Megan Ward

Ph.D. Candidate (2016 Cohort)
Megan Zebert-Judd

Dissertation Project

Conflict and Informal Religiosity in the U.S. Mexico Borderlands

Professional Background

Defense Consulting and Project Management


Qualitative Methods, Textual Analysis, Atlas:ti



Megan Ward’s research concerns underreported conflict and marginalized religious practice throughout the U.S. borderlands and Mexico. She is particularly interested in how informal religious traditions are affected by policy decisions on the U.S. Mexico border and the institutional defense culture that guides those practices. Megan received her B.A. in the Study of Religion from the University of California, San Diego, then her M.S. in Homeland Security from San Diego State University. Her background in conflict studies stems from six years working in the defense industry, as well as her time spent in Bangkok, Thailand researching the intersection of human trafficking and Western tourism.


  •  Megan Zebert-Judd, “Material representation: Narco religiosity in new American conception” master’s thesis, San Diego State University, 2016.

Grants & Fellowships

  • International Policy Institute Cybersecurity Policy Fellow, University of Washington, 2018-present
  • Dr. Clyde Snow Fund for Latin American and Caribbean Studies 2017
  • Henry M. Jackson Doctoral Fellowship, 2016.
  • Women in Defense Horizons Scholarship for M.S. work. 2013.

Post Graduation