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GRI Newsletter June 2023

Friends of GRI,

When students gathered in the basement of Morton Hall 20 years ago to design the first AidData codebook and the first TRIP survey, they could hardly have imagined where their work would lead. Me neither. As AidData and TRIP celebrate 20 years of student-faculty research, I’m reminded not of any particular discovery, publication, or grant awarded — but of all the humans who made this journey possible. Some of their stories are featured in a new article that chronicles the past two decades and previews what’s to come here at GRI. 

You’ll see some recent results from these investments from 20 years in the tiles below. But what stands out are the personal connections and professional developments that happened along the way. We bring W&M’s liberal arts education out of the classroom and into the lab and the field through mentored research.  As we move forward, I’d love to extend our mentorship model to include W&M alums. GRI is going to pair interested undergraduates with mentors across a variety of fields and expose students to a range of career possibilities. You can sign up here if you’d like to join our group of mentors willing to shape young minds. 

As Jess Jones ‘05 said in the article, “I very much still think of this project as eight people in a computer lab. If you had told me [in 2004] that it would be as big as it is now, I would have laughed in your face.”

Here’s to 20 more years!



Read "From Ideas to Impact: GRI’s Founding Research Labs Celebrate 20 Years"


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As Chinese funding can help eliminate malaria across Africa, Ignite's Julius Nyerere Odhiambo, Aaron Tavel, and Carrie Dolan outline how China can take a transparent, accountable approach.

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GRI Affiliate Sharan Grewal

Tunisia's democratic backsliding should compel the U.S. to reorient its foreign policy towards sustained pressure, as GRI Affiliate Sharan Grewal and Shadi Hamid outline in an open letter to President Biden.

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Security & Foreign Policy Initiative

In a Q&A for GRI's blog, Stephen Wertheim assesses which strategic adjustments the U.S. should make to limit the potential for conflict while responding to contemporary challenges.

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Many Chinese loans go to projects in locations favored by powerful politicians and frequently manifest right before key elections, AidData research — now profiled in an AP analysis — finds.

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American Bosnian Collaboration Project

GRI's American Bosnian Collaboration Project earned a Values in Action award for enacting respectful cross-cultural learning during summer programs for children in Sarajevo.

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Teaching, Research & International Policy Project

New research from the TRIP Project refutes the narrative that academia does not influence policy debates, demonstrating instead that policy engagement is pervasive among IR scholars.

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GRI Affiliate Peyman Jafari

U.S. sanctions have limited Iranians' ability to organize and mobilize for democratic change, while unifying elites and strengthening principles of authoritarianism, GRI Affiliate Peyman Jafari explains in a new podcast episode.

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Call for Mentors

The Global Research Institute seeks professional mentors to engage with William & Mary undergraduates — providing valuable insight into choosing career paths, pursuing graduate programs, switching fields, and more.

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GRI Post-Doctoral Fellow Nara Sritharan

Though Saudi Arabia's major labor, diversification, and fiscal goals have underperformed or regressed, the nation relies on sports to restore its reputation, as Nara Sritharan and Jeffrey Crittenden '24 outline in Inkstick.