West Point cadets named Rhodes Scholars

By West Point Public Affairs Date: Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 Time: 14:35 EST
Class of 2023 Cadets Margaret Williams (left) and Kai Youngren were among the 32 U.S. Rhodes Scholarship awardees named Saturday. They will study at the University of Oxford in the fall of 2023. (Photo by Elizabeth Woodruff/USMA PAO)

Two U.S. Military Academy cadets were among the 32 U.S. Rhodes Scholarship awardees named Saturday. Class of 2023 Cadets Kai Youngren and Margaret Williams will study at the University of Oxford in the fall of 2023.

“Congratulations to our newest Rhodes Scholars and the team that supported them throughout this whole process,” said Dean of the Academic Board, Brig. Gen. Shane Reeves. “I’m thrilled to see the impact that Margaret and Kai will have during their studies at Oxford and throughout their careers in the Army.”

About the Recipients:

Williams is an economics major from Greenwich, Connecticut. Her research and professional objectives focus on international economics. 

An internship with the White House National Security Council in the Directorate for International Economics and Competition enabled Williams to experience firsthand the power of economics as a policy tool in the international system. 

Beyond the classroom, she plays attack for the Army’s Division I women’s lacrosse team and serves as the regimental varsity athletics officer. Williams has been recognized annually by the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, is vice president of West Point’s Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and research assistant with the Irregular Warfare Initiative.

In the spring of 2022, West Point selected Williams as a Presidential Fellow with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. She researches how digital currency and emerging financial technology disrupt financial systems and threaten national security. Williams intends to commission as an engineer officer and aspires to return to the National Security Council to shape strategy that enhances global economic stability. 

As a Rhodes Scholar, Williams will read for a Master of Science in Economics for Development and a Master of Science in Global Governance and Diplomacy.

“I am honored to represent the Army and the United States at Oxford,ˮ Williams said. “This is an unparalleled opportunity to continue studying the principles of economic development as I prepare to lead in some of the world’s most underserved communities.”

Youngren is a law and legal studies major and terrorism studies minor from Florham Park, New Jersey. He was inspired to serve his country and attend West Point due to the death of his grandfather during the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. 

Youngren’s research examines the dynamics affecting executive power and foreign policy. His other interests include security studies and writing pedagogy. 

He has published in “WLN: A Journal for Writing Center Scholarship,ˮ and has attended three conferences to present his research on the American Vice-Presidency. Youngren was awarded the Stamps Scholarship in 2020 and a fellowship with the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in 2022. 

His past leadership positions include cadet first sergeant and Cadet Basic Training regimental 1 commander. He is currently the cadet-in-charge of the terrorism studies minor, vice president of the National Honors Society, senior fellow in the Writing Fellows Program and deputy brigade commander of the Corps of Cadets. After West Point, Youngren intends to commission as an infantry officer and plans to pursue a career in Special Forces. 

As a Rhodes Scholar, Youngren will earn a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies. His goal is to shape the military’s strategy in conflict resolution and investigate how the military and international institutions generate post-conflict stability.

“I am committed to becoming a Soldier and leader of character for the U.S. Army,ˮ Youngren said. “The Rhodes Scholarship is an opportunity to further my moral development and intellectual understanding of the causes of conflict so that I can provide safety and security for others around the world.”