Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Thomas Sanderson ’92

Job title: Deputy Director, Transnational Threats, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Current projects: He is co-directing two projects. One is a yearlong study of al Qaeda and its affiliated movements that attempts to determine what the nature and disposition of these groups will be in 2025. The second project looks at the revival of Islam in Central Asia and the regime response to it in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. He also speaks on panels; briefs U.S. government analysts and policy makers; and travels extensively overseas to conduct fieldwork related to terrorism and U.S. foreign policy.

Impact: “By engaging all manner of people overseas, I bring a balanced, nonpartisan posture on terrorism. I’ve entered many a hostile auditorium, university, madrassah, or other facility where, by the end of a frank and honest discussion, my foreign (most often Muslim) counterparts departed with a better sense of America’s goals and legitimate security concerns behind fighting terrorism. I have forged ties with foreign academics, intelligence, human rights advocates, and many other relevant actors in the ongoing effort to understand terrorism and help reduce or combat it where possible.”

Wheaton’s role: “Wheaton played a fundamental role in preparing me to succeed in advanced graduate studies and in my eventual work in the same field by giving me important writing skills and very strong exposure to scholars of international and security affairs.”