Miklian has conducted deep fieldwork on business and conflict in twenty countries, frequently consults firms on their roles in conflict-affected and fragile spaces, and sits on numerous boards and high-level expert panels. He is a regular contributor to the international debate on such issues, for The Economist, New York Times, Agence France-Presse, Financial Times, France24, Vice, Harvard Business Review, Associated Press, and National Public Radio, among others.
Miklian has published widely, with feature pieces and analysis in Foreign Policy, Paris Match, Washington Post, The Guardian, Global Policy and Aftenposten (Norway) among others. Selected publications include:
Rough Cut (Foreign Policy). An investigative feature on the world's conflict diamond laundering capital of Surat, India. Intro:
"The Gujarat Mail is just another red-eye train. Twelve powder-blue passenger cars crisscrossing, like so many hundreds of others, India’s northwestern breadbasket through the dark of night. At five minutes past two, the Mail begins its four-hour journey, lumbering south from Surat to Mumbai.
Inside, the third-class cabins are equal parts scurrying roaches and dangling unwashed feet; fading monsoon rains that bleed through the iron-barred windows grant only fleeting mercies. A few hundred unwilling insomniacs are sandwiched together, helplessly sweating on filthy vinyl benches as the shrieking of the rails splinters dreams along every gentle bend. In this part of the world, it’s an utterly unexceptional journey.
Aside from the $25 million or so in freshly polished diamonds on board, that is."
Fire in the Hole ( Foreign Policy), with Scott Carney. An investigative feature on a hidden conflict in the heart of India's iron belt. Intro:
"The richest iron mine in India was guarded by 16 men, armed with Army-issued, self-loading rifles and dressed in camouflage fatigues. Only eight survived the night of Feb. 9, 2006, when a crack team of Maoist insurgents cut the power to the Bailadila mining complex and slipped out of the jungle cover in the moonlight.
The guerrillas opened fire on the guards with automatic weapons, overrunning them before they had time to take up defensive positions. They didn’t have a chance: The remote outpost was an hour’s drive from the nearest major city, and the firefight to defend it only lasted a few minutes.
The guards were protecting not only $80 billion-plus worth of mineral deposits, but also the mine’s explosives magazine, which held the ammonium nitrate the miners used to pulverize mountainsides and loosen the iron ore. When the fighting was over and the surviving guards rounded up and gagged, about 2,000 villagers who had been hiding behind the commando vanguard clambered over the fence into the compound and began emptying the magazine.
Altogether they carried out 20 tons of explosives on their backs — enough firepower to fuel a covert insurgency for a decade."
Here's Why #BoycotttheNRA Worked So Quickly (Washington Post).
Analysis on the NRA social media boycott of 2018 that eventually led to the organizations bankruptcy (With John Katsos and Benedicte Bull).
Analysis on how China's firestorm over the National Basketball Association's support for human rights merged the worst of politics and cultural nationalism (With Jennifer Oetzel).
Miklian is also a serial entrepreneur, since opening his first business at the age of fifteen. He has two decades of firsthand experience on how to make a small business work through crises large and small. His past ventures include a chain of collectibles and comics stores in the Midwest, a fried chicken restaurant, the world’s 2nd biggest EDM vinyl record store, and a bespoke antique map business.
Miklian was a longtime breakbeat DJ, with multiple national and international tours and club residencies. Miklian also owns the world record for fastest drive across North America (Prudhoe Bay AK to Key West FL), with Scott Roecker.
B.A. (2004) UW-Madison, South Asia studies and International Affairs
M.A. (2006) London School of Economics, International Relations
Ph.D. (2014) NMBU (Norway), Development Studies
Born and raised in River Falls, Wisconsin, Miklian splits his time between Oslo, Norway and Bogotá, Colombia with his wife and two impossibly energetic sons.
All photos and text copyright © 2021 Jason Miklian unless otherwise stated - All Rights Reserved.