September 5, 2018

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Clockwise from top left: Stephen Biddle, Thomas Christensen, Jeffrey Shrader, Tamar Mitts.
Clockwise from top left: Stephen Biddle, Thomas Christensen, Jeffrey Shrader, Tamar Mitts.
SIPA is proud to announce the largest increase in full-time faculty and researchers in several years, including two distinguished experts in international security studies. SIPA also will be joined by numerous high-profile visitors, including former senior diplomats from both India and Chile. Brief descriptions are below.
 

Stephen Biddle, who joins SIPA as professor of international and public affairs, is an expert in security studies who specializes in great power conflict and U.S. defense policy. One of the leading scholars of military affairs of his generation, Biddle is the author of the award-winning, seminal book Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle (Princeton 2004). Biddle, who also is a major policy advisor, has served on the Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board, key strategic assessment teams in locales including Baghdad and Kabul, and several other government advisory panels and analytical teams. He served most recently as a professor at George Washington University. He earned his PhD in public policy at Harvard University.

Thomas J. Christensen, a leading expert in Chinese foreign policy and international security, joins SIPA as a professor of international and public affairs. He is co-director of the Columbia-Harvard China and the World Program, which has relocated from Princeton University, where Christiansen had been a faculty member since 2003. Christensen’s most recent book, The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power (Norton 2016), was an editors’ choice at the New York Times Book Review and book of the year at Foreign Affairs magazine. Christensen served from 2006 to 2008 as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, and continues to hold formal advisory roles in the U.S. government. He earned his PhD in political science at Columbia University.

Tamar Mitts, assistant professor of international and public affairs, uses data science and machine learning to examine the dynamics of conflict and political violence, as well as the causes and consequences of radicalization and violent extremism. Her current research examines the behavior of Islamic State supporters on social media. She holds a PhD in political science from Columbia University and taught previously at the University of Michigan.

Jeffrey Shrader, an assistant professor of international and public affairs, is an environmental and labor economist whose research focuses on how individuals prepare for changing environmental and economic conditions. His, work also examines the benefits and limitations of policy interventions and sheds light on the total economic costs of environmental changes. Before joining SIPA he was a fellow at NYU School of Law. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of California, San Diego.

Simon Chauchard joins SIPA as a lecturer in discipline in political development and politics of policy-making. His research focuses on ethnic politics, political representation, and politician-citizen relations in India. His book Why Representation Matters: The Meaning of Ethnic Quotas in Rural India (Cambridge 2017) explores the impact of caste-based policies in India’s villages. Chauchard earned his PhD at NYU and previously taught at Dartmouth.

Nirupama Menon Rao, one of India’s most distinguished diplomats, will join SIPA as the George W. Ball Adjunct Professor for fall semester. Rao served as foreign secretary of India and as India’s ambassador to the United States. Among other highlights of her career, she was the nation’s first female ambassador to China. Since leaving the diplomatic corps, Rao has held visiting appointments at Brown University and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Juan Gabriel Valdés, who previously served as Chile’s minister of foreign affairs and as ambassador to the United States, will serve as George W. Ball Adjunct Professor for spring semester. Valdés has also been Chile’s ambassador to the United Nations, to Argentina, and to Spain. Valdés holds a PhD in political science from Princeton and has held visiting appointments at Princeton, Notre Dame, and the Sorbonne.

Two post-doctoral scholars have been appointed at the Columbia-Harvard China and the World Program: Andrew Chubb, whose research examines the relationship between Chinese public opinion and foreign policy, earned his PhD in political science and international relations at the University of Western Australia. Wendy Leutert, whose current research examines enterprise reform and institutional change in China's state-owned economy, earned her PhD in government from Cornell University. Finally, Tobias Wille has joined SIPA as postdoctoral fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. His current research includes work on the changing relationship between diplomacy and warfare. Wille earned his PhD in political science from Goethe University Frankfurt.