Skip to main content

Danielle Kitchen 2018-19

Danielle Kitchen is from Louisville, Kentucky, and is graduating from Vanderbilt University as a double major in Human and Organizational Development and Public Policy with a focus in Military Studies and a minor in Corporate Strategy. Throughout college, Danielle spent her summers interning at Google, the Hudson Institute Center for Political-Military Analysis, and in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Danielle’s most meaningful college experience was her study abroad on Semester at Sea, where she lived on a boat and traveled to twelve countries in 104 days, studying international markets and religion across cultures. She has also spent time abroad at London School of Economics, where she studied econometrics and post-conflict democracy building. While at Vanderbilt, Danielle was the president and site leader of a spring break service trip organization, an editor for the Vanderbilt Political Review, and a Vanderbilt Tour Guide. In the Nashville community, she is part of the local women's fly fishing team, Music City Fly Girls.

Through her fellowship project, “A Changing Landscape: Exploring the Identity, Role, and Perception of the Military,” Danielle will be traveling to twenty countries across five continents to examine the relationship between civilians and the military. She became interested in this topic after noticing a startling gap in the United States between civilian’s deep trust in the military but admittedly low levels of engagement with or knowledge of what the armed services do.

With the Keegan fellowship, she is seeking to travel to countries with different uses of the military and conscription policies to hear what perceptions of the military are, how the military identifies with the people and the government, and ideas about what the role of the military both is and should be. She believes that as decisions about where and how our own military interferes and influences foreign nations have become increasingly complex, a broad perspective will allow her to understand the implications these decisions have.

In her future, she hopes to use the knowledge and perspective gained from her Keegan experience in a role that aligns political strategy and military tactics. She is incredibly grateful to Michael Keegan and the Keegan Fellowship alumni, as well as her family and her mentors who have supported her along the way.