Jay Benson is a recent graduate of the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where he earned an M.A. in International Relations with concentrations in Intelligence Analysis, China Studies and Human Rights. Jay’s research interests include foreign and security policy in China, Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, intelligence studies, drivers of intrastate conflict and civilian protection in conflict. During his time at the University of Denver, Jay worked as a Graduate Research Assistant with both the Project on Terrorism and Insurgency Research and the Pardee Center for International Futures. Jay has served as an intern with the Department of State’s Political Section in Beijing, the U.S. Commercial Service and Webster University’s Confucius Institute. After completing his B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from Drake University, Jay served as the Business Manager of a Chinese language camp before spending a year teaching English at Hebei University of Science and Technology. He is also proficient in Mandarin Chinese. In his free time, Jay enjoys hiking, camping, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and cooking.
The authorization of the Intervention Brigade (IB) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has sparked controversy in the international community over the value of such deployments for UN peace operations.