2L at NYU School of Law, where she is the incoming Mentorship Chair of the Law & Government Society. Prior to law school, Rachel worked as an investigative analyst for the U.S. Agency for International Development Office of the Inspector General, and as a government consultant at Deloitte. Rachel earned a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree in International Politics, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University. She will be working in the Criminal Division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York during her 1L summer.
Alec Nadeau is a rising 2L at NYU School of Law, where he is a Moelis Fellow in Urban Law and Public Affairs, a board member of the Law and Government Society and the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society, and a member of OUTLaw. Prior to law school, Alec spent four years advising the Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on critical infrastructure development, transportation security, sustainability, and digital innovation. Prior to that he served as a research associate at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. Alec holds a B.A. in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration, both from the George Washington University. During his 1L summer, he will work in the legal department of the New York City Housing Authority.
Laura Brawley participated in the Student Scholars program as a 2L at NYU School of Law, where she is the incoming Co-President of the American Constitution Society and 2L leadership co-chair of the Women of Color Collective. Laura will spend her 1L summer with the Policing Project at NYU, and in the fall, she will extern with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Prior to law school, Laura spent a year working at a non-profit in Atlanta, Georgia. Laura graduated from the University of Chicago in 2019 with a B.A. in Public Policy Studies and Norwegian Studies.
Antara Joardar participated in the Student Scholars program as a 2L at NYU Law, where she is an ASPIRE Scholar. At NYU, she is the incoming Co-President of the National Security Law Society and incoming Mentorship Chair of the Law & Government Society. Before law school, Antara worked as an analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense. She graduated from Georgetown University magna cum laude in 2016 with a BSFS in Science, Technology, and International Affairs.
Madhu Narasimhan participated in the Student Scholars program as a 3L (2021-2022) at NYU School of Law, where he was also an IILJ Joyce Lowinson Scholar, a Student Staff Editor of Just Security, and a Symposium Editor of the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics. He spent his 1L summer at the World Bank in Washington, DC and will spend his 2L summer at Gunderson Dettmer in Silicon Valley. Prior to law school, Madhu was Co-Founder & COO of a startup at the nexus of education, youth mentorship, and tech; a member of the Legal and Public Policy teams at Google; and a Fulbright Fellow in Malaysia. Madhu earned a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in South Asian Studies from UCLA, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in 2013. He also studied at the London School of Economics. Madhu’s writings have appeared in numerous publications, including Foreign Affairs and The Diplomat.
Nicholas Tonckens participated in the Student Scholars program as a 2L at NYU School of Law, where he is Co-President of the National Security Law Society, Research Assistant for Professor Barry Friedman, and Staff Editor at the Review of Law and Social Change. He is also a Student Staff Editor at Just Security. During law school, Nicholas has interned with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, as well as the global digital rights NGO Access Now. Prior to law school, he worked on international law and security issues at think tanks in Boston and Washington, DC. He graduated cum laude from Bowdoin College in 2016 with a B.A. in Government and Russian.
Erica 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 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.