Mary Elizabeth Walters


University of North Carolina


Dr. Wayne Lee

Academic Interests:

U.S. Military History
European Military History
The Balkans
Military Theory
Security Studies
Civil-Military Relations


Opportunism or Compassion? NATO’s Humanitarianism and Albanian Responses during the 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis

Bio Note:

Mary Elizabeth Walters is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her M.A. in military history from UNC in 2014. She is currently on a 10 month National Security Education Program Boren Fellowship in Albania. Her dissertation examines the 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis in Albania, specifically looking at why and how NATO took on the tasks of a refugee assistance organization during the crisis, as well as how NATO’s military humanitarianism impacted civilian humanitarian organizations, local Albanian populations, and the Kosovar refugees themselves. Her major field is military history, her three minor fields are modern European history and19th and 20th century American history, while her teaching field is gender history. Walters’ dissertation research builds from her M.A. thesis, titled “New Military Humanitarians: Competition and Cooperation between NATO and Humanitarian Agencies in 1999 Kosovar Refugee Assistance in Albania.” Broadly, her research places the 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis within a broader narrative of changing military roles in the 1990s and the rise of military humanitarianism that continues today. Walters has also received numerous FLAS grants from the Department of Education to study Albanian and Serbo-Croatian, as well as the Allan Millet Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Society for Military History. Previously she served as the Graduate Student Representative for the Society for Military History between 2013-2016.

Updated February 2016