William & Mary

Faculty / Staff Leadership at AidData W&M

Brad Parks

Brad Parks (‘03) is Co-Executive Director of AidData and Research Faculty at the College of William and Mary's Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations. After graduating with a BA in International Relations from the College of William and Mary, Brad administered the Millennium        Challenge Corporation’s annual country selection process and managed anti-corruption and judicial reform programs in Indonesia and the Philippines. Brad holds a PhD in International Relations and an MS in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Alexander Wooley is Director of Strategic Partnerships for AidData. He previously worked as Vice President for Communications and Development at InterMedia, overseeing projects with the Department of State, USAID, World Bank, Gates Foundation. Elsewhere he oversaw the start-up of a USAID-funded media development program in Sierra Leone, and served as a consultant with BBC Media Action.  A former editor of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Alex has written for Foreign Affairs (online), Public Diplomacy Magazine and The Huffington Post. Alex holds an MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University.

Samantha Custer

Samantha Custer is the Director of Policy Analysis for AidData. She has co-authored World Bank papers on open data and citizen feedback with the Open Development Technology Alliance, and assisted former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to teach a class on foreign policy. Samantha previously advised on multilingual education policy with SIL International, overseeing two country offices and coordinating the advocacy efforts of the Asia Multilingual Education Working Group for UNESCO. She holds a dual masters in Foreign Service and Public Policy from Georgetown University.

David Trichler

David Trichler is Director of Operations at AidData. Previously, David served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to USAID's Chief Economist as a Presidential Management Fellow. He worked as a faculty assistant to Secretary Madeleine Albright, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios and as a consultant for the World Bank and ExxonMobil Foundation. He holds a MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and BA from Brigham Young University.

Ariel BenYishay is AidData’s Chief Economist and Assistant Professor of Economics at the College of William and Mary. He previously served as Lecturer in Economics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He also served as Associate Director of Economic Analysis and Evaluation at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Ariel holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland.

Dan Runfola - AidData's Geospatial Scientist at the College of William and Mary

Dan Runfola is AidData's Geospatial Scientist and at the College of William and Mary's Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations. He is working to integrate AidData's information into better decisions regarding aid allocation. Dan holds a PhD and MA in Geography from Clark University, and a BA in Geography from Georgia State University. 


Tyler Frazier is a Geospatial Scientist at AidData and a Research Assistant Professor and Adjunct Lecturer at the College of William & Mary. Prior to joining AidData, Tyler was a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Technical University of Berlin and the Center for Development Research (ZEF) in Bonn with 8 years of combined development research experience related to field work in West Africa. Tyler holds his PhD in Geography from the University of Bonn.