Ms. Lola Macy joined the NWC in the spring of 2023 as a research intern. She is a second-year graduate student at American University’s School of International Service in Washington D.C. Currently studying Global Governance, Politics, and Security, Lola’s research interests range from studying civil wars and nations inundated with instability and corruption to examining the prevalence and power of non-state actors such as gangs, cartels, and terrorist organizations. She is specifically interested in understanding the recruitment and retention methods of gangs and cartels within Latin America and seeks to deepen her understanding of how cartels function simultaneously as illegitimate traffickers, legitimate businesses, and governance structures. Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, Lola holds a BA in International Studies from American University where she graduated Cum Laude. Throughout her years at American University, Lola participated in a foreign policy think tank run by undergraduates. She published a variety of papers as well as created and hosted a weekly podcast.