About

tom-smh-pic

I am a sixth-year doctoral candidate in the History department at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Philadelphia is also my hometown, although I currently reside in Charlottesville, VA, where my wife is a pediatric resident at the University of Virginia.

I am interested in how policymakers form arguments and how different constellations of advisors can affect presidential decision-making. In particular, I study how interpersonal relationships, bureaucratic disputes, and cognitive biases among policymakers can influence policy. My dissertation is tentatively titled “Less Than the Sum of its Parts: The Intelligence Community in the Vietnam War, 1962-1968.” In this project I examine the influence of the intelligence community upon policy formation during the war, and how the community’s constituent agencies shifted in response to policymakers’ demands.