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Our People

Our work is powered by our people -- from principal investigators and students to staff and affiliated researchers. Learn more about our team below.

GRI Leadership & Research Lab Directors

 


Michael J. Tierney, Director

About: Mike Tierney teaches and does research on international organizations, international political economy, Chinese foreign aid, and the theory-practice divide in international relations. For years he has been doing research on a book about the culture and political economy of beer, but it seems that project always requires additional field work. Visit website.

Social Media: @MikeTierneyIR; LinkedInFacebook

Favorite Restaurant: Casa Pearl

 
Ariel BenYishay, AidData Chief Economist and Research & Evaluation Unit Director

About: Ariel is AidData’s Chief Economist and Associate Professor of Economics at William & Mary. Ariel has served as the principal investigator on a variety of large-scale experiments in developing countries, including Malawi, the Philippines, and the Solomon Islands. Visit website.

Social Media: @ariel_benyishay

Hobbies: I'm an avid distance runner, often pushing my daughter in a jogging stroller with my son pacing me on his bike.

 
Samantha Custer, Director of Policy Analysis, AidData

About: Samantha Custer leads an interdisciplinary research team at AidData, a research lab based at William & Mary, which produces insightful international affairs analysis that is academically rigorous and policy relevant. A driving motivation for her work is to find new ways to quantify concepts, activities, and trends that are historically opaque or difficult-to-measure. Her research focuses on topics such as: measuring perceptions of development partners and assessing external influence in domestic policy. Visit website.

Social Media: @samanthajcuster; LinkedIn

 
Carrie Dolan, Assistant Professor in Health Sciences; Director of Ignite

About: Ignite is a multidisciplinary research lab using data and science to maximize the health of people in resource-limited settings. Ignite's research is grounded in a well-established framework for evidenced-based global health.  The Ignite lab focuses on the effective, efficient, and equitable distribution of global health resources, especially among women and children. Visit website.

Social Media: @CarrieBDolan

Hobbies: running, hiking, yoga, SCUBA diving...anything outside

Jeff Kaplow, Assistant Professor of Government

About: Jeff Kaplow's teaching and research focuses on the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation, the drivers of international and civil conflict, and the effect of institutions on international security. As Director of NukeLab at GRI, Jeff works with undergraduates to apply social science theory and methods to policy relevant issues in nuclear security. Visit website.

Favorite Place on Campus: The parking enforcement office. They love me there!

Rebecca Latourell, GRI Director of Programs & Outreach

About: Rebecca develops and implements communications strategy and student programming for GRI and its ten labs. Additionally, she manages the Summer Fellows Program and the Student Research Innovation Program. Rebecca previously served as a Senior Program Manager at AidData, on of the Institute's research labs, where she managed the Listening to Leaders program.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Hobbies: Raising backyard chickens

 
Ammar A. Malik, PhD

Dr. Ammar A. Malik is Senior Research Scientist at AidData, where he leads the Tracking Underreported Financial Flows program that uses pioneering methods to track and analyze underreported financial flows from non-traditional donors to developing countries. Visit website.

Social Media: @MalikAmmar; LinkedIn

Hobbies: I am an ardent fan of cricket, and regularly play for local clubs during the summer season.

 
Amy Oakes, Associate Professor of Government

About: Through the Project on International Peace and Security, an undergraduate security-focused think tank, Amy and her co-director guide students through the process of crafting fresh approaches to addressing emerging foreign policy challenges. Amy is constantly astonished by the creativity of PIPS students--who would have thought about the geopolitics of sand? Or anticipated so well the security threat from deep fakes and disinformation on social media. Visit website.

Social Media: Facebook

Hobbies: I'm learning how to a fly a plane!

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Brad Parks, Executive Director, AidData

About: My work lies at the intersection of international development research and policy. At AidData, I lead a team of 35 program evaluators, policy analysts, and media and communication professionals who work with governments and international organizations to improve the ways in which overseas investments are targeted, monitored, and evaluated. Visit website.

Social Media: @AidData

Favorite GRI Memory: Wiffle ball and ice pops in the Sunken Gardens with the AidData crew circa 2013

Parks CV

Sue Peterson, Government Department Chair and Co-Director of the Teaching, Research, and International Policy Project (TRIP)

About: Sue Peterson received her B.A. from St. Lawrence University and her PhD from Columbia University.  She teaches courses on international security and US foreign policy.  In 2020 she co-authored Bridging the Theory-Practice Divide in International Relations with fellow government faculty. Sue's research interests include International Relations; International Security; Comparative Foreign Policy; and Global Health. Visit website.

 
Paula M. Pickering, Associate Professor of Government

About: Paula’s research focuses on the impact of aid for peacebuilding, local governance, and civic engagement in South Eastern Europe, as well as the link between information and local accountability in Uganda. Through her mentorship of students in The American-Bosnian Collaboration (ABC) Project, she conducts collaborative research assessing informal educational activities that promote inter-cultural communication skills. Visit website.

Favorite GRI Memory: Reconnecting with ABC Project alumni at GRI homecoming BBQs

 
Philip Roessler, Margaret Hamilton Associate Professor of Government and Director, Africa Research Center and Director, Digital Inclusion and Governance Lab

About: Philip Roessler is the Margaret Hamilton Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Africa Research Center at William & Mary. His research focuses on conflict, long-run development, mobile technology, and African politics. He is the author of Ethnic Politics and State Power in Africa and co-author of Why Comrades Go to War. Visit website.

Social Media: @philip_roessler

Favorite Place to Travel: Swiss alps--we even named our dog, Eiger, after one of the peaks

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Fiona Shen-Bayh, Assistant Professor of Government and Co-Director, Digital Inclusion and Governance Lab 

About: Fiona's research examines the institutional dimensions of autocracy, including the legal and judicial instruments of autocratic rule as well as the challenges of promoting access to equitable justice in the Global South. Visit website.

Hobbies: Anything artistic, mainly drawing and pottery

 
Dennis Alcides Velazco Smith, Project on International Peace and Security Co-Director

About: Dennis A. Velazco Smith is co-director of William & Mary’s Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS), an undergraduate think tank that produces rigorous and original international security analysis for the U.S. national security community. Dennis's research interests include: strategic studies, emerging technologies and national security, coercion, and regime stability. Visit website.

Favorite Restaurants: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! in Chicago (Awesome Spanish Tapas), Agora in Washington, DC. (Awesome Turkish Meze), and The Helmand in Baltimore (To die for Afghan Food)

 
David Trichler, GRI Associate Director

About: David works with research labs and internal and external partners to bring the best of the academia to current global policy challenges. Responsible for strategic planning, external engagement, and cross-cutting initiatives. Former Joint Staff / USAID, current CFR Term Member. Father to two young girls who love dogs, ice cream, and their parents, in that order.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Favorite Place on Campus: The running trails behind Lake Matoaka.

 
Kori Varner, GRI Director of Finance & Administration

About: Kori Varner serves as GRI’s Director of Finance & Administration and is accountable for the management and oversight of all fiscal and administrative operations for the Institute. In addition to providing fiscal leadership for GRI, Kori and her team work to ensure that all administrative and operational priorities are processed efficiently while delivering high quality customer service to the GRI community. Kori has more than 18 years of experience in the public and private sectors.

Hobbies: Burn boot camp!

 
Troy Wiipongwii, Blockchain Lab Director

About: Troy has worked on blockchain projects ranging from the design of arbitrage algorithms to blockchain based machine learning algorithms for microlending. In 2019, with the feedback and support of students and faculty, Troy developed a Blockchain Lab proposal for W&M. In Feb. 2020 with seed funding from W&M and a collaboration between the Global Research Institute and Entrepreneurship Center, W&M Blockchain Lab was formalized. Visit website.

 
Alex Wooley, Partnerships and Communications Director, AidData

About: Alex leads AidData's strategic partnership-building and fundraising, as well as overseeing all external communications. None of this would be possible without his wonderful five-person Partnerships and Communications team. Visit website.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Favorite GRI Memory: In 2019, biking the full length of the C&O Canal trail with GRI boss Mike Tierney.

 
Dr. Kelebogile Zvobgo, Director of the International Justice Lab

About: Dr. Zvobgo's research broadly engages questions in human rights, transitional justice, and international law. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Human Rights, PS: Political Science & Politics, Journal of Political Science Education, and in Foreign Policy Magazine and The Washington Post. Her work has been recognized in the U.S. and abroad, winning multiple awards. Visit website.

Social Media: @kelly_zvobgo

Hobbies: I am an avid traveler and gourmand.

GRI Scholars & Staff
 
Austin Baehr, AidData Program Manager

About: Austin is a Program Manager on AidData’s Transparent Development Footprints program within the Policy Analysis Unit. He manages the program's efforts to create actionable policy insights on the development finance portfolios of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. He has also worked on a solar home system market research project for USAID's Scaling Off-grid Energy team and led a project in southern Kenya analyzing stakeholder attitudes regarding water usage on behalf of MAO Kenya.

 
Luis Baldomero-Quintana, Assistant Professor of Economics and GRI Affiliate

About: Luis does research on International Trade and Development Economics. He uses geospatial and administrative data for the calibration of economics models to answer policy relevant economic research questions. He is also interested in urban and macroeconomic issues in developing countries. Visit website.

Favorite Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 
Bryan Burgess, AidData Junior Program Manager

About: Bryan works at the intersection of financing and policy toward the Sustainable Development Agenda, tracking the alignment of donors' stated priorities and their follow-through. He has also worked on tracking opaque resource flows to civil society actors and on improving the data available to advocates and donors working with refugee, displaced, and trafficked populations.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Favorite Place to Travel: Anywhere by Amtrak. There's no better way to take in the parts of America that lie hidden from the major highway arteries.

 
Peter W. Chiarelli, General, U.S. Army (Retired), Visiting Fellow

About: Peter's focus is building leaders who know how to build multi-disciplinary leadership teams to tackle our most difficult problems. He thinks our most difficult issues/problems will not be solved by experts from a single discipline — leaders need to think multi-discipline.

Hobbies: golf, baseball, football and cheering for the team that is playing against the NY Yankees or Alabama Crimson Tide

 
Vera Choo, AidData Data Analyst

About: Vera Choo is a Junior Data Analyst with the Policy Analysis Unit. She provides research and data support on a variety of AidData projects. Prior to joining AidData, Vera was a data scientist at the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Project, where she developed a data dashboard and helped with data analysis and visualization.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Favorite Place on Campus: It's a secret! My second favorite is Lake Matoaka at night.

 
Tingting (Rachel) Chung, Clinical Associate Professor of Business Analytics

About: Dr. Tingting (Rachel) Chung, Clinical Associate Professor of Business Analytics, studies technology and fraud with support from ACFE Research Institute (ARI), Blockchain Lab of William & Mary, and National Security Agency. Her awards include IBM Faculty Award, and Faculty Excellence Award from the MSBA program at William & Mary. Visit website.

Hobbies: cooking

 
Zach Conrad, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, GRI Faculty Affiliate

About: Zach's team combines methods from epidemiology and data science to understand how food choices influence the four domains of sustainability: health, environment, economy, and society. The team's goal is to evaluate the trade-offs and synergies between these domains so consumers, clinicians, and policymakers have the tools they need to support our biological and social systems. Visit website.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Favorite Place to Travel: North Dakota

 
Jawaly Coriano, Financial and Business Analytics Manager

About: Jawaly serves as Financial & Business Analytical Manager, and provides accounting support. She is accountable for preparation and submission of all Labor Allocations related to AidData projects. In addition she provides assistance regarding budgets, travel and allowable purchases. Jawaly has more than 25 years of experience in the GRANT sectors.

Favorite GRI Memory: I enjoy every GRI event; however, the Shark Tank is one of my heart treasure. 

 
John Custer, AidData Senior Communications Manager

About: John Custer is AidData's Senior Communications Manager and member of AidData's Partnerships and Communications team. This team supports AidData.org, its blog, data visualizations, interactive dashboards, and flagship reports through writing, editing, graphic design, data wrangling, and front end development. Visit website.

 
Emily Dumont, AidData Program Manager

About: As a Program Manager at AidData, Emily manages research, analysis, and policy outreach involving donors such as Russia and China. She specializes in foreign policy research issues including civil society, media, and security.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Favorite Place to Travel: Switzerland

 
Irene Entringer Garcia Blanes, TRIP Project Manager

About: Irene is one of the project managers on the TRIP team, where she helps manage the day-to-day research activities of TRIP in its efforts to "bridge the gap" between the study and practice of international relations.

Social Media: Twitter: @EntringerIrene

Hobbies: If its warm outside you can find me walking or hiking around. However, if it’s cold I will be inside doing jigsaw puzzles.

 
Shahrokh Fardoust, Research Professor

About: Dr. Fardoust 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 for development economics at the World Bank, where he contributed to the research and policy priorities of the chief economist and ensured the operational relevance of the Bank's research.

Twitter: @sfardoust

 
Kathryn H. Floyd, Director, GRI e-internship Program and Director, Whole of Government Center of Excellence

About: Our virtual or e-internship program links students from Williamsburg or their homes with national security and foreign affairs organizations all over the world. During the regular academic year, students can devote 10 hours a week to this internship and more during the summer. Whether research, communications, or some other activity, our students are here to be stars! Visit website.

Social Media: @khfloyd and LinkedIn

Hobbies: Adoring my French bulldog, gardening for bees and butterflies, and reading fiction

 
Seth Goodman, AidData Data Engineer

About: As a member of AidData's Research & Evaluation Unit, Seth utilizes convolutional neural networks and other machine learning techniques to produce estimates of development indicators based on satellite imagery and other geospatial data. Seth also developed GeoQuery, AidData’s free spatial data platform, which enables individuals and organizations without significant computing power or data science expertise to freely find and aggregate satellite, economic, health, conflict, and other geospatial data into a single, simple-to-use spreadsheet file. Visit website.

Favorite Place on Campus: The trails around Lake Matoaka are a great place to go for a run or walk; and lets you feel like you are deep in the forest despite being just minutes from central campus.

 
Sharan Grewal, Assistant Professor of Government and GRI Faculty Affiliate

About: Sharan is a political scientist with expertise on the Middle East and North Africa. His research interests include revolutions, democratization, security studies, and political Islam. He has published in academic journals like the American Political Science Review and policy outlets like Brookings, Carnegie, Foreign Policy, and the Washington Post. Visit website.

Social Media: @sh_grewal

Favorite Restaurant: Il Canale pizza in Washington DC

 
Stephen E. Hanson, Lettie Pate Evans Professor of Government and Vice Provost for International Affairs, GRI Faculty Affiliate

About: Stephen E. Hanson is Vice Provost for International Affairs and Lettie Pate Evans Professor in the Department of Government at William & Mary. A specialist in Russian, Soviet, and post-communist politics, he has written, edited, or collaborated on numerous scholarly articles and six books, including Time and Revolution: Marxism and the Design of Soviet Institutions. Visit website.

Favorite Place on Campus: The Wren Vista overlooking the Sunken Garden

 
Marcus Holmes, Associate Professor of Government, GRI Faculty Affiliate

About: Professor Holmes is interested in diplomacy, particularly strategies relating to conflict reduction and trust-building. He uses an interdisciplinary approach, combining political science with psychology, sociology, and neuroscience, to better understand the conditions under which leaders build productive relationships with one another. Visit website.

Social Media: @prof_mholmes

Favorite GRI Memory: My book workshop!

 
Amber Hutchinson, AidData Junior Data Analyst

About: Amber is a Junior Data Analyst in AidData's Policy Analysis Unit, where she supports data analysis and research efforts on a variety of projects. She previously worked as a Research Fellow for Brigham Young University's Global Politics Lab conducting political science survey experiments on populism, religiosity, and democracy in Thailand and the United Kingdom. 

Social Media: LinkedIn

Hobbies: Rock climbing and rappelling!

 
Eric R. Jensen, Visiting Scholar Affiliate

About: Eric is an economist who has worked assessing the impact of HIV-AIDS interventions in Indonesia and has done extensive work with teams in Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines using country-specific DHS data.  HIs interests lie in assessing the economic determinants and impacts of behavior.

Favorite Restaurant: The Fat Canary

 
Parker Kim, AidData Communications Associate

About: Parker creates the graphic assets for AidData's publications, such as the cover art, along with formatting reports, creating social media graphics, and graphics on AidData's website. 

Favorite Place to Travel: Korea, for the food and beautiful scenery!

 
Rodney Knight, AidData Deputy Director of Research

About: Dr. Rodney Knight is Deputy Director of Research of AidData's Policy and Analysis Unit. He leads a team of analysts who collect data and conduct research on public policy, development aid effectiveness, public diplomacy, energy security, and media freedom and resilience.

 
Tanu Kumar, Postdoctoral Researcher

About: Tanu's work is on the politics and economics of developing countries, particularly India and countries in Africa. These days, she studies how policies to house and provide essential services to growing urban populations shape, and are further shaped by, the behavior of urban citizens and politicians. She also studies how low-income households use mobile technology. Visit website.

Social Media: @tanu_kumar1

Hobbies: Running, trying out new restaurants, cheese making

 
Donald F. Larson

About: Donald F. Larson is an independent researcher and founder of the International Institute for Development and Environmental Studies. He has worked with governments on policy issues in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America and the South Pacific. Don was also part of a World Bank team that launched the first climate-finance fund, the Prototype Carbon Fund, in 1999. Visit website.

 
Brook Lautenslager, AidData Software Lead

About: Brook works with teams within AidData to streamline their data collection process using software development solutions. She also works with teams to build various external dashboards, websites and decision support tools for various customers.

Social Media: LinkedIn
Favorite Place to Travel: Anywhere warm, preferably on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean.

 
Miranda Lv, GIS Analyst

About: Miranda is a GIS Analyst at AidData located at the College of William and Mary. She has extensive experience in spatial analysis, management of geospatial databases, open source applications, and software development. Miranda holds an MS in GIS and an MS in Environmental Science and Policy from Clark University.

 
Kelsey Marshall, AidData Junior Program Manager

About: Kelsey works on identifying gaps between the development goals of leaders in low- and middle-income countries and international donors backing those projects. Her primary responsibilities include assisting in data collection efforts, managing research assistants, and finding ways to improve the LTL sampling frame.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Favorite Movie: Pleasantville (1998), featuring a young Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon.

 
Divya Grace Mathew, AidData Policy Specialist

About: Divya works with the Policy Analysis Unit at AidData. She researches and analyses data on threats to the civic space, both domestic and foreign, in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. She also studies the US and China's public diplomacy efforts in South and Central Asia.

Favorite Place on Campus: Any of the window reading nooks on the 4th floor of Tyler Hall

 
Alexandra Murphy, TRIP Project Manager

About: As one of the project managers on the TRIP team, Alexandra helps manages the day-to-day research activities of TRIP in its work to understand the relationship between the study and practice of International Relations. Visit website.

Social Media: Twitter; Instagram; Facebook; Linkedin

Hobbies: If I'm not working at GRI I'm definitely baking a pie.

Julius Nyerere Odhiambo, Postdoctoral Fellow

About: Julius Nyerere Odhiambo is a GRI postdoctoral researcher working with Ignite. His research focus has been in the spatial epidemiology domain, which focuses on quantifying the joint burden of disease, health outcomes, and their associated determinants at policy-relevant thresholds, particularly in resource-constrained settings.

 
Katherine Nolan, AidData Senior Research Analyst

About: Katherine Nolan is a Senior Research Analyst at AidData where she implements impact evaluations on a variety of topics including health, gender, and governance. She designs, manages, and oversees in-country evaluations across Africa and Asia. Visit website.

Hobbies: Horse back riding, paddle boarding, and soccer

 
Soren Patterson, AidData Communications Associate

About: Soren is AidData's Communications Associate, working to increase the lab's reach and visibility by publicizing and promoting its unique activities. Soren writes for and edits AidData's blog, The First Tranche, creates content for its social media and web presence, edits flagship reports, and produces data visualizations, maps, and interactive dashboards.

Social Media: Twitter; LinkedIn; Facebook

Hobbies: Reading, cross stitching and embroidery, hiking, and scuba diving

 
Ryan Powers, Co-Director of the Teaching, Research, and International Policy Project and Visiting Scholar Affiliate

About: Ryan studies the domestic politics of International cooperation and compliance, reputation and status, and public opinion on foreign policy. In addition, he is a co-Principal Investigator on the Teaching, Research, and International Policy Project. Visit website.

Social Media: @rmpowers

 
Martha Reilly, GRI Communications & Engagement Associate

About: Martha helps to publicize GRI's research to a range of audiences. Beyond managing social media and other communications efforts, Martha promotes community at GRI through event support and planning.  She earned an MSc in Politics and Communication in London and wrote a dissertation on how modern dynastic elites represent their status.

Hobbies: Walking everywhere, taking dance classes

 
Mitchell B. Reiss, Ambassador (ret.), Visiting Fellow Affiliate

About: Traditionally, Mitchell's work has focused on arms control and nuclear proliferation. Recently, he has been researching and writing on the future of US-China relations.

Hobbies: Golf and tennis. The Godfather 1 and 2 Italy and the UK

 
Brooke Russell, AidData Associate Director, Tracking Underreported Financial Flows

About: Brooke works with the Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF) team to systematically collect and classify information on Official Finance activities by opaque donors. The team's largest project is currently producing a dataset from 2000-2019 that sheds light on China's lending and granting activities globally. Visit website.

Favorite Place to Travel: Anywhere! I love to travel to see new things and enjoy time spent with family.

 
Rachel Sayers, AidData Senior Research Analyst

About: Rachel combines econometric and GIS analysis methods to design and conduct rigorous evaluations with an emphasis on causal identification. Her primary research interests are labor markets, human capital, household bargaining, and gender.

Hobbies: Hiking with my dogs

 
Admasu Shiferaw, Associate Professor of Economics

About: Prof. Shiferaw is a development economist with research interests in the behavior and performance of firms in Sub-Saharan Africa. His recent research also examines the dynamics of job and worker reallocation across firms, and the implications of labor market regulations and social protection programs on these processes. Visit website.

Favorite Restaurant: Baker's Crust

 
Kunwar K. Singh, AidData Geospatial Scientist

About: Kunwar is a Geospatial Scientist at AidData and an Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Geospatial Analysis at William & Mary. His research focuses on land and vegetation dynamics and their impacts on natural resources. Kunwar has extensive experience in remote sensing data acquisition, processing, and analysis, including the applications of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and drones to measure, map, and model landscape characteristics and resources. Visit website.

Hobbies: Photography, yoga, bonsai

 
Jonathan A. Solis, AidData Senior Research Analyst

About: Jonathan studies media systems in developing and democratizing countries. His work specifically focuses on media freedom, media resilience, and the physical integrity of journalists and media personnel.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Hobbies: I've played Capoeira for 10 years (Grupo Arte Reviver). My back flip is halfway there. O capoeirista não cai, mas se um dia ele cai, cai bem...

 
Kyra Solomon, AidData Junior Program Manager

About: Kyra Solomon supports the Tracking Underreported Financial Flows team at AidData by conducting data quality assurance, managing research assistants, and contributing to data analysis. Kyra was selected as a 2019 Boren Scholar to China and graduated from William & Mary with a BA in International Relations and Economics. Her research interests include U.S.-China relations, international security, global development, and media.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Favorite Place to Travel: I love to travel anywhere I can take interesting photos and that is warm.

 
Carla Talbert, GRI Fiscal & Administrative Coordinator

About: As student ambassador, Carla works with the supervisors to process the hiring of our student researchers that include I-9 verifications, Social Security Letters, manual timesheet assistance and all around general “How may I help you?” assistance. Carla also oversees the facility to make sure the building and grounds are in working order and supplied for our daily needs. Hired as fiscal and administrative coordinator in January of 2018, Carla came to GRI immediately after retiring from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Hobbies: Gardening and music.

Favorite Place to Travel: Cruising!

 
Jessica Trisko Darden, Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

About: Dr. Trisko Darden researches political violence and efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism. Her book "Aiding and Abetting: US Foreign Assistance and State Violence," explores the consequences of US foreign aid policy for human rights in aid recipient countries. Two other books, "Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars" and "Women as War Criminals: Gender, Agency, and Justice" examine women as agents of political violence. Visit website.

Social Media: @triskodarden

Hobbies: I hope to run an Alpaca farm, someday.

 
Katherine Walsh, AidData Program Manager

About: Katherine Walsh is a Program Manager for the Transparent Development Footprints team at AidData, an international development research lab at William & Mary’s Global Research Institute. She supports the team in tracking underreported financial flows from non-traditional donor countries through project and client management, supervising staff and student team members, conducting quality assurance, and contributing to data analysis.

Social Media: LinkedIn

Favorite Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude

 
Jessica Wells, AidData Senior Program Manager

About: Jessica manages research collaborations with USAID, the Hewlett Foundation, and other agencies. In particular, she has worked on projects exploring women's empowerment and violence against children, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Hobbies: Outside of work, Jessica coaches a youth water polo team and enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family.

 
Yu Amy Xia, Associate Professor of Business Analytics

About: Dr. Yu Amy Xia is an Associate Professor of Business Analytics in Mason School of Business of William and Mary. Her recent research projects focus on the integration of emerging technologies such as blockchain and AI into supply chain management to increase operation efficiency and mitigate supply chain risk. Visit website.

Social Media: LinkedIn 

Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump

 
Lincoln Zaleski

About: Lincoln is a Junior Program Manager for the Tracking Development Footprints (TDF) team, focused on tracking Chinese official financing and Russian disinformation. A former research assistant for the TDF team, he currently supports the team by conducting quality assurance on the Chinese official financing dataset, managing student researchers, and contributing to policy and research analysis.

 
Sheng Zhang, AidData Junior Program Manager

About: Sheng is a Junior Program Manager in the Transparent Development Footprints program at AidData. He supports the team in tracking underreported financial flows by conducting research and data quality assurance, recruiting and managing research assistants, and contributing to data analysis. He holds an MA in Public Management from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Economics from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.

Favorite Place on Campus: Martha Wren Briggs Amphitheatre at Lake Matoaka