Meghan is a doctoral researcher in the Online Civic Culture Centre investigating the impact of political YouTube influencers on their viewers’ political engagement and beliefs. She specializes in social media and open-source investigations. Before starting her PhD, Meghan worked on counterterrorism and counter-extremism in Washington, D.C.
In 2015, Meghan graduated with Distinction from the University of Nottingham with a Master’s in International Security and Terrorism. She was awarded the inaugural Centre for Conflict, Security and Terrorism (CST) postgraduate dissertation prize for her thesis exploring the evolution and organizational learning undergone by the ISIS terror network since the early 2000s. Prior to that, in 2014, Meghan graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a minor in Political Science. Her undergraduate thesis was a comparative study between different forms of skeletal trauma as a result of genocides in Guatemala and the former Yugoslavia.
Meghan is also an analyst with London-based Moonshot CVE, a Doctoral Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR), and a Digital Sherlock with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.
Meghan’s research endeavors to go beyond existing conceptualizations of impact as a result of political influencers, embracing mixed methods to quantitatively and qualitatively measure that impact. The resulting PhD thesis will provide, for the first time, evidence of the ways in which reactionary YouTubers influence their viewers and to what degree that influence manifests in offline spaces.