Max Erdemandi

Ph.D. Student, Communication Science and Social Cognition
University of Maryland
Former Researcher

Max Erdemandi is currently working on a doctorate in Communication Science and Social Cognition at the University of Maryland. While at START, he was a member of the Political Instability and Counterterrorism portfolio, where he worked on government-funded research and education initiatives on counterterrorism policy and efficacy, P/CVE programming, partner capacity building, near-peer competition and cooperation, and strategic influence. In addition to his research work, Mr. Erdemandi also worked with START's Education and Training team to coordinate the joint "U.S. Perspectives on Contemporary Security Issues & U.S.-Australia Cooperation" workshop with Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia). Mr. Erdemandi has native fluency in Turkish and has given talks and published on Turkish elections, national security and grand strategy, and U.S.-Turkey cooperation on counterterrorism and regional security. His research interests also include cultural trauma, data-driven modeling and simulation projects, and the intersection of security studies and public diplomacy and sociology of radicalization.

Mr. Erdemandi earned his B.A. in American and Cultural Studies from Hacettepe University (Ankara, Turkey) and his M.A. in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies from Duke University, focusing on state terrorism, social policy, and the Middle East. He is also an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State's Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (KLYES) fellowship program. Prior to joining START, Mr. Erdemandi worked as a Researcher and Laboratory Manager at Duke University's Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), where he supervised over 50 student interns. While at Duke, he also worked on multiple projects funded by the U.S. Department of Defense's Minerva Research Initiative, the Army Research Office, and the State University of New York's (SUNY) Global Affairs Office, where he was responsible for the coordination of dual diploma programs with Turkish universities.


  • University of Maryland, Ph.D., Communication Science and Social Cognition (In progress)
  • Duke University, M.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, 2014
  • Istanbul Bilgi University, Graduate Work, Political Science and International Relations, 2015 - 2016
  • Hacettepe University, B.A., American & Cultural Studies, 2012
  • Graduate Fellowship, Duke University, 2012 - 2014
  • Fellow, The U.S. Department of State Kennedy-Lugar YES Program, 2006 - 2007
Professional Experience:
  • Faculty Specialist, START, 2018 - 2020
  • Program Coordinator, START, U.S. Perspectives on Contemporary Security Issues & U.S.-Australia Cooperation Workshop, 2019
  • Project Coordinator, Duke University, 2016 - 2018
  • Digital Content Strategist, Collective Istanbul, 2016
  • Program Advisor, The State University of New York, 2015 - 2016
  • Special Events and Resources Coordinator, Duke University, 2014 - 2015