Fellowship Honoring Oppenheimer Biographer Goes to J. Luis Rodriguez


George Mason University Assistant Professor J. Luis Rodriguez has been presented with the inaugural Martin J. Sherwin Fellowship by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Rodriguez, who specializes in global governance and nuclear arms control, is one of the first faculty members appointed to the Schar School of Policy and Government’s new undergraduate International Security and Law bachelor of arts degree program.

A man wearing eyeglasses and a blue suit with red tie smiles at the camera.
J. Luis Rodriguez is the inaugural Sherwin Fellow at the Wilson Center. Photo provided

“We are thrilled to welcome Luis Rodriguez, a rising star in the field of nuclear proliferation research, to the Wilson Center’s community this summer,” said Christian Ostermann, director of the history and public policy program at the Wilson Center. “Luis’ project centers on issues dear to the work and legacy of the late Martin J. Sherwin and will strengthen the center’s focus on one of the most important international security threats and its deeper, global history.”

Sherwin's biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer—with coauthor with Kai Bird—won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 and inspired the 2023 Academy Award-winning film by Christopher Nolan. Sherwin also served as a senior advisor and lead instructor at the Wilson Center’s Nuclear History Boot Camp, mentoring hundreds of international doctoral students. He was also a University Professor of History at George Mason from 2007 until his death in 2021.

Rodriguez's selection followed an intensive peer-review process by an international advisory board.

During his Wilson Center tenure, Rodriguez will focus on his project, “Negotiated Inequality: Latin America and the Making of the Nuclear Club.” His distinguished academic background includes a PhD in political science from Johns Hopkins University and notable publications in esteemed journals such as International Affairs and Third World Quarterly. In 2022-23, he was a Stanton Fellow at Stanford University.  

The International Security and Law major is a one-of-kind degree program that prepares graduates to become leaders when they are needed most: in the face of crisis. This dynamic program combines national and international security and law and is designed to help students understand how to most effectively respond to crises—from weather disasters to cyber attacks to nuclear proliferation and more.

Information about the program can be found at this page.