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Philip Roessler, Co-Director

Philip Roessler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at William & Mary as well as the Director of the Center for African Development (CAD) at the Global Research Institute at W&M.

Roessler's research and teaching offer new perspectives on conflict, state-building, and development, with a focus on the region of sub-Saharan Africa, where he conducted extensivefield research.

He haswritten two books: Ethnic Politics and State Power in Africa: The Logic of the Coup-Civil War Trap and Why Comrades Go To War: Liberation Politics and the Outbreak of Africa’s Deadliest Conflict, co-authored with Harry Verhoeven of Georgetown University-SFSQ

New research projects address other big questions in the study of development, including: the effects of the mobile phone revolution on women’s empowermentthe impact of Chinese investment and development projects on state capacity and legitimacy; and the causes and consequences of regional inequality in Africa.

Roessler's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the British Academy, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute of International Education and United States Agency for International Development and been published in World PoliticsJournal of Politics, the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics and other outlets.



Iyabo Obasanjo
Iyabo Obasanjo, Co-Director

Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo teaches Public Health courses at the Department of Health Sciences, College of William and Mary. Her PhD is in Epidemiology from Cornell University and she has a Veterinary Degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Masters degree from the University of California at Davis. She did a post-doctoral Fellowship at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and worked as a Project Manager in Clinical Research for many years in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. 

She was appointed Commissioner for Health in Ogun State, Nigeria from 2003 to 2007 and won election to the Nigerian Senate from 2007 to 2011, where she was the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health. 

She has written a memoir of her experiences and life in Nigeria and has over 20 scientific publications. Her current research is on the effectiveness of women leaders in producing sustainable development in African countries. She focuses on public health issues as it affects the medically underserved globally.