Todd H. Nelson is currently an adjunct professor teaching Comparative Politics and Introduction to Political Research at the University of Akron. In the fall of 2011 he will also teach a ‘special topics’ course on Russian organized crime there. He is an ABD Doctoral Candidate in Political Science at Kent State University. He received his MA in International Affairs Russia/Eurasia from the School of International Service at American University, and his BA in Russian and Sociology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From 1998-2000, he was the subject matter expert on Russian affairs in the Global Organized Crime Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. He was also the researcher and co-editor of the 2000 CSIS Publication, Russian Organized Crime and Corruption: Putin’s Challenge. He has spent more than three years living and studying in Russia.
From 2000 to 2004, he served with the US Army Military Intelligence Corps and was deployed to Kosovo as a Russian/German/Ukrainian linguist and interrogator for nine months, where he was awarded both the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.
He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation about current Russian historical narratives of political repression during the Soviet era. Other research interests include Russian politics, intelligence, the Balkans, human rights, torture and interrogation, and transitional justice.
His other interests include traveling, reading, writing, and hard rock lead guitar. Lastly, as a transplant to Ohio from Nebraska, he is a die-hard Nebraska Cornhuskers fan.