PhD Alumna in Political Science
Graduated in 2021
Maria Robson received her PhD in Political Science at Northeastern University in 2021. The Experiential PhD has allowed Maria to apply her political science research skills and intelligence analysis research (which is her dissertation focus) for work at Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University. Maria is currently working as a Lecturer for the MS in Intelligence Analysis program in Johns Hopkins University’s Advanced Academic Programs. In this position, she developed a course tailoring social science research methods for intelligence analysis graduate students. She has worked at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Research Assistant for the Intelligence Project, a program housed within the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Both positions have proven ideal opportunities for Maria to apply her PhD research interests in private sector intelligence and her research skills acquired within Northeastern’s Political Science PhD program.
Related Schools & Departments
Maria’s dissertation research focuses on the expansion of intelligence cooperation to encompass private sector intelligence analysts.
Maria previously worked as a private sector intelligence analyst in the energy industry in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Maria holds a Master’s in Military, Security, and Strategic Studies from the University of Calgary, where her thesis explored the historical development of Canadian signals intelligence, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in International Relations, Economics, and History from the University of Toronto, both in her home country of Canada.
Robson, Maria A. “The third eye: Canada’s development of autonomous signals intelligence to contribute to Five Eyes intelligence sharing”. 2020. Intelligence and National Security.
Robson, Maria A. “Risk Analysis Beyond Government Agencies: Conceptualizing Private Sector Intelligence”. 2019. Journal of European and American Intelligence 1(2): 31-48.
Robson, Maria. “Signals in the Sea: The Value of Ultra Intelligence in the Mediterranean during World War II”. 2014. Journal of Intelligence History 13(2): 176-188.
Dau, Luis A, Elizabeth M. Moore, Maria A. Robson. “Strategic Collaboration within Competitive Industries: Private Sector Intelligence” in Managing Interpartner Risks in Strategic Alliances, T. K. Das (ed.). City University of New York, 2019, 239-256.
Dau, Luis A, Elizabeth M. Moore, Amilcar A. Barreto, Maria A. Robson. “Economic Nationalism and International Business” in International Firms’ Economic Nationalism and Trade Policies in the Globalization Era, Harish Chandan and Bryan Christiansen (eds.). IGI Global, 2019, 1-15.
Robson, Maria A. “Review: The Debs of Bletchley Park, by Michael Smith”. 2018. Journal of Intelligence and National Security 33(4): 629-630.
Conference Presentations and Guest Lectures
28 presentations, with the most recent including:
(1) “Expanding Intelligence Cooperation: Incorporating Public-Private Partnerships” • American Political Science Association (APSA), 2020
(2) “Asymmetric Alliances: Understanding International Intelligence Cooperation through Rational Choice” • Southern Political Science Association • Puerto Rico, 2020
(3) “Private Sector Analyst Survey” • Association of International Risk Intelligence Professionals • Washington, DC, 2019, (4) “Sharing Despite Asymmetric Capabilities: The Value of Canadian Signals Intelligence to the UKUSA Intelligence-Sharing Alliance” • Cryptologic Symposium • Laurel, Maryland
(5) “Collecting Foreign Intelligence: The Establishment of Autonomous Canadian Signals Intelligence” • Canadian Foreign Intelligence History Project • Ottawa, Canada
(6) Roundtable Panelist: “The View from 10,000 Feet: A Discussion on the Intelligence Education–Environment Interface in the U.S.” • International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) • New York, USA
Research Interests: International security and intelligence sharing, applying international relations theory and economic theory to how states share intelligence to further national security
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More Student Paths
Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles chose to attend Northeastern because he was intrigued by the signature co-op program and wanted a curriculum that combined real-world experience without compromising thorough academic rigor.
- Initially an engineering student, Charles switched to a combined major in Economics and Mathematics to build upon his interest in economic and social justice work. He also has a minor in psychology.
- In his first year, Charles took Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South with Professor Shalanda Baker, which taught him to question systems as they exist, no matter how established.
- As part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Charles did community service, working on the Timebank team which helped him give back to Boston.
- For his first co-op, Charles split his time between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, like infrastructure and childcare.
- As Campaign Coordinator and Director of Northeastern’s Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams, Charles had spoken to people like Patrisse Cullors, Richie Reseda, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis.
- Over the summer of 2020, Charles was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign where he advocated for racial literacy courses and for a restorative and transformative justice center on campus...
- Casey took “Global Markets and Local Cultures'' with the late Professor Jeffrey Juris. After traveling, she saw how the coursework mirrored reality, and knew her education was preparing her for the world.
- Casey went on a DOC to Argentina and Uruguay. She wanted to become fluent in Spanish, and she did become highly proficient while living in Buenos Aires and visiting the glaciers of the Patagonia region.
- Casey did her first co-op at the Museum of Fine Arts as a Community Arts program assistant. She gained valuable hands-on experience assisting in arts classes for the local communities.
- Casey joined the Sociology & Anthropology Student Association during her third year. It allowed her to get to know her fellow students and mirrored the small school experience she loved.
- Casey studied abroad in Nepal for her capstone thesis. She lived alone for a month while she researched and wrote about the lived experience of climate change in the lower Himalayas.
- Casey joined the Sunrise Movement, an environmental group that organizes protests urging political action for climate justice issues. With them, she truly felt like a part of the local Boston community.
- Casey worked for the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, founded by Professor Sarah Wylie. She produced promotional videos, developed a virtual research event, wrote event programming, and more. ..
- Northeastern has provided Sunita with interdisciplinary opportunities to utilize her education in the Greater Boston community, on co-op, and abroad.
- Sunita spent Summer 2019 on a Dialogue of Civilizations in Jordan and Egypt. It helped her realize her interest in Middle East politics and the Arabic language.
- Her favorite class, Revolution, Civil War, and Insurrection taught by Professor Risa Kitagawa invited students to question the motives behind acts of violence against governments.
- Her first co-op was at the Institute for Economics and Peace in Sydney, Australia where she analyzed data on the corruption of police forces in Mexico.
- Her second co-op at Enel X provided insight into battery storage, solar and wind farms, demand response, and the economic incentives that drive the energy market.
- In spring 2019, Sunita joined the Student Alliance for Prison Reform as well as Partakers, a partner of the club, where she mentored a prisoner at MCI Concord.
- Sunita is a member of the International Relations Council and has traveled abroad with the club to compete in Model Arab League, Model NATO, and Model UN conferences...
- Yasser was in the Foundation Year program at Northeastern. The program was a rigorous deep dive into core subject classes that helped Yasser bridge the gap between the high school and college experiences.
- Initially indecisive, Yasser’s interest in traveling and experience exploring different religious texts in high school led him to a double major in international affairs and religious studies.
- Yasser took Issues in Cities and Suburbs with Professor Erin Graves in Fall 2018. As someone deeply invested in urban life, he found the course was an enlightening look at the problems endemic to cities.
- Yasser’s first co-op was at the Boston Beer Company as a Program Operations and Event Assistant. He worked on inventory, public relations, directed brewery events, and maintained workspace organization.
- Yasser went on a Dialogue of Civilizations to Europe in Summer 2019 and took Engineering Principles in Nature with Professor Sandra Shefelbine.
- Yasser implemented and maintained community gardens all over Boston on deserted plots of land during his time as the Northeastern Campus Director for the campus’ United Nations Millennium Fellowship.
- Yasser began working at the Food Project and at a farm in Dorchester, he maintained the farm, harvested crops, distributed produce through donations and food markets, and worked on overall logistics...