Greg Pavone

I am a recent Harvard graduate active-duty serviceman. My expertise centers around public policy, diplomacy, and economics and their applications in international venues. My experiences have taken me to many places around the world, have exposed me to a broad variety of people and ideas, and have enriched my outlook and worldview.


Coal Diplomacy

The Political Economy of North Korean Coal

Harvard Kennedy School Master's Thesis

Harvard Library HOLLIS Number: 014103163

The North Korean regime is using coal in tremendously sophisticated and strategic ways to thrive despite economic sanctions, and private Chinese trade companies are knowingly or unknowingly playing a critical role. North Korea is effectively evading sanctions, and coal is their principal vehicle to do so. Coal is a strategic resource for the North Korean regime. In 2013, North Korea eclipsed Vietnam to become the world's number one exporter of anthracite, the highest ranked type of coal. Coal generated $1.4 billion in revenue for the DPRK in 2013, 10% of the country's GDP. These profits are providing the hard currency that the regime relies on to procure much of what it most needs. Business elites in a few newly formed stateowned, but privately-controlled trade companies in North Korea are thriving-coal being the most significant income contributor. North Korea's business elites are highly intelligent economic sharpshooters who methodically take advantage of Chinese decentralization to maximize profits. Until this PAE, no researcher has comprehensively put the pieces together to develop a robust explanation of how the North Korean regime survives through this means.


A Shock to the System

Economic Reform in North Korea

A Study using Computable General

Equilibrium and Gravity Model Approaches

Naval Academy Undergraduate Thesis

In light of the recent leadership change that took place in December 2011, the possibility of economic reform in North Korea is more real than ever. Computable general equilibrium (CGE) modeling is a critical tool aiding researchers in the study of the possible effects of large-scale economic reform in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In an attempt to build North Korea’s economy from the ground up, the most important reforms we expect to see are significant increases in foreign direct investment (FDI) and the removal of trade barriers. In this paper, we will use a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) describing the structure of North Korea’s economy in 1990 to show how varying increases in FDI will affect the most important sectors of North Korea’s economy. We will also use updated data within a gravity model to predict what unrestricted bilateral trade would look like between North Korea and its ten largest trading partners, and then compare these values with North Korea’s actual trade statistics. The results of our empirical estimations will shed further light on the DPRK’s economic structure, and provide policymakers with a framework that can aid in studying the effects of FDI in the most secretive country on earth.


Non-Paper on the International
Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Harvard Field Study Group

Group Paper Written as part of a Field Study in Jordan

The Syrian refugee crisis represents one of the greatest humanitarian challenges the international community has faced over the recent years, prompting record-high levels of international aid. In view of the complexity of the political and social environment in which these challenges arise and the historical scale of the population affected, innovative and creative programmatic responses are essential to address the short and middle-term needs of refugees and reducing instability in the Middle East region.


Improving the City of Chicago’s efforts to
combat sex trafficking

Joint briefing to Mayor Emanuel

Harvard Kennedy School Spring Exercise 2013

Sex trafficking (the exchange of sex for money by a minor or a person who has been coerced against his/her will) is a human rights issue, perpetuates a sex industry which degrades the city of Chicago and costs the city in police time, incarceration and the decreased welfare of its citizens. Whilst the full scale of this problem can never be known, it is likely that more than 20,000 commercial sex transactions occur in Chicago every day, with many of them involving sex trafficking victims.

Aug 2012 - May 2014 hks

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University

John F. Kennedy
School of Government (HKS)

Master of Public Policy

International and Global Affairs Concentrator

  • Master’s Thesis:
    “Coal Diplomacy: The Political Economy of North Korean Coal”
Jun 2006 - Jun 2008
Jun 2010 - Jun 2012

Annapolis, MD

United States Naval Academy

Bachelor of Science in Honors Economics

with Chinese Language Minor (Distinguished Graduate)

  • Honors Thesis:
    “A Shock to the System: Economic Reform in North Korea,
    A Study using Computable General Equilibrium and Gravity Model Approaches”
  • Overall GPA: 3.84/4.00
    GPA within Major: 3.89/4.00, GPA within Minor: 4.00/4.00

Jun 2012 - Aug 2012 blc

Beijing, China

Beijing Language and
Culture University


  • Completed intensive summer semester language immersion program

Jun 2011 - Aug 2011 cnu

Jeonju, South Korea

Chonbuk National University


  • Completed intensive summer semester language immersion program

Aug 2002 - May 2006 merrimack

Merrimack, NH

Merrimack High School

  • Overall GPA: 3.87/4.00
  • Graduated 4th of 384 students
  • Class Vice President

Jun 2014 - Present navy

United States Navy


Selected to serve in the Navy’s submarine force. Vetting process included several interviews testing technical knowledge culminating in a one-on-one interview with Admiral Kirkland H. Donald, Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion and Deputy Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration's Naval Reactors. Completed Naval Nuclear Power School in Charleston, S.C. in January 2015.

Aug 2002 - May 2014 mit

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory

Military Fellow

Performed research as the Navy Liaison Officer for Group 39-Advanced Concepts and Technologies. Full description of Group 39’s mission available at:

Jan 2014 - May 2014 hks

Harvard Kennedy School

Course Assistant for Professor Tarek Masoud

Organized documents, managed attendance records, disseminated assignments, and evaluated student participation for HKS course “DPI-101C: Political Institutions and Public Policy.”

Jul 2013 -Aug 2013 seoul

U.S. Embassy Seoul

Joint U.S. Military Affairs Group-Korea & UN Command

Assisted senior U.S. Navy Foreign Area Officer on political-military affairs, specifically foreign military sales. Supported the 18 sending member nations of the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission on station at Panmunjom along the 38th parallel to maintain armistice agreement with North Korea. Participated in the commemoration ceremony of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice Agreement on July 27, 2013.

May 2011 marine

Marine Corps

Air Ground Task Force Cruise

Shadowed a Marine Corps First Lieutenant at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC. Participated in land combat training events at Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA. Passed U.S. Marine Corps physical tests including the Endurance Course, Double Obstacle Course, Physical Fitness Test, Combat Fitness Test, and Land Navigation Course.

Oct 2011 imf

World Bank Group and IMF

2011 Global Youth Roundtable Participant

One of fifteen midshipmen who represented the Naval Academy at a Youth Dialogue in Washington D.C. featuring Deputy Managing Director Nemat Shafik entitled “Where are the Jobs? Generation Y Asks.”

May 2008 - Jun 2008 navy

United States Navy

Professional Training for Midshipmen

Gained exposure to the different service communities within the U.S. Navy. Spent four weeks training with the aviation, submarine, surface, and Marine Corps communities. Also spent one week at the Naval Academy participating in team building exercises, public speaking courses, and small-unit leadership training.

Apr 2006 police

Merrimack Citizen’s Police Academy

Over a three month period, attended a training course at the Merrimack Police Station in criminal law, motor vehicle law, domestic violence, narcotics investigations, emergency communications, firearms demonstrations, non-lethal weapons, self-defense, and a mock trial in district court. Youngest graduate ever to complete the three month course.

Jun 2004 - Jun 2006 tire

Nashua Wholesale Tire

Tire Technician

Changed, mounted, balanced, repaired, cleaned, and disposed of tires and wheels.

Jan 2014 Jordan

Winter Field Study in the Middle East

Assessing the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan

Enrolled in Harvard Kennedy School course IGA-353M. The purpose of the course was to bring 16 graduate students to examine strategic approaches for navigating the challenges and dilemmas of one of the most complex political and humanitarian issues in the Middle East region. We examined the national and international response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan and its implication on national programs and local communities. The course was organized as a means to further professional dialogue on complex issues and foster exchanges between graduate students and practitioners in the region. The course’s instructor was Professor Claude Bruderlein and ran from 02-23 January, 2014 at the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy in Amman, Jordan.

Mar 2013

Harvard Kennedy School
Israel/Palestine Trek

Travelled to Israel & Palestine with 40 other Kennedy School students and met with academics, economists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in business and government.

Feb 2013 - Feb 2014 United-Arab-Emirates

Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations

Conference Moderator

Moderated the Finance Panel in August 2013 at the American University of Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Moderated the Security & Diplomacy Panel in February 2013 and February 2014 at Harvard. Organized and led a three-day Six-Party Talks simulation in February 2013 for 30 international delegates. Organized and led a three-day Syrian Peace Talk Negotiation simulation for 25 international delegates in February 2014. Introduced and served as liaison between conference speakers and delegates.

Mar 2012 Italy

Competition on the
Law of Armed Conflict for
Military Academies Delegate

One of three midshipmen selected to represent the United States at the International Institute for Humanitarian Law’s premiere international law competition featuring 21 countries in San Remo, Italy.

Apr 2011 - Nov 2011 China

Forum for American/Chinese
Exchange at Stanford (FACES) Delegate

One of 20 American delegates selected to represent the United States at the world’s premiere youth U.S./China relations conference. Spent one week at Stanford in April and one week at Peking University in November. Served as group leader of a six person team to complete a collaborative project during the seven months between conferences.

Feb 2011 - Mar 2011 Brazil

Exchange Program with Brazilian Naval Academy

Hosted Escola Naval’s top First Class Midshipman for two weeks at the Naval Academy, then traveled to Brazil and spent one week training at the Brazilian Naval Academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Jul 2011 South-Korea

U.S. Naval Academy Representative to Republic of Korea’s Naval Academy

Represented the U.S. Naval Academy in a visit to the Republic of Korea’s Naval Academy in Jinhae, South Korea.

Jul 2008 - July 2010 South-Korea

Voluntary Service Mission in the Republic of Korea

Served as a full-time missionary for the Korea Seoul Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Jangwi, Dongdaemoon, Chungoon, and Gangneung, South Korea. Provided religious instruction, worked with the mentally handicapped, volunteered at an orphanage, instructed free English language classes, and served as a translator. Led and trained several other volunteers. Responsible for daily, weekly, and monthly statistical reports.

May 2007 - July 2007

Surface Cruise, U.S.S. Essex (LHD 2)

Spent 42 days aboard the amphibious assault ship U.S.S. Essex sailing from Okinawa, Japan to Brisbane and Townsville, Australia. Conducted joint operations with the Australian Navy and Marine Corps. Experienced routine life onboard ship, including emergency drills and flight operations.

Jan 2012 - May 2012

Squad Leader

Chosen to serve as the small-unit leader for ten other midshipmen. Was personally responsible throughout the semester for their professional, academic, and physical development.

Oct 2011 - Apr 2012

Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC) Operations Officer

Selected to serve as head coordinator and liaison for contacting, directing, and managing all international NAFAC delegates from countries around the world. Worked with a staff of 65+ midshipmen Deputy Directors, Moderators, Delegates, and Reporters to direct discussion roundtables and academic activities for the nation’s largest undergraduate-run foreign affairs conference entitled “Eclipse of the West?”

Aug 2011 - Dec 2011

Brigade Administrative Officer

As a member of Brigade Staff, the chief student leadership committee at the Naval Academy, was responsible for performing the administrative functions of all 4,500 members of the Brigade. Supervised a 36 member peer staff comprised of six battalion and 30 company administrative officers.

Apr 2011 - May 2012

Chinese American Club President

Elected to lead the club in a myriad of cultural and language learning activities in Annapolis and Washington D.C.

Aug 2010 - May 2011

Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Club, Naval Academy Chapter Vice President

Primary organizer and point-of-contact recruiting speakers from the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon and the National Security Agency to speak to the Brigade of Midshipmen. Helped lead a group of midshipman to represent the U.S. Navy at the Economist Magazine’s annual Buttonwood Gathering in New York City.

Jan 2011 - May 2011

Company 1st Sergeant

Responsible for all underclass in the company. Enforced policy passed down from Company Officer and disseminated feedback upward through the chain of command. Responsible for the accountability records of 150 midshipmen. Led a team of 4 platoon sergeants.

Sep 2010 -Dec 2010

Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Company Representative

Responsible for gathering donations for CFC charities from all 150 members of my unit. Raised $3000 in a two month period. Trained and led a staff of two other volunteers.

Apr 2012

Leadership Courses

  • Exercising Leadership: A Cross-Cultural & International Perspective - Instructed by Dr. Dean Williams
  • Exercising Leadership: The Politics of Change - Instructed by Dr. Hugh O’Doherty
  • Negotiation Analysis - Instructed by Mr. Joshua Flax
  • The Arts of Communication - Instructed by Dr. Marie Danzinger
  • Ethics and Moral Reasoning for the Naval Leader – Instructed by CAPT Catherine Hanft, USN
  • Leadership: Theory and Applications – Instructed by Captain Douglas Lehtinen, USMC
  • Full course descriptions available here.

Apr 2012 fullbright

Fulbright U.S. Student Award Recipient: South Korea

One of twenty-five Americans selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and Institute of International Education (IIE) for a Full Research Grant to South Korea.

Jun 2012 - Aug 2012 state

U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Recipient-Chinese

Selected as one of thirty American graduate and undergraduate students to study intermediate Chinese.

Nov 2011 fed

Fed Challenge Participant

One of five midshipmen selected to represent the Naval Academy at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s College Fed Challenge. Prepared and presented a monetary policy recommendation to leading members of the Baltimore Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. Team received “Honorable Mention.”

Jun 2011 - Aug 2011 state

U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Recipient-Korean

Selected as one of thirty American undergraduate and graduate students to study advanced Korean language.

Nov 2010 un

Model United Nations Honorary Delegate Award

Awarded for work on the International Monetary Fund Committee at the University of Pennsylvania’s Model United Nations Conference (UPMUNC).

Dec 2004 bsa

Boy Scouts of America (BSA)-Eagle Scout

Participated in various outdoor and service activities over a seven year period that culminated in a large-scale service project. Planned and executed a beautification landscaping project of the Merrimack Historical Society building and grounds located in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Led a team of 100 volunteers after spending a total of 700 hours planning the development project over an eight month period.