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Williamsburg, VA 23185


Director Mike Tierney


In the World shares the latest news from ITPIR, the Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations at William & Mary. 


This issue highlights student work in developing countries, breakthrough research findings, direct engagement with policymakers, and upcoming events sponsored by ITPIR in Williamsburg and Washington D.C.


Thank you for your interest in and support of our work to bridge the gap between the theory and practice of international relations. 



Mike Tierney, Director

Military Fellows Mentor Undergraduate Researchers with the Project on International Peace & Security

In a further expansion of their efforts to link student researchers with national security practitioners across the public and private sectors, the Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) has launched its Military Fellows Program. The program pairs student fellows with active duty military officers, who lend strategic expertise to the students' annual white paper submissions. The idea for the program was proposed by Army Major Nathan Finney (at left), who connected with PIPS Co-Director Dennis Smith through an event at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Finney now serves as the managing director of the PIPS Military Fellows. Read more.

Where in the World is Chinese Development Finance?
Join us November 18 to Find out!

Join us for the launch of the first geo-referenced database of Chinese development finance to Africa and an interactive geospatial dashboard that now makes it possible to explore this data in greater depth. Leading scholars and practitioners will also discuss the findings from a new AidData working paper, "Aid on Demand: The Allocation of China's Foreign Assistance at the Subnational Level," revealing how the interests of political leaders in Africa influence the spatial distribution of Chinese funding for development. Read more.

IR Experts around the World Participate in Recent Poll by Teaching, Research & International Policy (TRIP) Project

The Teaching, Research & International Policy (TRIP) Project has conducted two major initiatives this fall aimed at bridging the gap between academics and policymakers. The first is a survey of international relations (IR) faculty in more than 30 countries and nine different languages designed to examine teaching and research trends and foreign policy views in the IR discipline. Now in its fifth edition, the survey expands to include scholars in rising powers such as India, Brazil and China; more than 10,000 will be invited to participate. Survey results will be published in an upcoming print and digital edition of Foreign Policy. Stay tuned! Read more.

ITPIR Projects Participate in Diplomacy Lab with U.S. Department of State
An active partnership between the U.S. Department of State and William & Mary launched in 2013, the Diplomacy Lab leverages student research to tackle complex, real-world, diplomatic challenges. This year the Diplomacy Lab continues with multiple projects sponsored by the Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations including the Project on International Peace & Security, Reform Incentives and the Center for African Development (CAD). Read more.
Connor Kennedy, Will Nelson and Austin Trotta with Alec Weltzien (far left) of the Office of Global Health Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State, and their faculty advisor, Carrie Dolan (right), William & Mary public policy research fellow and global health technical grant writer for AidData, working on examining the role of healthcare NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Michael Hibshman (left) with Professor Dennis Smith (center) and Darice Xue (right) confer with the Department of State via teleconference for the Diplomacy Lab. 

Putting Citizen Feedback in a Form People Can Use
How to best harness mobile technology to share citizen input is a topic of substantial interest and ongoing discussion in global development. This summer, Rebecca Schectman worked with UNICEF Uganda as an AidData Summer Fellow to examine how Ureport -- a citizen feedback mechanism using free text messages -- can inform decision-making by local governments across Uganda. Read more.
Matthew Robinson, AidData summer fellow, Danny Walker, AidData research Consultant, and Martha Staid, senior associate at Development Gateway, hear about UNICEF's digital kiosks at the Innovation Lab.
TechCon 2014 Galvanizes University Development Labs
Lu Sevier presents AidData at TechCon 2014.

William & Mary students and AidData staff participated in the USAID Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) Technical Convening (TechCon) at the University of California, Berkeley's Development Impact Lab November 8-10. William & Mary served as the inaugural host for the event in 2013. At TechCon, nine HESN Development Lab Universities, along with others from the public and private sectors, present their findings and their ideas to government officials, university researchers and private sector entrepreneurs. Just as with the launch of USAID's Global Development Lab in April of this year, AidData's participation in TechCon creates an opportunity for William & Mary students to collaborate and pursue development strategies. 

Send us your old ITPIR pictures!

We would love to see and share your photos from your time here at W&M when you worked on research projects now housed at the Institute, including PLAID (now AidData), TRIP, PIPS, Reform Incentives, VIPCAT and others. Please email them to Priscilla Caldwell at

ITPIR Homecoming BBQ Draws a Crowd
ITPIR Director Mike Tierney observes TRIP Manager Nicky Bell, '12, as he masters the art of grilling. 

During Homecoming weekend, ITPIR welcomed more than 100 alumni and friends to the Scotland Street House. Students, faculty and staff caught up with former RAs, learning about their varying careers, academic programs and projects. ITPIR alumni heard about the latest Institute developments and research projects. Many old friends reconnected and shared their affinity for international relations and William & Mary. See more photos here.

Upcoming Events
2014 Reform Efforts SurveyTabulating results ongoing
2014 TRIP Global IR PollResults analysis underway
China's Role in AfricaNovember 18, 1110 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite #500

Washington, D.C.

TRIP Snap PollRelease early December 2014
AidData Research ConsortiumJanuary 2015
TRIP Conference on Strengthening the LinksJanuary 14-15, 2015
Keynote Panel Discussion --featuring former World Bank President Robert Zoellick, Deputy National Security Adviser Peter Feaver, and Director of Policy Planning Mitchell Reiss
January 14, 2015
Williamsburg Lodge
"Follow the Money" Transparency & Accountability Initiative workshop
January 20-21, 2015
Berlin, Germany
PIPS D.C. SymposiumApril 2015

events are at W&M unless otherwise noted
2013-2014 Annual Report

Check out the ITPIR Annual Report, click here to read it now.

Where are they now?

Eva Baker, '12.

Former AidData Research Assistant, now Analyst Recruiting Head for Washington, D.C. for Cornerstone Research. 

Kara Starr '10

Former PLAID (now AidData) research assistant, works as a Legislative Associate at the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Heather Winn '10

In medical school at Temple University; worked on TRIP and PLAID while at William & Mary.

Richard Jordan '10.

After working as a PLAID researcher and TRIP post-baccalaureate fellow, pursuing his Ph.D. in politics at Princeton University.

Samantha Hynes '10.

Former PLAID researcher, earned her J.D. at Georgetown University and is practicing law at Sullivan & Cromwell in Washington, D.C. 

Nicole (Scheer-Irvine) Buchholz '09.

Former PLAID research assistant, planner/urban designer at Group Melvin Design in Philadelphia after completing a master's in urban planning at Columbia University. 

Mike Goudey '09.

Former PLAID researcher, at the U.S. Department of State. 

Greg Cooper '08.

Former TRIP project manager, attended law school at UT-Austin, and now works at a law firm in London. 

Megan Smith '07.

After working on TRIP and PLAID as an undergraduate, earned a master's degree at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. She works at US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. 

Rosalind O'Brien '07.

Former PLAID researcher, now a web designer and developer at Treetop Creative in Harrisonburg, VA.

Brendan Williams '06.

An economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Brendan was a PLAID researcher. His fiancée, Emily Gorman, '05, is an ER doctor.

Klaus Schultz, '04.

Early PLAID researcher, now an analyst with Berkshire Hathaway.  His spouse, Angelina Wycin Woo, '07, is a vet.

Justin Ayars, '03.

B.A. in Government, minor in International Relations. Now President & CEO of the Virginia Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Rocky Weitz, '99.

B.A. in International Relations. Executive Director, Fintech Sandbox. 

Greg Minjack, '79.

Earned a B.A. in Government. Senior Advisor, Conflict and Stabilization Programs for Democracy International.

If you are an Institute alum and have some news to share, please pass it along! If you want to network with fellow ITPIR alumni, please provide your current info here:  and see who else is networking.

About the Institute


The Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations at William & Mary provides a home for interdisciplinary, collaborative, internationally-focused research projects that employ social science methods to make meaningful contributions to contemporary international debate, policy and practice.  


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