Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

GRI Newsletter October 2022

Dear friends of GRI,

It was great to see many of you at our Homecoming BBQ last month. W&M alumni are doing so many fantastic things, it’s hard to keep up! If you happen to be in the DC area on November 4th, please join us at the new W&M Washington Center for a bi-partisan discussion of U.S. foreign policy. Come for the brain food and stay for the real food following the event.

If you are looking for inspiration, I’d encourage you to follow our ongoing blog series written by GRI Summer Fellows who recently returned from the field. These students conduct applied research with W&M faculty members or external partners in countries around the world. According to Anna Glass ‘24, who spent the summer in Uganda, “My work with Dr. Kumar helped encourage my interest in data science … and gave me the tools to follow the career path that I want.”

Anna is not alone. GRI researchers collaborate with students across a broad range of issue areas and teach them how to deploy data science tools to answer important real-world questions. The 12 stories in this issue of our newsletter are illustrative. AidData’s Chief Economist Ariel Ben Yishay recently received a $4.75 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that leverages AI and Machine Learning to understand the effectiveness of different interventions designed to improve climate change resiliency. NukeLab Director Jeff Kaplow is working with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to predict nuclear proliferation risks. Digital Inclusion & Governance Lab Co-Director Fiona Shen-Bayh works with her students to convert text from decaying paper documents into data, which they analyze to answer questions about democracy, autocracy, and justice in Africa.

On her arrival, President Rowe identified something that holds true today:  We should educate our students so that graduates are: “Data- and tech-savvy, grounded in the breadth of arts and sciences, and with the wisdom to find value both in continuity and in change.” At GRI, we do just that. It’s in our DNA.

Please stay in touch! We love hearing from you!




In work funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, NukeLab students and Director Jeff Kaplow employed data science methods to predict the countries most likely to seek nuclear weapons.

Digital Inclusion & Governance Lab

DIGLab Co-Director Fiona Shen-Bayh's new book considers how courts can be used to repress political challengers, institutionalize punishment, and undermine the rule of law.

GRI Affiliate Sharan Grewal

New research from GRI Affiliate Sharan Grewal and Shadi Hamid assesses how prejudice affects political attitudes, analyzing a survey of 1,330 Muslims in Germany.


AidData will use a new four-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to leverage AI and Machine Learning to study agriculture and climate resiliency.


Routine conditions can become tragic when surgical care is unavailable, Ignite Director Carrie Dolan shows in a STAT op-ed referencing a BMJ Open article she wrote in collaboration with students.

Teaching, Research & International Policy Project

Ryan Powers '08 used a TRIP survey of U.S. policymakers with embedded experiments to explain why these policymakers prefer trade deals with democratic — rather than autocratic — countries.

Project on International Peace and Security

PIPS Fellow Kevin Bloodworth '23 worked with Charles S. Gascon at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to develop a framework for estimating the cost and affordability of center-based child care across U.S. states.

Digital Inclusion & Governance Lab

In a co-authored white paper, DIGLab Co-Director Phil Roessler sets out a research and policy agenda for studying and maximizing the impact of instant payment systems, which are being deployed in Brazil, India, Tanzania and other emerging economies.

GRI Affiliate Sharan Grewal

A series of citizen debates in Tunisia showed that progressive reinterpretations of religious texts did not produce compromise between secular liberal and religious conservatives, according to Sharan Grewal and Matthew Cebul.


As specialists consider how China might respond to countries that can't pay back debts, AidData's Executive Director Brad Parks adds evidence of Argentina's climbing interest payment.

GRI Affiliate Zach Conrad

In an installment of The Keri Report, GRI Affiliate Zach Conrad shares research on the comparative diet quality of five popular diet patterns and considers the effect of food substitutions on diet quality.

Digital Inclusion & Governance Lab

To examine the psychological, implicit biases driving judicial outcomes in Kenya, DIGLab Co-Director Professor Fiona Shen-Bayh and co-authors built a dataset of almost 10,000 criminal appeals that was analyzed using innovative text-as-data methodologies.