1993 Fellows

James Baker
Fall 1993 Fellow, Union of Concerned Scientists

Education: University of Cambridge, Ph.D. candidate
University of Cambridge, MA International Relations, 1992
Harvard University, AB Government, 1990

Issues Covered: Peacekeeping; Counterproliferation; Control of fissile materials; ABM Treaty/Ballistic Missile Defense; Export Controls; IAEA funding; North Korea’s nuclear program

Current Activities: Baker is pursuing a graduate degree at Cambridge University.

…After spending almost six years studying international security issues from the confines of the Ivory Tower, I had the opportunity to explore and experience the interaction between the major players in policy formalization–executive agencies and departments, Congress, the media, NGO’s. More importantly, I worked with people who had an acute understanding of the issues, processes, and stakes which impact global security. The passion and dedication shown by the majority of these individuals encouraged me to continue working in these issues …

Jon Elliston
Fall 1993 Fellow, National Security Archive

Education: University of North Carolina, MA School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 2000
University of North Carolina, BA Peace, War and Defense, 1993

Issues Covered: “Iraqgate”; 1954 CIA-orchestrated coup in Guatemala

Major Fellowship Activities: Elliston cataloged information from recently-received documents on the Archive’s database, wrote FOIA requests and appeals, and edited the chronology of events that would accompany the published set.  He studied the details of the Reagan and Bush administrations’ policies toward Iraq prior to the Gulf War.  He also sorted documents relating to the CIA-sponsored overthrow of Guatemalan President Jacabo Arbenz in 1954, as well as assisting with other projects relating to U.S. relations with Latin America.  Over time he became increasingly involved with the Archive’s Cuba Documentation project.

Current Activities: Elliston was awarded a John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation research grant in 2010 to support his work on a new book that will tell the story of the 1963 attack on Camp Summerlane in North Carolina.  He previously worked as Managing Editor of  the Asheville, NC Mountain Xpress.  He is the editor of  “Psywar on Cuba: The Declassified History of U.S. Anti-Castro Propaganda” (Ocean Press, 1999).  He worked at NSA following his fellowship before entering graduate school.

…The Fellowship has been extremely valuable, and I can’t imagine a better way to get started in this line of work. The program provided me with options that would have taken years of graduate school, at the least, to otherwise develop. In addition, I’d be surprised if any graduate program succeeded in teaching me as much as I’ve learned in the last six months.


Peter Kokopeli
Spring 1993 Fellow, Union of Concerned Scientists

Education: University of Washington, BA International Studies, 1992

Issues Covered: Strategic Defense Initiative; International Atomic Energy Agency; Nuclear nonproliferation

Current Activities: Kokopeli is an Environmental Protection Specialist in the Clean Air Markets Division with the Environmental Protection Agency where he was formerly an Information Technology Specialist. From 1994-96, he served as the alumni Fellow on the Scoville Fellowship board.

…In my case the Fellowship served dual purposes: for myself, to try out a new and rather different career, and for my family, to try out a new (and very different) city. The venture was successful on both counts. We were going to come to DC in any case, but there is no question the Fellowship enhanced the experience. The support offered by the staff and board helped me settle in those first few weeks, and the stipend allowed us to double our stay. I found that simply being a Fellow carried a cachet. I have no doubt that it will make the difference in finding a job.


Joel Spoonheim
Spring 1993 Fellow, Defense Budget Project (now the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments)

Education: University of Minnesota, Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, MP Urban Planning, 1998
Luther College, BA Peace Studies, 1992

Issues Covered: Researched Department of Defense and Department of Energy programs for military pollution and waste.

Current Activities: Spoonheim isManager of Community Programs with Healthways, Inc. He is leading work to transform communities health and well-being through the Blue Zones Project. This comprehensive initiative creates policy, program, business practice, and individual changes in communities where leaders are eager to improve health.  He was previously Vice President of Development for Bellisio Foods, an international food manufacturer where he was responsible for systems improvements and strategic growth of the company, and before that was the Economic and Redevelopment Director of the City of Brooklyn Park, MN, where he was responsible for managing all development activities in a growing older suburb of Minneapolis.  In May 2004 the Minnesota Business Journal named him one of “40 under 40” — one of the top young leaders in the state under age 40.   He has been an advisor and trainer to democratization programs in Bosnia with Catholic Relief Services.  He speaks periodically about democratization issues to different groups in Minnesota.  He is a cofounder and board member of Civics Connection, a civic leadership training program for young adults who are committed to improving the institutions where they work, volunteer, or spend time, and is a member of Citizens for Global Solutions.  He is a 2001 recipient of the American Marshall Memorial Fellowship sponsored by the German Marshall Fund.  The program is designed to educate a new generation of American leaders on the importance of international relations, and to provide an educational experience structured to acquaint them with European institutions and societies.  He traveled to Brussels, Amsterdam, Lyon, Budapest and Berlin.  He spoke at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum about “How to Change the World When You Are Not In Charge.”  He formerly worked as a city planner with the Department of Planning and Economic Development for the city of Saint Paul, MN working on urban redevelopment.

…When I applied to the Scoville Program, I had never spent any time in Washington, but rather had devoted my previous work for peace in the grassroots out West. As a Scoville Fellow I took the next logical step in my development and became familiar with some of the many resources in the Capitol…The Scoville Program was a great spring-board for pushing me onward in my work for peace.