He studied strategic studies and international economics at Johns Hopkins University, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). At SAIS, Shay focused on the U.S. military posture and NATO. He is currently working on a paper related to Russia's weaponization of Christian nationalism in its foreign policy and ties with far-right groups in North America and Europe. Before SAIS, he studied political philosophy and Western history at Arizona State University.
Born and raised in Iran, Shay is seeking political asylum in the United States. Finding freedom and acceptance in America for the first time in his life at the age of 24, Shay is deeply devoted to defending liberalism at home and abroad and takes his adoptive home to be the last, best hope of earth. As a kid, he was inspired by President George W. Bush's muscular advocacy for freedom around the world, and his upbringing in Iran informs him of the importance of the advocacy of American values in American foreign policy both as a matter of moral good and U.S. strategic interest.