Brad Parks is Co-Executive Director of AidData, Research Faculty at the College of William & Mary's Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations, and a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, Brad served as an Associate Director of Development Policy at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. He has written and contributed to several books and articles on international political economy, global environmental politics, and the allocation and efficacy of foreign assistance. He holds a BA in International Relations from William & Mary and an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Michael Tierney is a co-founder of AidData, Director of the Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations, and Director of International Relations and Associate Professor of Government at William & Mary. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 2003. His interests include international organizations, international relations theory, political economy of development and institutions, and foreign aid. He has written numerous articles and book chapters applying agency theory to cases in international relations.
Rob Blair is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Yale University. His research focuses on peace building, state building and the dynamics of ethnic and political violence. Blair has conducted fieldwork in Colombia, Liberia and C'ote d'Ivoire. He has worked in various capacities for the UN Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Freedom House and the Small Arms Survey.
Samantha Custer is Director of Communications and Policy Outreach at AidData. Samantha brings to AidData a diversified portfolio of experience in promoting good governance that cuts across traditional boundaries between academia, policy and practice. She has advised on education and language policy in Southeast Asia with SIL International (Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc), overseeing two country offices and coordinating the advocacy efforts of the Bangkok Multilingual Education Working Group for UNESCO. With Save the Children, Samantha conducted performance audits for sponsorship-funded programs in Latin America. Actively involved in research and academia, she has co-authored several World Bank papers on open data and citizen feedback with the Open Development Technology Alliance, as well as assisting former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to teach a class on U.S. Foreign Policy. Samantha holds masters degrees in Foreign Service and Public Policy, graduating with highest distinction from Georgetown University.
Albert Decatur is AidData's Geospatial Database Analyst at the College of William and Mary. He has taught courses and workshops in open source GIS and has experience in database management and systems and network administration. Albert is proficient in the shell, Perl, SQL, and R programming languages. His past projects include creating the methods to map 4.5 billion pixels worth of land-cover for suburban Boston, selecting 10,000 households for a team of social scientists to survey, measuring vegetation damage due to northern hemisphere hurricanes and typhoons between 2002 and 2010, and creating a database of historical Russian weather. Albert received his B.A. in Geography from Clark University in Massachusetts.
Carrie Dolan is the Global Health Technical Grant Writer for AidData. Carrie is also a Research Fellow in Public Policy at the College of William & Mary. She received her MPH from Tulane in 2005 and is currently pursuing her PhD in Healthcare Policy and Research at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dolan has over 10 years of experience in the use of spatial tools such as geographic information systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and spatial analysis. She has written several articles on methods and techniques that utilize geocoded data to examine health outcomes. Dolan has collaborated with health development projects to use spatial data in several countries including Kenya, Zambia, Mexico, Botswana, Ghana, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Haiti.
Shahrokh Fardoust, PhD, a research professor at AidData, has more than 30 years’ experience in crafting economic development policy and analyzing the global economy and prospects. From 2008 to 2011, he was Director of Strategy and Operations, Development Economics, the World Bank, where he contributed to the research and policy priorities of the Chief Economist, the G20’s development agenda, and the review and quality assurance of the World Bank’s major policy papers and analytical reports. His previous senior positions at the World Bank included Senior Adviser to the Director-General of the Independent Evaluation Group and Senior Economic Adviser to the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.
Rob Hicks is an Associate Professor of Economics at the College of William & Mary. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1997. He has published in the area of environmental economics, applied econometrics, and international development finance.
Scott Ickes is a professor of international nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at the College of William & Mary. His research focuses on understanding the causes of poor nutrition, and in identifying and testing innovative methods for promoting maternal and child health. His past and current research projects have been located in Uganda Malawi and the Southeastern United States. Dr. Ickes co-directs the public health minor and directs the Public Health Nutrition Lab. His research group involves William & Mary students in multiple interdisciplinary research studies. Current projects include 1) understanding the determinants of parental involvement in child nutrition programs; 2) testing the impact of ready-to-use foods on cognitive development among children suffering from severe malnutrition; and 3) modeling the role of maternal empowerment on child feeding and nutrition outcomes in countries with a high prevalence of child growth faltering.
Marco Millones is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Geospatial Analysis at the College of William & Mary. He received his PhD from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University and a Master’s degree from the University of Miami. He has 10 years of academic and professional experience with applications of Geospatial Analysis for land use/cover dynamics, sustainability indicators and development policy. He has been involved in a wide range of projects including: creating spatially explicit ways to prioritize public investment in Peru; assessing hurricane damage with satellite imagery in the Caribbean; and, evaluating child lead poisoning risk in urban areas in the USA by combing cadastral data with individual medical records. Most recently he has analyzed land use/cover trends and drivers in the Mexican Yucatan using remotely sensed fire data, regional trade flow records, and forest extraction permit archives. Millones has published his work in the International Journal of Remote Sensing, Transactions in GIS and Science in China among other academic journals and has taught courses in introductory and advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Philip Roessler is an Assistant Professor at the College of William & Mary. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science in 2007 from the University of Maryland and has held fellowships at Stanford University and Oxford University. His research offers a new understanding of the politics of civil war onset, conceiving of large-scale political violence as a function of the strategies rulers choose to prevent coups from regime insiders. His research has been published in World Politics, American Journal of Political Science and other journals. His 2011 World Politics article, "The Enemy Within," won the Gregory Luebbert Award from the American Political Science Association for best paper in comparative politics for 2010 or 2011. In addition to his work on the coup-civil war nexus in Africa, he is a co-PI on a multi-year panel survey that examines the effects of state partition on identity, political attitudes and migration in Sudan.
Dan Miller Runfola is AidData's Geospatial Scientist at the College of William and Mary. He previously worked on research projects for the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers examining the use of Geographic Information Science (GIS) in climate-change related decision making. Currently, he is working to integrate AidData's information into better decisions regarding aid allocation. Dan has widely published his work in a number of high-profile outlets, including recent contributions to the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fifth assessment report. Dan holds a PhD and MA in Geography from Clark University, and a BA in Geography from Georgia State University.
Alena Stern is an AidData Project Manager at William & Mary's Institute for Theory and Practice of International Relations. Her responsibilities include donor relations, program management, and monitoring and evaluation. Prior to joining AidData, Alena worked as an Associate at Chemonics International. Alena received her BA in International Relations and Economics from William & Mary.
David Trichler is Director of Operations at AidData. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of AidData programs and partnerships at William & Mary's Institute for Theory and Practice of International Relations. Previously, David served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Special Assistant to the USAID's Chief Economist as a Presidential Management Fellow. He holds a master's degree in foreign relations from Georgetown University (graduating with highest distinction), during which time he worked as faculty assistant to Secretary Madeleine K. Albright and as researcher for former USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios. David also served as an adviser to the ExxonMobil Foundation and as a consultant for the World Bank. Prior to his time at Georgetown, David worked as a development adviser mapping micro-credit and community network for projects in Namibia, Morocco, Brazil and Bolivia. In his spare time, he enjoys river rafting while perusing the Economist. David is fortuitously married to his dream girl, and received his bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University, graduating Valedictorian.
Rachel Trichler is a Senior Program Manager and Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at AidData. Rachel previously worked at the World Bank, where she focused on maternal and child health as part of the Independent Evaluation Group’s impact evaluation team. At AidData, she will oversee work with the Canadian International Development Agency related to nutrition resource tracking and provide leadership on a range of monitoring and evaluation issues. Previously, Rachel has supported various M&E activities for the U.S. Government at Social Impact, contributed to quantitative and economic analysis at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and provided recommendations to improve an HIV/AIDS community action program in South Africa. Rachel holds a master’s degree from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, where she served as Executive Print Editor of the Georgetown Public Policy Review.
Maurits van der Veen joined the Department of Government at the College of William & Mary as an Assistant Professor in 2010. He received his BA from Dartmouth College, an MS in computer science from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University. His research examines the various ways policymakers think about ("frame") foreign policy issues, and the impact that different frames, in turn, have on actual policy choices. He has applied this approach to the study of foreign aid policy in Western Europe and the United States, the politics of European integration and EU enlargement, and the terminology used to describe massive human rights violations. He also develops agent-based computational models to analyze the impact of social networks on the spread of foreign policy frames, and of ideas more generally.
AidData William & Mary Staff
Daniel Gamboa is a Visiting Research Associate at AidData. His responsibilities include research and collaboration with emerging development partners. Daniel holds a BA in international relations from Fray Bartolome de las Casas University, and an MA in international development cooperation from Instituto Mora in Mexico.
Doug Nicholson is currently an AidData Post-Baccalaureate Fellow at W&M's Institute for Theory and Practice of International Relations. He manages all data collection, coding, cleaning, and arbitration activities at W&M. He also facilitates independent research and student-faculty research opportunities for more than 40 AidData student research assistants and interns. He holds a BA in Economics and Neuroscience from the College of William & Mary.
Austin Strange is a Research Associate at AidData, where he helps lead a media-based data collection (MBDC) initiative cataloguing China's aid and investment activities in Africa. Currently based in Beijing, China, he is also a Researcher for the U.S. Naval War College's China Maritime Studies Institute. Strange received a BA in Economics and Chinese from The College of William & Mary in May 2012, and his research interests lie at the intersection of international development, Chinese political economy, energy security and military development.