Ross grew up in Maine and received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire, minoring in African studies, French, and International Affairs. During his three years at UNH, Ross studied in France, Senegal, Cameroon, and Rwanda.
While in France and Senegal he explored the influence of French colonial and neocolonial ties on modern-day Senegal. The following summer Ross interned at the U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon and conducted an independent research project on the unique challenges facing development NGOs in the country. Ross was then awarded a NSEP Boren Scholarship to study post-genocide reconstruction and reconciliation in Rwanda in addition to conducting independent research on the actions of the French military during the 1994 genocide.
During his time at Stanford, Ross plans to focus his studies on the institutionalization of durable political systems that maintain a respect for human rights both during and after conflict, primarily in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
After the completion of his M.A. in African Studies, Ross plans to continue working with the State Department and pursue a PhD. Finally Ross also hopes to eventually work with a private think tank that promotes democracy and human rights in conflict and post-conflict zones.