National security fellows announced

A State Department diplomat and officers from the Air Force, Army and Marines compose the 2008-09 crop of National Security Affairs Fellows at the Hoover Institution.

The fellowship program gives representatives of the U.S. military and government agencies the opportunity to conduct independent research on topics relevant to their respective branches of government and to the practice of diplomacy.

The fellows are:

Lt. Col. Ken Backes, Air Force. Backes helped make healthcare policies in Iraq while serving as the Iraqi minister of health's liaison to the U.S. government. He was also the senior mentor to the Afghan general officer in charge of logistics command operations. His research will focus on issues concerning interagency cooperation at the strategic and operational level.

Richard Boly, State Department. Boly was an economic officer at the U.S. Embassy in Rome and has worked in the office of European Union affairs at the State Department. He plans to use his fellowship to focus on promoting entrepreneurship abroad as a U.S. policy objective.

Lt. Col. Kevin D. Dixon, Air Force. Dixon is an intelligence officer with experience in tactical, theater and national intelligence operations. His research will focus on the policies, development and employment of both information operations and intelligence capabilities.

Col. Joseph Felter, Army. Felter served as director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and has helped develop the counterterrorist capabilities of the armed forces of the Philippines. He also served in Afghanistan and Iraq. His research will focus on assessing and developing effective counterinsurgency strategy.

Lt. Col. David Ottignon, Marine Corps. Ottignon served in Somalia, the Philippines and Iraq. His research at Hoover will focus on current and future national security issues.