Neil Fowler served as associate director of ISS from 2013 to 2014. He holds a masters degree in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Before joining ISS, Neil worked as an adviser to the governments of Indonesia, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. He also managed a UNDP program of reform in Vietnam. Prior to his career in the development sector, Neil was a management consultant with Accenture. Currently, Neil is once working as a consultant on institutional and policy reform to governments of developing countries and fragile states.
Gabriel Kuris served as a senior research specialist from 2011 to 2014, focused on anti-corruption and elections. Previously, he worked to promote human rights and legal reforms in the Philippines, Cambodia, and the Solomon Islands. He also practiced corporate law in London and New York and interned in several US government offices. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. Currently, he is deputy director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School.
Michael Scharff served as a senior research specialist at ISS from 2010-2013. He holds a bachelor's degree in politics from Princeton University. Before joining ISS, he worked in Cambodia for the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD), an organization based at Georgetown University. Michael has also worked in Uganda at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a global relief and development agency, and held internships at the White House and in the film industry in Hollywood, California. He serves on the advisory board of the Princeton in Africa program. Michael is currently pursuing a master of science degree in African Studies at the University of Oxford.
Jonathan Friedman was a senior research specialist at ISS from 2010 to 2013. He holds a bachelor's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Before joining ISS, Jonathan interned with All Africa Global Media in Dakar, Senegal, with the United Nations Regional Center for Disarmament Affairs in Lome, Togo, and with American Jewish World Service in Mbale, Uganda. Jonathan is currently pursuing a masters degree at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and interning with the Office of African Nations in the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Rick Bennet joined ISS as a research specialist after serving as a research associate in national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His areas of interest and research include counterinsurgency, security force assistance and the social foundations of warfare. He holds a master’s degree in war studies from King’s College London and a bachelor of arts from Yale University. He has worked with local NGOs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, interned with the government of the Czech Republic and conducted research trips to a variety of locations, including East Africa, the Philippines, and Colombia. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in war studies at King's College London.
David Hausman completed a term with ISS as a Research Specialist. He joined ISS after working with the Berliner Zeitung, the International Center for Transitional Justice, and Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He lived and worked in Kenya and South Africa after receiving his bachelor's degree from Harvard College. He is currently enrolled in a joint J.D.-Ph.D. program at Stanford University.
Deepa Iyer served as a senior research specialist in 2010-2011. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School with a certificate in South Asian Studies, and a master of science degree in development economics from Oxford University. Before joining ISS, she held summer positions with an urban affairs NGO in India, the Center for Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania and with a hedge fund in London. She currently works with the Oliver Wyman Group in San Francisco.
Itumeleng Makgetla spent 2009-10 as a Research Specialist with ISS. She holds a bachelor's from Harvard (2005) and master's from Oxford, which she attended on a Rhodes Scholarship. Before joining ISS she worked with the Mail & Guardian in South Africa, served as a field producer with Forward Films Africa, and worked on a variety of research projects in Ghana and Pakistan. She speaks Chinese. A citizen of the United States and South Africa, she is currently working with the South African government.
Amy Mawson joined ISS as an elections administration research specialist in October 2009 and served as its associate director from July-December 2010. She has a master's degree in globalization and development and a bachelor's in economic and social studies from the University of Manchester, U.K. Prior to joining ISS, Amy spent two years working with the government of Burundi as an Overseas Development Institute Fellow in Bujumbura. She has also worked at the European Commission's delegation to the U.N. in New York and the European Parliament's Development Committee in Brussels.
Rohan Mukherjee, Research Specialist, holds a bachelor's from Oxford and an MPA degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. Before joining the ISS staff, he worked with the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, with India’s National Knowledge Commission, and with the Clinton Foundation in Lesotho. He received second place in MIT’s Hidden Successes context. A citizen of India, he is now enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Princeton.
Laura Bacon served as the Associate Director from February 2011 through June 2013. Before coming to ISS, Laura served as a White House Fellow. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School. During her graduate studies, Laura worked for Liberia’s Ministry of Gender and Development and Women’s Legislative Caucus as a Cultural Bridge Fellow and technical advisor. Laura’s interest in West Africa derives from her Peace Corps Volunteer experience in Niger (2002-2005), where she helped launch a community-run grain bank and served as the national coordinator of the Young Girls’ Scholarship Program. Laura served as a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, where she managed research projects and co-authored several works, including the National Leadership Index: A National Study of Confidence in Leadership and a chapter in Women and Leadership: The State of Play and Strategies for Change. Laura is currently working in London, where she will serve as Policy Principal at Omidyar Network, focusing on government transparency and accountability.
Daniel Scher served as associate director of the program from 2007-June 2010. Mr. Scher's roots lie in South Africa. A graduate of Princeton University, as associate director, he started the program's interview series, helped develop its website, and contributed several case studies. He is currently completing a law degree at the University of Michigan Law School.
Graeme Blair is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Politics studying the comparative political economy of development. He conducted research in South Africa focusing on opposition politics after Apartheid, and is currently working on a project explaining dominant party politics in Africa. Before coming to Princeton, Graeme worked as an econometrics analyst at an economic consulting firm in Philadelphia, and as an analyst for a survey research firm during the 2006 American elections.
Kim Bothi joined ISS with a background in resource management in developing nations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biosystems engineering from McGill University and a master of science in environmental engineering from Cornell University, in areas of environmental and renewable energy technologies. She earned her doctorate from the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, with a research focus on gender, participatory development and community-based water resource management in Mali. In addition to her studies, she led field work on food security and technology adoption among rural households participating in a market-based conservation program in Zambia. Prior to graduate studies, Kim worked in the Canadian oil and gas industry as an environmental consultant.
Arthur Boutellis worked as a researcher with ISS during the first half of 2008, focusing on police reform in post-conflict contexts, and conducted interviews in French and English in Haiti, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Kosovo and Burundi as well as North America and Europe. He since returned to the field and has been working with United Nations Missions in Burundi, Chad and the Central African Republic and is currently in Haiti. He holds a masters in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. His work with the UN as well as with NGOs and think tanks has been primarily focused on post-conflict reconstruction, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, as well as DDR and security sector reform.
Matt Devlin worked with ISS as a Research Specialist. He joined ISS with a bacherlor's in history from Yale. Previously he had worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he coordinated the Council’s Religion and Foreign Policy initiative, and before joining the CFR he was Assistant Editor at the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo. He is currently completing a degree at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Abdourahmane Idrissa is a Nigerien political scientist. Born and brought up in Niger, he studied Philosophy (Masters) and political science (Diplôme d’études approfondies) at the University of Dakar, in Senegal, before moving to the United States with a Fulbright to carry on his political science studies. He obtained a doctorate from the University of Florida in 2009. Postdoctoral work as a Global Leadership Fellow at Oxford and Princeton led him to develop an expertise in the political economy of West Africa, in addition to his earlier focus on African democratization, political Islam and political theory. Idrissa has published several papers in both English and French as book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles, chiefly on Niger and the Sahelian region. He currently works on West African regionalism and Francophone (African) political philosophy. Idrissa has founded a Niamey, Niger-based training program in political economy and governance which focuses on the Sahel and West Africa region. He also teaches political science courses at the University of Niamey.
Roberto Pitea is a student in the Master of Public Affairs Program at the Woodrow Wilson School. Prior to Princeton, he worked for the International Organization for Migration in Cairo coordinating a community-based health program for migrants in Cairo first, and then working on issues of labor migration and research in Africa and the Middle East. Roberto holds a degree in International Economics and Management from Bocconi University in Milan and has worked as a summer associate with the Milan City Government, focusing on smart city strategies and economic development policies.
Andrew Schalkwyk holds a bachelor's in history from Harvard College. Before starting at ISS he worked at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa's Political Monitoring and Information Services and spent summers at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi, India and the South African Human Rights Commission. While at ISS he was responsible for the development of the civil service reform line of research and traveled to East Africa, South East Asia, the Caucuses and South Asia. He left ISS to pursue a J.D. at Yale Law School.
Michael Woldemariam, Research Specialist (Ph.D., Princeton University)
Michael Woldemariam is an Assistant Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University. In 2010-2011, as a Ph.D. candidate in Princeton's Department of Politics, Woldemariam conducted research in South Africa and Somaliland for ISS. His dissertation and book project, titled “Why Rebels Collide: Factionalism and Fragmentation in African Insurgencies” investigates a common feature of civil wars: the fragmentation of rebel organizations into mutually exclusive, competing groups. The project is based on a comprehensive analysis of Ethiopia’s civil wars and original data on patterns of rebel fragmentation across post-colonial Africa.
Sarah El-Kazaz is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Politics, specializing in the Middle East. Sarah is currently working with us on a study of successful governorships in states where the center’s control over territory is limited. She holds a B.A. from the American University in Cairo and an M.A. from New York University.
Lauren Coleman is a Princeton undergraduate from Nashville, Tennessee. She is a concentrator in the Woodrow Wilson School and is pursuing certificates in French and African-American Studies. An avid traveler, she spent her Spring 2013 semester abroad in Menton, France, where she studied Middle Eastern Politics and Arabic language. At Princeton, she enjoys performing with her improvisational comedy troupe and DJing on WPRB, Princeton's radio station.
Iara Guzman interned for the ISS program in the fall of 2013. She is currently a senior in the Politics Department at Princeton University. Her academic interests revolve around developmental issues in Latin America and Africa. In the past she has interned with multiple international and local NGOs such as Save the Children. A passionate traveler, she studied abroad in La Havana, Cuba where she researched cultural policy. In the future she hopes to continue her career in service working in the developing world.
Leora Friedman is a rising senior at Princeton, where she majors in Politics. Her undergraduate research has focused on the World Health Organization’s effectiveness in combating infectious diseases and the association between child malnutrition and ethnic diversity in Africa. Outside of her classes, Leora sings for Princeton’s premiere Jewish a cappella group, Koleinu, is a founding member of the university’s Student Anti-Violence Effort, and runs Music is Medicine ( www.musicismed.org ), a national nonprofit that harnesses the power of music to make a difference in the lives of seriously-ill children.
Verena Jung is a rising senior at Princeton University. She is currently studying public policy at the Woodrow Wilson School, and her undergraduate research is focused on public sector finance management and debt restructuring in the Eurozone. She spent the summer after freshmen year in Beijing learning Chinese, and her sophomore fall in 2012 in Barcelona, Spain studying Spanish. Outside of school, Verna plays rugby on the women's rugby team at Princeton University.
Brian Reilly is a Woodrow Wilson School major in the class of 2014. His interests are in public service and international relations, particularly security, intelligence, and diplomacy. Originally from McLean, Virginia, Brian spent a year working at a sustainable development NGO in Peru through the Princeton Bridge Year Program. Since then he has studied public policy, history, French, Spanish, and Latin American studies at Princeton. Outside of the classroom, he is a Residential College Adviser in Rockefeller College and a member of the varsity men's lacrosse team.