News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Welcomes New Research Fellows

| September 23, 2011

­­­Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs this week announced its 2011-12 research fellows. While the Belfer Center is the hub of research, teaching, and training in international security affairs and diplomacy, environmental and resource issues, science and technology policy, and conflict studies at Harvard Kennedy School, the heart of the Center is its resident research community. The 32 new fellows join 30 continuing fellows drawn from governments, academia, and the public and private sector.

“Belfer Center is, at its heart, people,” said Kevin Ryan, the Belfer Center’s executive director for research. “The fellows who come to the center refine their ideas and proliferate them among the academics, students and policy makers who come from Washington and other capitals around the globe to hear new ways of thinking about vexing problems.”  

The Belfer Center’s new 2011-12 fellows will spend one or two years conducting research with its International Security Program, Technology and Public Policy Program, Environment and Public Policy Program, Project on Managing the Atom, the Dubai Initiative, and the Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, Science. Some hold joint fellowships.


2011-2012 New Fellows

Dubai Initiative

NOORA LORI is a Ph.D. student in comparative politics and a George Owen Fellow at the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Northwestern University. Her research focuses on identifying forms of interaction between immigration and racism, and their combined effect upon how state and non-state actors shape citizenship laws and practices. She also explores the relationship between immigration and political and economic development, probing especially the interaction between varieties of capitalism and migration regimes.

NIMAH MAZAHERI's research and teaching interests center on comparative political economy with a focus on developing countries, oil and energy sectors, and private sector development in the Middle East and South Asia. His dissertation examines the effect of oil wealth on the regulation of business and the growth of competitive markets. From 2010 to 2011, Mazaheri worked as a consultant at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on various projects that examine natural resources, public financial management, and public goods provision in India. He will receive his PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington in 2011.

Dubai Initiative Associates 

RADWAN ZIADEHis the founder of the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies in Syria and is the author of ten books and numerous articles. In 2008, Ziadeh co-founded and served as the executive director of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C.  Prior to that, he was editor-in-chief of Tyarat magazine and secretary of the Syrian Organization for Transparency. In 2004, as a researcher with the UNDP project Syria 2025, Ziadeh was named best political science researcher in the Arab world by Jordan’s Abdulhameed Shoman Foundation. 

Energy, Technology, Innovation Policy Research Group

MEAGAN MAUTER is a visiting research fellow examining the environmental applications and implications of emerging water technologies. With degrees in civil and environmental engineering and history from Rice University, Mauter recently completed a Ph.D. in chemical and environmental engineering at Yale University. While at Harvard, she will continue working to define structural barriers regarding the implementation of energy-saving water technologies. In so doing, she hopes to improve the formulation of energy and water policy to account for a broader range of social factors, while simultaneously addressing the role that urban management policies can play in alleviating the water/energy crisis.

QIANG ZHI is a joint predoctoral research fellow in the Belfer Center's Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group and at the Center for Science, Technology & Education Policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing. A Ph.D. candidate in the School of Public Policy and Management at the Tsinghua University, Zhi’s primary research interests include national science and technology policy, renewable energy innovation policy, and policy processes. While at Harvard, he will complete his dissertation which explores the role of scientists and politicians in the Chinese decision-making processes in the fields of science, technology, and renewable energy.

Environment and Natural Resources Program

MANFREDI CALTAGIRONE is a fellow with the Environment and Natural Resources Program. His research interests include energy policy and climate change with a focus on low carbon technologies, energy technologies, and international environmental cooperation. Previously, Caltagirone worked as policy advisor at the Italian Ministry for the Environment where he focused on technology transfer and low carbon technologies. As a research fellow at the United Nations Foundation, his work focused on bio-energy and bio-fuel policy in the developing world.

International Security Program

MICHAEL BECKLEY is a doctoral candidate in political science at Columbia University. Beckley’s research focuses on U.S. and Chinese foreign policy, and his dissertation, “The Unipolar Era,” challenges the theory that China is displacing the United States as the world’s dominant power. He has published articles in English and Mandarin Chinese and received several awards, including the International Studies Association's Carl Beck Award and the Journal of Strategic Studies' Amos Perlmutter Prize. Before joining the Belfer Center, he held positions at the RAND Corporation, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Carter Center.

NATHAN BLACK is a Ph.D. candidate in the International Relations and Security Studies Program at MIT. His dissertation, “A State Action Theory to Explain Substate Conflict Contagion,” seeks to explain why sub-state conflicts — violent anti-regime coup attempts or insurgencies — sometimes spread across borders and ignite civil wars in neighboring states. Additionally, Black’s research interests include the security consequences of climate change and political leadership and decision-making. Prior to his graduate studies at MIT, he was a management consultant with Katzenbach Partners in New York City and has a B.A. in history from Rice University.

SARAH BUSH recently received her Ph.D. in political science at Princeton University. After completing her fellowship at Harvard, she will be joining the faculty of Temple University in the fall of 2012. She is currently finishing a manuscript on democracy promotion which looks at how and why the United States and other developed countries turned to democracy promotion at the end of the Cold War, and what the impact of doing so has been on the conduct of politics in countries across the world. Bush’s other recent research include the role of non-state actors in world politics, gender and human rights policy, and the politics of the Middle East. Prior to joining the Belfer Center, she served as co-executive director of Americans for Informed Democracy.

AHSAN BUTT is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Chicago currently completing his dissertation which focuses on the variation in state response to ethno-nationalist independence movements, and looks at the importance of third parties in civil conflict. He has done research on anarchy, hierarchy, and hegemony in international politics. In addition to his academic pursuits, Butt also authors a blog called Five Rupees from which his commentary has been picked up and published by the Pakistani newspaper Dawn and Foreign Policy.

ETHAN CORBIN is a Ph.D. candidate in the International Security Studies Program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, currently completing his dissertation, entitled “Balancing for Power: Syrian Alignment Policies in the Middle East and the Dilemma of Armed Group Agents.” Ethan has published on a variety of topics ranging from Syrian foreign policy, peacekeeping operations, and insurgency and counter-insurgency warfare.  Prior to joining the Belfer Center Corbin worked as a financial analyst for Robertson Stephens Investments and more recently worked for the Departments of State and Defense, respectively.

ERIK LINSTRUM is a Ph.D. candidate and Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy in the Department of History at Harvard University. Linstrum’s dissertation, entitled “Conquest of the Mind: the Psychology of the British Empire, 1989-1963,” is an account of 20th century British experimentation in psychology. His research considers the wide circulation and sometimes unpredictable impact of intelligence testing, psychoanalysis, and other techniques in colonial Africa and Asia, and in Britain itself.  Before joining the Belfer Center, Linstrum was a Mellon Junior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research in London, England.

HASSAN MALIK is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at Harvard and recipient of the Ernest May Fellowship in History and Policy. Malik is currently researching his dissertation which focuses on foreign investment in emerging markets during the first modern age of globalization, looking specifically at Russian, Indian and Latin American examples. He previously worked in Moscow for Troika Dialog, Russia's oldest independent investment bank, where he advised foreign institutional investors on equity investments in the former Soviet Union.

JOSEPH K. MICHALEK is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S.Air Force. He received his Air Force commission in 1994 through the United States Air Force Academy where he earned a B.S. in Human Factors Engineering/Experimental Psychology. During his military career he has flown missions in New York City and Washington, D.C. following the 9/11 attacks and in Pakistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Lt. Col. Michalek also holds the distinction of piloting the first aircraft to cross the Iraqi border in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While at the Belfer Center, Lt. Col. Michalek will continue his national-security related research.

COURTNEY J. RICHARDSON is a Ph.D. candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and also holds a joint appointment as a non-resident predoctoral fellow at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University. Richardson's dissertation, “Image Matters? Image Projection and Chinese Deployments to UN Peacekeeping Missions,” explores Chinese participation in peacekeeping as a means to understand broader trends in Chinese foreign and security policy. Richardson has published in International Peacekeeping and with the Central Party School Press in Beijing. Prior to her doctoral studies, Richardson worked at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., and Jane's Information Group in London.

JOSHUA R. ITZKOWITZ SHIFRINSON is currently a doctoral candidate in the Political Science Department at the MIT and an affiliate of its Security Studies Program. His dissertation, "Lifeon the Downward Slope: The Consequences of Great Power Decline," examines the strategies rival states use to exploit or support the security interests of declining great powers. His research interests include military and diplomatic history, grand strategy, military doctrine, and energy security. Itzkowitz has consulted with the RAND Corporation on evaluating threats to U.S. national security and worked with the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. His work has been published in International Security and The Journal of Political and Military Sociology.

ANJA SLETTELAND is a Fulbright Scholar and Ph.D. candidate from the University of Oslo in Norway. She is currently completing her dissertation, "Damn what I think you're saying: Understanding American perceptions of Israel a a Self-Perpetuating System," which explores how interpretations, subtexts, and taboos regarding Israel are institutionalized in the American society and play out in policy discussions. Between 2008 and 2010 Sletteland worked as a communications consultant for the Geelmuyden.Kiese Group, a leading Nordic business firm offering strategic advice on advertising, public affairs, crisis management, design, finance, and e-commerce.

International Security Program/Dubai Initiative

ANNIE TRACY SAMUEL is a joint predoctoral research fellow in the Belfer Center's International Security Program and Dubai Initiative. A Ph.D. candidate in history at Tel Aviv University, Samuel is also a junior research fellow at its Center for Iranian Studies. Her research interests include Iranian security and foreign policy, civil-military relations, the role of Islam in military and foreign policy, and U.S. policy in the Middle East. Her doctoral dissertation examines the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Iran-Iraq War and analyzes how the Guards have documented the war and their roles in the conflict.

International Security Program/Initiative on Religion in International Affairs

AISHA AHMAD is a Ph.D. candidate at McGill University specializing in political Islamic movements in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia. As a fellow with the Initiative on Religion in International affairs, Ahmad’s research proscribes a political and economic explanation of Islamic state formation in the aforementioned countries, focusing on the ties between business and religious communities and organizations.  In 2011 Ahmad was named director of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, which aims to provide Somali nurses and midwives with quality health care and education, as well as advanced their overall empowerment. 

International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

RONALD G. ALLEN, JR., a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, is a joint research fellow with the International Security Program and the Project on Managing the Atom. Prior to his fellowship with the Belfer Center, Lt. Col. Allen was commander of the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base, in Nebraska.  While stationed there he was responsible for all Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) targeting operations; the training, testing, and operation of the ICBM Airborne Launch Control System; and the analysis of foreign ballistic missile activity.

ROBERT BROWN is assistant professor of political science at Temple University, recipient of the Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship and manages the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation's Public Policy and Nuclear Threats (PPNT) Program. His research interests include international relations theory, international security, arms control, and nuclear issues. In 2008 Brown received his Ph.D. in political science from UC San Diego after completing his dissertation which looked at the selective use international organizations by states to cooperate on threats related to weapons of mass destruction. He is currently writing a book on the International Atomic Energy Agency's role in the nuclear nonproliferation.

TREVOR FINDLAY is a professor and director of the Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. A former Australian diplomat, Findlay holds a doctorate in international affairs from the Australian National University. From 2006–2010, he directed a joint CIGI/CCTC research project on the future of nuclear energy and global governance. At present, Findlay is writing a book, provisionally titled “Awakening the Nuclear Watchdog? The International Atomic Energy Agency in the Twenty-First Century,” which looks at the IAEA’s role in global affairs since the end of the Cold War and its future prospects.

DAVID NUSBAUM has seventeen years of professional experience as a chemical engineer in Israel's nuclear industry. Throughout his career, he has tried to combine his technical background and broad knowledge in chemical and nuclear engineering with more practical, policy-oriented work such as the development of methods for enhancing safeguards in different kinds of nuclear facilities.

JOHN PARK is a senior research associate at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) and holds a M.A. in Philosophy and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. His primary research interests include Northeast Asian economic, energy, and security issues. Park has advised Northeast Asia policy-focused officials at the State Department, Defense Department, National Security Council, and on Congressional committees. Prior to joining USIP, Dr. Park worked in Goldman Sachs's public finance group. Before that, he was the project leader of the Harvard Kennedy School's North Korea Analysis Group. His writings have appeared in numerous publications.

JAMES PLATTE is a Ph.D. candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and International Diplomacy at Tufts University. A Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, Platte’s academic background includes a B.S. and M.S. in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in science, technology, and public policy from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. In years past Platte has analyzed nuclear proliferation issues with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy and with the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control. While at Harvard, Platte will continue researching his dissertation which focuses on national nuclear fuel cycle policy decision-making.

MANSOUR SALSABILI is a senior political expert in the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and part-time lecturer at the University of Tarbiat Moddarress in Tehran. He has contributed to a variety of UN initiatives, including efforts at reforming the Non-Aligned Movement and promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Salsabili has worked with a number of institutions, including the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). Additionally, Salsabili is currently the Director of Research and also a member of the editorial board of the Middle East History Research Institute (MEHRI) in Tehran. While at the Belfer Center Salsabili will continue his work in nuclear non-proliferation as a member of the Managing the Atom Project.

IAN STEWART is a nuclear technologies and proliferation specialist who comes to Harvard from the Project on Proliferation Procurement and Anti-Proliferation in the Private Sector based at King's College, London. His research interests involve understanding and improving export controls and technology sanctions, integrating the private sector into government-led counter-proliferation efforts and on systematically improving the ability of the international community to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Prior to joining the Belfer Center, Stewart held various positions within the British Ministry of Defence, including an attachment to the Defence Staff of the British Embassy, in Washington, D.C.

WILFRED WAN is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of California, Irvine. Wan’s research interests include international organizations, sources of autonomy, nuclear security, and non-proliferation. A recipient of the Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship, his dissertation, tentatively titled "Through the Lens of Institutional Theory: Change and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime," considers the sources, logic, and modalities of change within that security institution.

International Security Program/Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program

LUCAS KELLO is a doctoral candidate in International Relations at Oxford University and a joint research fellow in the International Security Program and the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program. Kello’s work explores the implications of offensive cyber power for international relations. As a former adviser to the European Union (EU) authorities and the Estonian Government on network defense strategy,  Kello’s current research involves the design of a conceptual framework for the analysis of cyber conflict and deterrence in the international system, while his policy research focuses on European and NATO institutional responses to emergent cyber threats.

Project on Managing the Atom

CHI SUNG SONG has twenty-four years experience as a mechanical engineer, holds a Ph.D. from Seoul National University and is director of the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials. Song has an interest in broad policy issues such as the prospects for achieving stated cost, safety, security, and nonproliferation goals and how licensing approaches may need to be modified to address small modular reactors and their practical commercialization strategy. His interests also cover plant engineering, including chemical processing, desalination, and nuclear power plants.

Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Energy Technology Innovation Policy Program

HYUNDO CHOI was most recently a postdoctoral researcher in the Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program at Seoul National University and a part-time researcher for Intergen Consulting Group. Specializing in public policy development and implementation strategy, Choi has consulted government and private enterprises in South Korea since earning a Ph.D. from Seoul National University. While at Harvard, Choi will continue his research which focuses on innovation studies, the emergence of new industrial sectors and social networks within them, and alternative sources energy.

Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Information and Communications Technology and Public Policy Project

VIVEK MOHAN's work examines technological advancement in communications technology, focusing on developing enduring governance principles and frameworks for mobile data and content delivery, as well as international cyber-security collaboration. Prior to joining the Belfer Center, he worked as a legal fellow at Microsoft's Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Vivek holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he served as an editor for the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, as well as a B.A. in economics from UC Berkeley.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Wilke, Sharon. “Belfer Center Welcomes New Research Fellows.” News, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, September 23, 2011.

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