Peyton is a Master's candidate at Harvard's Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia area studies program. In 2015, he earned his B.A. in international affairs and Russian from Wake Forest University. As an undergraduate, he studied in Moscow, travelled throughout Georgia and Armenia, and worked as a political science research assistant. His undergraduate research focused on Russian party politics and NATO expansion. His current research interests reside in Russian foreign policy, particularly current Russian engagement in Africa.