Hayes Chair in National Security

Wayne Woodrow "Woody" Hayes
Woody Hayes

Ohio State's beloved football coach Wayne Woodrow "Woody" Hayes was not only a fierce competitor on the field, but was also an active and astute observer of military history and national security. He was interested in both athletics and academics, a combination that enhances the legacy he has left Ohio State.

As a veteran of World War II, Coach Hayes had a strong interest in military strategy. Among other things, he hosted a local television program that discussed national security in a historical perspective and guest lectured on the topic at colleges and universities around the United States, including Harvard University.

After his death, the university community proposed making an academic tribute to Coach Hayes. Honoring his commitment to the academic fields he was interested in was "beyond his wildest dreams," said his widow, Anne Hayes.

Through the efforts of Coach Hayes' widow, Anne; his son, Judge Steven B. Hayes; his many friends and admirers; and the university community, the campaign to fund the Wayne Woodrow Hayes Chair of National Security Studies was completed in 2001.

The income from this endowment provides funds for the Mershon Center to be home to a high-profile, tenured professor who conducts research and educates a new generation in the issues of national security studies.

Current Chair Search

The Hayes Chair search is currently underway and the Center has narrowed the current field to three candidates.  Virtual job talks will be taking place through the end of November. Registration to attend each event can be found HERE.  The candidate's bio, CV, and a selected article are below. 


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Candidate Profiles



Laura Dugan

Laura Dugan is Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland. Her research examines the consequences of violence and the efficacy of violence prevention/intervention policy and practice. She also designs methodological strategies to overcome data limitations inherent in the social sciences. Dr. Dugan is a founding co-principal investigator for the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and co-principal investigator to the Government Actions in Terrorist Environments (GATE) dataset. The GTD is the most comprehensive source of terrorist incidents, as it records all known attacks across the globe since 1970. The GATE data record government actions related to terrorists and their constituencies for a select set of countries since 1987. Dr. Dugan’s research has been published in top journals in criminology and sociology. She has also published in political science and public policy journals. She received her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999; her MA in Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University in 1998; her MA in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995; and her BFA in Applied Media Arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 1987. She has published with colleagues, Putting Terrorism into Context: Lessons Learned from the World’s Most Comprehensive Terrorism Database, along with more than sixty journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Dugan was recently elected to be Chair of the University of Maryland Senate and will serve from 2019 until 2022 as chair elect, chair, and Past chair. She is also the Vice-President Elect of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and serves as ASC's liaison on the Board of the Consortium of Social Science Associations. Her publications appear in journals such as the Journal of Quantitative CriminologyCriminology, the American Sociological ReviewLaw and Society Review, as well as Terrorism and Political Violence, and the Journal of Peace Research.

joshua kertzer

Joshua Kertzer is the Paul Sack Associate Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Government at Harvard University, where I specialize in the intersection of international security, foreign policy, political psychology, and quantitative and experimental methods.

His book, Resolve in International Politics, was published in 2016 by Princeton University Press, and received the 2017 Alexander L George Award from the International Society of Political Psychology for the best book published in the field of political psychology. Josh's research has also appeared in a wide range of journals, including the American Journal of Political ScienceAnnual Review of Political ScienceBritish Journal of Political ScienceConflict Management and Peace ScienceInternational OrganizationInternational Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Politics, and World Politics.

Joshua has received a number of awards and recognitions, including the American Political Science Association's Merze Tate (formerly Helen Dwight Reid) and Kenneth N. Waltz Awards, the Peace Science Society's Walter Isard Award, the Journal of Conflict Resolution's Bruce Russett Award, and the International Society of Political Psychology's Erik Erikson Award for distinguished early career contributions to the study of political psychology. My research has also been featured on The Colbert ReportChelsea Lately, and Real Time with Bill Maher.

Joshua Kertzer graduated with a PhD in Political Science from The Ohio State University in August 2013. Before coming to Harvard, he was a Dartmouth Fellow in US Foreign Policy and International Security at the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College. In 2016-17, he was a Visiting Associate Research Scholar at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University. He currently co-directs the Weatherhead Research Cluster on International Security at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and serve on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Political Psychology.



Christopher McKnight Nichols

As of January 2017, Christopher Nichols is Director of the Oregon State University Center for the Humanities. He specializes in the history of the United States and its relationship to the rest of the world, particularly in the areas of isolationism, internationalism, and globalization. In addition to his work on the intellectual history of the U.S. role in the world, Nichols is an expert on modern U.S. intellectual, cultural, and political history, with an emphasis on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (1880-1920) through the present. He founded Oregon State's Citizenship & Crisis Initiative. In 2016 Nichols was awarded an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. In 2017 Nichols became an Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer. Nichols’ 2018 TED Talk is entitled “The Untold Story of American Isolationism” (aka “Why History Matters Today”).

Dr. Nichols is the author, co-author, or editor of six books, including two forthcoming in 2021, most notably Rethinking American Grand Strategy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2021). His most well known book is Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011, revised paperback in 2015), which explains the origins of modern American isolationism and the dynamic interplay of international engagement, isolationist thought, and domestic reform from the 1890s through the 1940s. He is currently at work on several book-length projects regarding national security thought at the intersection of foreign and domestic policy during the early Cold War and across the sweep of U.S. history.

Dr. Nichols is a frequent commentator on air, online, and in print on the historical dimensions of contemporary U.S. foreign policy and politics, and is a regular on NPR and OPB and in reporting for the AP. He has done more than one-hundred invited talks and conference presentations in the past decade and has published dozens of articles, book chapters, essays, and reviews, in scholarly as well as public venues. He is a founding editorial board member of the “Made by History” section of the Washington Post and serves as Online Editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Nichols has done on-stage and televised/remote interviews with Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kamau Bell, Madeleine Albright, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Nicholas Kristof, Erika Lee, and Michael Beschloss, among others. An active member of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, the Organization of American Historians, and the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Nichols has served on a range of committees for all four societies. Nichols is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Oregon Historical Society. He studied at Harvard College, Wesleyan University, and the University of Virginia (where he received his PhD).  

Dr. Nichols has received numerous research grants and awards and was honored as Oregon State University's Honors College Professor of the Year in 2014. He is the elected faculty president of the Oregon State University Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa (Epsilon of Oregon): PBK Faculty President, 2019-20, 2018-19, 2017-18; elected Vice President 2016-17; elected Historian 2015-16.