Boren Participants receive awards

Boren Scholarship and Fellowships Awardees Hilary Wehr and Michael Chahinian

Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In September 2012, the 6th annual Howard Baker Jr. and Sol Linowitz awards,  recognizing and honoring the outstanding public service and academic achievements of Boren Scholarship and Fellowship alumni, were presented to Michael Chahinian, a 2002 Boren Scholar to China, and Hilary Wehr, a 2008 Boren Fellow to Syria.

Michael won the Boren Scholarship to study Mandarin in China as an undergraduate political science major at Cornell University. Currently an active-duty naval officer, Michael is responsible for leading the Electronic Warfare Division in protecting the USS Stockdale from incoming missiles. In his duties, Michael also ensures compliance with international laws by inspecting foreign vessels. Prior to joining the Navy, Michael worked as a Capitol Hill staffer specializing in trade, budget and military issues while he pursued a graduate degree at the U.S. Naval War College.

Hilary won the Boren Fellowship to spend a year studying Arabic in Syria while she was a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. In 2011, the day before the Arab uprising began in Syria, Hilary started working as an intelligence analyst in the Middle East and North Africa Office at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Due to her Boren Fellowship experience in Syria, Hilary was assigned to the high-profile Syria Crisis Cell within the Directorate of Analysis. In her current position, Hilary produces all-source intelligence analysis for the Department of Defense. 

Funded by the National Security Education Program, the David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad.

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