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2018 "Bobby R. Inman Award" Recipient and Semifinalists Announced

Aug 08, 2018

The Intelligence Studies Project of The University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the winner and two semifinalists in its fourth annual competition recognizing outstanding student research and writing on topics related to intelligence and national security.

The recipient of the 2018 “Bobby R. Inman Award” for student scholarship on intelligence is Peter Scoblic, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University. His paper, “Beacon and Warning: Sherman Kent, Scientific Hubris, and the CIA's Office of National Estimates” exploits original archival research to offer a fresh look at the "father of estimative intelligence" and also a timely warning on the predictive utility of intelligence analysis. 

The graduate student semifinalist is Alexander Campbell, a Master of International Affairs candidate at Columbia University. His paper, “Why Israel's Civil-Military Relationship Helps Explain Intelligence Failures”, identifies potential hazards to Israel's policymaking process posed by the analytic dominance of the Directorate of Military Intelligence.  

The undergraduate student semifinalist is Ari Weil, a recent graduate of Pomona College and now a master's candidate in International Relations at the University of Chicago. His paper, "Terrorist Celebrity: Online Personal Branding and Jihadist Recruitment and Planning” skillfully documents the increasingly sophisticated use of social media tools and models by terrorist leaders. 

With over one hundred impressive papers from students at dozens of U.S. universities and colleges, the papers were evaluated on their academic rigor, clear presentation, creativity, and the potential to contribute positively to the U.S. intelligence community. The winning author will receive a $5000 cash award and his paper is in processing to appear in a future issue of the Texas National Security Review. The semifinalists each receive $2500; their papers are linked above and posted on the websites of the contest sponsors (below). 

The Intelligence Studies Project was established at The University of Texas at Austin in 2013 as a joint venture of the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security. The Project’s mission is to improve understanding of intelligence activities and institutions through research, courses, and public events bringing intelligence practitioners together with scholars, students, and the public. The Inman Award recognizes more than six decades of distinguished public service by Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Admiral Inman served in multiple leadership positions in the U.S. military, intelligence community, private industry, and the University of Texas. His previous intelligence posts include Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice-Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency, and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. He continues to serve as a teacher and mentor to students, faculty members, and current government officials while occupying the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy at UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.