Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Featured SIS PhD Alumnus

Thomas Long

Tom Long

Photo by Ryan Briggs

I grew up outside St. Louis, Mo., and worked for several years as a reporter before deciding to pursue a Ph.D. in International Relations. My interest in Latin American politics grew from my family's involvement with the Washington Overseas Mission, a group of doctors and dentists who volunteer to provide care in Honduras. From there, I developed a keen interest in the history and politics of the region, and its relationship with the United States. As a doctoral candidate, my research has taken me to Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Panama.

Why I chose SIS

I chose SIS based on the strength of the faculty working on U.S.-Latin American relations, as well as its location in Washington, D.C. I have benefitted enormously from relationships with faculty members in the school and across campus. The school values a wide variety of disciplinary and methodological approaches, which is important to me because my own work in International Relations draws on elements of diplomatic history. I have been consistently impressed by my fellow doctoral students, who leverage many approaches, from statistical analysis to discourse analysis, to answer diverse questions, all of them important and interesting.

Previous Education

M.A., U.S. foreign policy, School of International Service, AU (May 2013)

Bachelor of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia (May 2005)

Previous Employment Experience

Adjunct Instructor, American University Community of Scholars

Faculty Director, SIS Pre-College Programs, American University

Awards & Fellowships

  • Doctoral research fellow, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University
  • John D. Martz III Award for best paper by a graduate student, Mid-Atlantic Council on Latin American Studies, Washington, D.C
  • William C. Olson Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Ph.D. Student
  • Tinker Foundation Dissertation Award, for research in Panama and Argentina
  • American University Doctoral Research Awards, for research in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico  

Research Interests

Inter-American relations, U.S. foreign policy, comparative foreign policy, Latin American politics, small and middle power in IR theory


Curriculum Vitae

Where I blog

My Dissertation

Dissertation title:

Convincing the Colossus: Latin American Leaders Face the United States


Robert A. Pastor (chair)
Max Paul Friedman
Boaz Atzili

Selected Publications

  • Latin American Confronts the United States: Asymmetry and Influence, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2015.
  • "Putting the Canal on the Map: Panamanian Agenda-setting and the 1973 Security Council Meeting," Diplomatic History, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 431-455.
  • "The Cold War and Its Aftermath in the Americas: The Search for a Synthetic Understanding of U.S. Policy," with Robert A. Pastor, Latin America Research Review, Vol. 45, No. 3.

Selected Presentations

  • "Convincing the Colossus: Case studies of Latin American influence on U.S. foreign policy," (April 2013) selected for Junior Scholar Symposium, International Studies Association, San Francisco.
  • "NAFTA and Mexico's foreign policy: Negotiating historic changes at home and abroad," International Studies Association, San Francisco.
  • "Neither Puppets nor Provocateurs: Colombian Leaders Subtle Influence on U.S. Policy," (May 23, 2012) Latin American Studies Association, San Francisco.
  • "Convincing the Colossus: Latin American Leaders Face the United States," Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies conference, Washington, D.C., March 2012.