Photo: Ermin Mujezinovic in Bjelašnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 2020.
What are your research interests and/or subject of your thesis?
I have many research interests related to the Balkans. Currently, I am looking into how Russia is able to leverage historical ties and ethnic politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia with its low-cost malign influence campaign to prevent their integration into NATO.
What do you enjoy most about the Harriman experience?
I enjoy being in New York City, surrounded by its diversity of languages, food, and fantastic guest speakers that it brings to our program. But most importantly, I enjoy being surrounded by other students interested in the region with different perspectives and backgrounds who all share a common goal: making the world a better place. Finally, being in the military, I enjoy spending time with the SIPA Veterans Association, whose board I serve on as an International Military Liaison.
What is your favorite experience related to the region?
I left the region as a 12-year-old war refugee and was always interested in serving my new country as a public servant. I also always wanted to go back to the region my family immigrated from. In 2019, I deployed an Army Civil Affairs Team in the Balkans. While on the deployment, I had the privilege of showing Ambassador Eric Nelson and NATO Headquarters Sarajevo Commanding BG Eric Folkstead the village where I grew up and survived the war. My team and I also had the opportunity to assist local communities across the region in their fights against COVID. One of the places where we assisted was a hospital in Zenica, where I happened to be born.