Many thanks to the 303 donors who made gifts to the Institute, AidData or PIPS in the 2014-15 fiscal year. Your generosity allows us to invest in the innovative scholarship, student research opportunities and enrichment programs 

that make ITPIR thrive. Thank you so much.



 & International Policy (TRIP) Project


William & Mary

427 Scotland Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185


Director Mike Tierney

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ITPIR's new Assistant Director
Sasha Maliniak and Mike Tierney
Summer has arrived and the ITPIR house is buzzing with the activity of 130+ student researchers. From conducting geospatial evaluations of aid projects in the Amazon, to producing an original podcast series, to writing blog posts on IR expert opinion collected in TRIP snap polls,
 our research projects would simply not be possible without their work. In return, students receive close faculty mentorship, skills development training, special academic enrichment programs, and first hand insight into how the theory and practice of IR are linked.


Our students are also making an impact as they gain valuable experience beyond Williamsburg - in Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Peru, the Philippines, and Bosnia - implementing field experiments, training international NGOs on how to utilize open data resources, and promoting cross-cultural understanding in a region scarred by conflict.


In addition to the new student researchers, ITPIR is also very pleased to welcome Sasha Maliniak '08 as our new Assistant Director. Sasha will now be responsible for keeping ITPIR on track and improving our support of Institute-affiliated research projects. She is uniquely suited for the position, as she is an ITPIR alum with significant experience with business development, managing and conducting research, and student-faculty collaboration. I could not be happier that she is here. 



Mike Tierney, Director

Meet ITPIR'S Summer 2015 Research Teams

Nine teams of summer researchers are currently hard at work at ITPIR, including AidData's Survey Practice Team, pictured above. This group of students, under the supervision of project manager Rebecca Latourell, has been working on AidData's sampling frame of more than 40,000 development policymakers and practitioners in over 100 lower and middle income countries. Meet more summer research teams here.

Center for African Development studies the impact of mobile phone ownership on women's political participation in Tanzania's forthcoming election

Professor Philip Roessler and research team of Catherine Crowley '17, Kyler Morris (BYU), Matthew Bondy '18, along with co-PI, Dr. Flora Myamba, based at the Tanzanian research organization, REPOA, meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in June. The team laid the groundwork for Phase 2 of the research project on Mobile Phone Ownership and Women's Empowerment, among other things, will test the effect of mobile phone ownership on political participation in Tanzania's October national election.

Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders brings 25 African fellows to Virginia

25 fellows from 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to convene at UVA and W&M for the second annual Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders educational institute this summer.


On June 22, 25 fellows were welcomed at the University of Virginia to the second annual Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The fellows will spend four weeks in Charlottesville to learn about innovative leadership, good governance, and social entrepreneurism before coming to W&M for the final two weeks of the program. In Williamsburg, the program will focus on approaches to development with a concentration on community participation and transparency. This year's cohort represents 20 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, with expertise from diverse sectors such as education, youth mobilization, rights for persons with disabilities, and health.  

Scott Ickes to publish on links between child nutrition, maternal education and health care access in Uganda


Professor Scott Ickes has a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Nutrition. The study, conducted with William & Mary graduate Taylor Hurst (W&M '12, Harvard School of Public Health MPH '15), examines how maternal factors influence child feeding and nutritional status using national surveys from 2006 and 2011 in Uganda. The study highlights a reduction in healthful child feeding practices, despite improvement in the rate of under nutrition between 2006 and 2011, and points to "capabilities" like literacy, education, and health care access as important modifiable factors in mother's lives that may improve child feeding. As of 2011, over 25% of Uganda children are nutritionally stunted - a form of chronic under nutrition that causes long-term cognitive deficits and is associated with great chronic disease risk and lower learning in adulthood. 

June 2015 TRIP Snap Poll: Is a soccer scandal more scandalous when it involves Putin?

April 2015 TRIP Snap Poll: Do Iran sanctions matter when it comes to stability in the Middle East?
About TRIP snap polls: TRIP principal investigators Daniel Maliniak, Sue Peterson, Mike Tierney and Ryan Powers issue regular "snap polls" as international events unfold in order to provide policymakers and the public with real-time information on the views of international relations experts.
 Read more

New TRIP Global Pathways Program builds understanding of IR beyond the West

W&M undergraduates and graduate students from the Free University of Berlin present research at the TRIP Global Pathways' Berlin-Williamsburg Conference in February 2015.


New in 2014, the TRIP Global Pathways Project was developed by TRIP Research Associate Wiebke Wemheuer-Vogelaar to explore knowledge production and diffusion in IR beyond the West -- in particular from rising powers in the global South and East. Six W&M undergraduates produced full-length conference papers and a February 2015 workshop brought graduate students from the Free University of Berlin together with W&M undergraduates to share their research and to discuss ways to integrate non-Western IR into the American classroom.


2015 TRIP Global Pathways Student Papers:


"If Methods Mean Money: A Comparison of Leading Methodological Approaches and Funding in U.S., Latin American and Chinese International Relations Scholarship" by Arianna Talaie '16


"The Discourse of a Discipline: Constructing Human Rights Narratives in the U.S. and Latin America" by Hannah Berk '16


"Disciplinary and Global Diversity in Environmental International Relations Scholarship" by Hayley Tymeson '15


"Criticize or endorse? How Education Background Changes 

Chinese International Relations Scholars' Ideology" by Isabella Y. Liu '15

"Gender differences in Chinese IR Scholarship" by Junrong Zhu '16


"Periphery-Periphery Relations: China Through the Eyes of Latin American IR Scholars" by Michael Campbell '16

AidData welcomes Rice and Gates

In May 2015 W&M Chancellor Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited the ITPIR house where they were briefed on AidData by staff and student researchers. 
AidData student researchers build digital maps to assist Nepal earthquake first responders

This April, just days after Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake, William & Mary students went to work aiding recovery efforts. From ITPIR headquarters in Williamsburg, AidData research assistants used open-source mapping technology to build digital maps that would assist emergency workers on the ground. Read More.

AidData's "Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change" report sheds light on who developing world leaders listen to and why

Despite considerable time, money, and effort expended by donors, international organizations, and NGOs to influence policy change in low- and middle-income countries, there is a lack of understanding about how they can most effectively influence reform efforts on the ground.  In a new report released in April 2015, AidData draws upon the firsthand experiences and observations of nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners in 126 countries to answer these critical questions.

Read the full report, "Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change," here.
AidData's Summer Fellows put data to work for development in Uganda, the Philippines, Peru and Ghana

2015 AidData Student Fellows

This June, sixteen student researchers touched down in four countries to begin work as AidData Summer Fellows. This AidData program, now in its third year, embeds fellows within research institutions, civil society organizations, development partner offices and government agencies to provide 10 weeks of hands-on training in the use of geocoded aid data. This year's fellows will be working in Uganda, the Philippines, Peru and Ghana. Fellows will share their experiences and observations on as well as on the First Tranche.

New AidData documentary illuminates critical role of open data on development in Nepal 
Open Data: A Journey of Discovery in Nepal (Short Version)
Open Data: A Journey of Discovery in Nepal 
AidData, in partnership with Development Initiatives and Publish What You Fund, has produced a short documentary on the power of open data to change lives. This short documentary follows the journey of journalist Gyanu Sharma in Nepal as he brings to life the vital role of data in development and shows what work still needs to be done. Read more. 
AidData Working Paper Series releases tenth paper

AidData's working paper series contains pre-publication papers addressing the following areas: the causes and consequences of development finance; whether, when, and how data transparency and accountability initiatives lead to better decision making and improved development outcomes; and cutting edge research on Chinese foreign aid in Africa. The series is a forum where relevant papers and research findings can be disseminated more broadly to scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. Read more.

AidData goes "Deeper than Data" with six part summer podcast

This summer, AidData is premiering a six-episode podcast series to take listeners past the maps and dashboards on its website to the human stories at the heart of its research. AidData will interview mappers on the ground, learn from academics and diplomats, and make the case for open data to make aid more effective for the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals. The podcast goes beyond the codes and coordinates on AidData's website. They're going "deeper than data."

First episode: Maps and Data for the Next Disaster
AidData researchers interview Lu Sevier, who spearheaded AidData's student mapping efforts to assist with earthquake relief in Nepal and is now doing similar work as an AidData Summer Fellow with Map the Philippines. They talk about how mapping can be used to prepare for disasters, why open data is important to relief efforts, and the potential for open source mapping and open data in the Philippines. Listen here.

Bosnia Project team launches 2015 teaching and research program in Sarajevo

The 2015 Bosnia Project team of Beatrice Loayza '15, Jason Nagel '17, Sasha Quinn '17, Amanda Sikirica '17, Gaby Wildfeuer '15 and Professor Paula Pickering have arrived in Bosnia and commenced their four-week summer teaching and research program, which will assess the impact of the project on inter-cultural communication skills. Read more.

Susan Nelson '15 presents at the 
PIPS student policy symposium on April 22, 2015.

PIPS brought another successful year to a close at their 2015 student policy symposium on Wednesday, April 22 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The event was moderated by Brent Colburn, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and attended by more than 100 policymakers, scholars and friends of PIPS. All student white papers are now available online at and at the links below.

Read the 2014-2015 PIPS White Papers


"The Impact of Bangladeshi Climate Refugees on India: Improving Foreign Aid to Bangladesh to Stabilize South Asia" by Rebecca Brown    

Read paper here.


"Reform from a Distance: Strengthening Fragile State Bureaucracies with E-Learning" by Justin DeShazor

Read paper here.


"The Politics of Fast-Paced Epidemic: Bolstering Disease-Burdened States with Community Resilience" by Isabel DoCampo

Read paper here.


"Unmanned Underwater Vehicles: The Next Insurgent Threat"

by Daniel Duane

Read paper here.


"Women of Mass Destruction: Combatting Radicalization on the Web"

by Duenya Hassan

 Read paper here.


"The Schoolhouse Model: Rethinking UNHCR's Approach to Refugee Camps" by Susan Nelson

Read paper here. 

PIPS releases new report on Mediterranean migration crisis

William and Mary's PIPS program recently released a report titled "Irregular Migration in the Mediterranean: Recommendations for U.S. Action" for the Bureau of European & Eurasian Affairs as part of the Department of State's Diplomacy Lab program. Read report here.

How I spent my summer vacation (ITPIR edition)

Former PIPS interns Caper Gooden '16 and Darice Xue '15 show their PIPS pride at the Taj Mahal while on a two-week research trip to India this May. Under the guidance of W&M Government Department Professor Rani Mullen, the pair worked on an edited volume on Indian economic diplomacy in New Delhi. For the rest of the summer, Gooden will intern on a data privacy project for Harvard University, while Xue will work as a senior research assistant for AidData in Williamsburg.  

Get involved with ITPIR
ITPIR is training the policymakers of tomorrow. As an established center of student research, almost 200 undergraduates per year engage in transformative research and mentorship experiences that supplement their classroom education and develop sought-after professional skills. To augment our current student programs we are looking to our network of alumni and friends for those who are willing to offer career guidance and advice. If you are interested in working with ITPIR students as they prepare for their own forays into the professional world, we hope you will take a few minutes to complete this form
Coming soon... the ITPIR 2014-15 Annual Report
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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.