& International Policy (TRIP) Project


William & Mary

427 Scotland Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185


Director Mike Tierney

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From the Director
Welcome to our first newsletter of the new academic year. Summer is letting go of its last hold on Williamsburg, midterms are under way and Homecoming is right around the corner.

We would like to invite you to two Homecoming events on Saturday, Oct. 24.
W&M International Initiatives Showcase on the Sunken Garden from 9 to 11 a.m. Current students and faculty from AidData, the Bosnia Project, the Center for African Development (CAD) and the Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) will be on hand to talk about their ongoing research. In addition, the tent will feature displays from the Reves Center, Global Studies and Africana Studies.

ITPIR's Annual Homecoming BBQ 12 to 2 p.m. at 427 Scotland St. We will have beer, brats and dogs, rain or shine. This event is a great opportunity to meet current students, catch up with faculty members and to reconnect with ITPIR alumni!

This newsletter features updates on some our projects' latest developments, including:
  • TRIP received its largest grant to date, securing more than $500,000 from Carnegie Corporation of New York.
  • Professor Phil Roessler (CAD) and his students are evaluating the impact of cell phone ownership on women's empowerment and economic welfare through a series of field experiments in Tanzania.
  • AidData hosted Ann Mei Chang, executive director of the U.S. Global Development Lab at USAID. While on campus, she spoke about AidData's vital role in providing data for development. 
  • Professor Michael Horowitz of the University of Pennsylvania came to campus and gave a public talk on how advances in robotic technology might create new threats to national security.
  • The Bosnia Project students are polishing up their short films and compiling data for an impact evaluation of their summer service learning project.
  • PIPS has chosen its Military Fellows for the year and has already hosted multiple policy experts for Friday afternoon brainstorming sessions.
All of these great stories are highlighted below. In addition to the ongoing research, I also want to take a moment to thank the many donors who have already contributed to ITPIR and its various projects. Our year is off to a great start, and I can't wait to see what the rest of the year holds.
Mike Tierney '87
Director, ITPIR

Cellphones broaden business opportunities for Tanzanian women

The Tanzania team:  (Back row, from left) Professor Phil Roessler, Kyler Morris, Brigham Young University '15, Matthew Bondy, W&M '18 (front row) Catie Crowley, W&M '17, and Dr. Flora Myamba, REPOA.  (Photo is courtesy of Phil Roessler.)
What would happen if Tanzanian women who never before owned or could afford cellphones suddenly received them?

Phil Roessler, William & Mary government professor and director of the Center for African Development (CAD) at W&M is trying to find out. Joining him are Brigham Young University professor and former AidData chief social scientist Dan Nielson; Dr. Flora Myamba, director of social protection at one of Tanzania's leading research institutes, REPOA; and select students from both universities.

The researchers are working with Kidogo Kidogo - "little by little" in Swahili - a social enterprise founded to reduce the gender gap in mobile phone ownership in Tanzania, where women are significantly less likely to own a mobile phone than men. Kidogo Kidogo uses proceeds from the sale of smartphone cases designed by a Tanzania-based artist to provide cost-free mobile handsets to low-income women. (Click HERE to read more.)

TRIP lands its largest grant ever - $500K from Carnegie Corporation of New York
More of TRIP's 30 Days of Data visuals can be viewed on TRIP's
Facebook page or on its new website
The Teaching, Research & International Policy (TRIP) project has received a grant for $501,400, its largest award to date, from Carnegie Corporation of New York. 

The grant, "Strengthening the Links Between Scholars and Practitioners of International Relations," runs from October 2015 to November 2017. Three Government professors - Daniel Maliniak '06, Sue Peterson, and Mike Tierney '87 are principal investigators on the grant. Ryan Powers '08, a former TRIP undergraduate research assistant and project manager who currently is completing his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin is a fourth PI. (Click HERE to read more.)

Chang: AidData 'critical' to university-led development work
Touting 21st century global developmentAnn Mei Chang, executive director of the United States Global Development Lab at USAID, spoke at W&M on Sept. 9. (Photo by Stephen Sapulkis)

Ann Mei Chang, executive director of the United States Global Development Lab at USAID, recently shared with an audience at William & Mary what she called "the core areas" of 21st century development.

Chang pointed to five steppingstones for success: open innovation, evidence and iteration, scale and sustainability, enabling technology and partnership. Chang was effusive in her praise for the part AidData is playing in moving each of those steps forward. "AidData has encoded almost $1 trillion of development program dollars to understand where exactly they're being spent and how," she said. "By doing so, they are able to help us, local governments and NGOs better target their dollars to the places it's needed the most."

In 2012, USAID launched the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN). William & Mary is one of seven universities involved in the program, whose stated goal is to "harness the ingenuity and passion of university students, researchers and faculty to deliver the greatest impact and develop innovative solutions to the world's most challenging development problems." (Click HERE to read more.)

Professor Horowitz: Could Terminator become a reality?
The apocalypse, Skynet, the Terminator, and legions of drones and robots were the subjects Professor Michael Horowitz's public talk sponsored by ITPIR, the Reves Center for International Studies and the International Relations Program.

Horowitz, Associate Professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, shared his insight on drone technology that will potentially shape the future of warfare.

With his research and work with the Department of Defense, Horowitz prompted the audience to consider what drives technological innovation. Horowitz noted how companies like Google are investing heavily in robotic innovation while the government is researching its military applications. The past decade has seen an emphasis on software rather than hardware development, he noted, and now both industry and the military are pursuing the same key technologies. With both sectors researching and testing drone applications, he predicts a rapid and exponential growth in military robotics in the next few years.

Exciting, or frightening, as it may be to imagine legions of robot soldiers marching into battle, Horowitz argues that governments are more likely to pursue different kinds of drone applications. "Governments don't want to develop technology they can't control," he said.  (Click HERE to read more.)

The Bosnia Project: 
Inspiring Compassion in Bosnian Youth
Pictured are Gabrielle Wildfeuer '15 and three of her Bosnian students.
Pictured above are Gabrielle Wildfeuer '15 and three  Bosnian students.
English teacher, peace builder and film producer were just a few of the roles Amanda Sikirica '16 filled last summer during the William and Mary Bosnia Project.

Sikirica and five other W&M students spent four weeks in Bosnia and Herzegovina teaching students nonviolent communication skills and English through a variety of creative approaches. Started in 1999 only a few years after the conclusion of the Bosnian War, The Bosnia Project is student-run and remains W&M's oldest international service project. It is housed today with ITPIR.

"Originally it was envisioned to help support the peace process in Bosnia and to reach out to the young people who were traumatized," said faculty advisor Paula Pickering, Associate Professor of Government. "Now the focus is on helping the students become active citizens within their community. I think we've moved more toward helping students express themselves . . . even through acting." (Click HERE to read more.)

 PIPS chooses 2015-2016 Military Fellows
Former PIPS Fellow Duenya Hassan '16, W&M, listens intently to Maj. Zachary Hall.
The Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) has selected its 2015-2016 Military Fellows: Maj. Karen A. Baker (USA), Lt. Col. Jonathan Dunne (USMC), Maj. Benjamin Fernandes (USA), Lt. Ki Suh Jung (USN), Maj. Michael Kreuzer (USAF), Lt. Col. Joe Roman (USA), and Maj. Mariah Taylor (USA).

The PIPS Military Fellows program pairs PIPS undergraduate research fellows with active duty military officers associated the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF). These highly experienced analysts serve as mentors and lend strategic expertise to the PIPS students during their year of research. Military Fellows help students identify emerging international challenges, introduce students to area experts in the national security community, and provide feedback on student white papers. The Military Fellows program is under the direction of Maj. Nathan Finney, who is a U.S. Army officer, the editor of The Bridge, a founder of DEF, and a member of the Infinity Journal's Editorial Advisory Board.

For more on PIPS and the Military Fellows program, visit the PIPS website or email the Co-Directors, Prof. Amy Oakes and Prof.  Dennis Smith.

PIPS continuously works to connect the academic and policy communities through the joint mentorship of undergraduates. If you are interested in participating in PIPS - as an alumni mentor, future military fellow or brainstorming session guest - please contact the directors.

ITPIR employment opportunity
Please consider helping ITPIR with a key position we need to fill. We are looking for an Information Technology Project Manager that we hope to fill as soon as possible. Please pass along this job posting to anyone you think qualified and interested.

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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.