ISS has a small full-time research staff whose members conduct interviews around the globe, throughout the year. It also collaborates with Ph.D. affiliates from Princeton University on short-term projects. A faculty director and associate director manage the development of research lines with the assistance of advisers.

Jennifer Widner, Director

Before joining the Princeton faculty in 2004-5, Jennifer taught at Harvard and the University of Michigan. Her current research focuses on the political economy of institutional reform, government accountability, and service delivery. She also remains interested in constitution writing, constitutional design, and fair dealing—topics of earlier research. She is author of Building the Rule of Law (W. W. Norton), a study of courts and law in Africa, and she has published articles on a variety of topics in Democratization, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Development Studies, The William & Mary Law Review, Daedalus, the American Journal of International Law, and other publications. She is completing work on a book about making government work in challenging settings, drawing on experiences in Africa, Asia, and parts of Latin America.

Pallavi Nuka, Associate Director

Prior to joining ISS, Pallavi was a Visiting Lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School and a Research Coordinator in the Department of Politics. She has a background in impact evaluation and has conducted research on governance, environment and development. She worked with the World Bank-Global Environment Facility's Evaluation Office for six years, assessing the design, performance, and impact of projects implemented in developing countries with a focus on climate change adaptation, conservation of biodiversity, and land degradation. She was also Peace Corps Volunteer in Bangolo, Cote d'Ivoire (1999-2001).  Pallavi holds a B.S. from MIT and a M.P.A. from Princeton University.

Blair Cameron

Originally from Methven, New Zealand, Blair holds a degree from Brown University in International Relations and Latin American Studies. During his undergraduate studies, Blair undertook humanitarian work in the Ecuadorian Amazon and developed an eco-tourism operation there with a local indigenous community. He has conducted independent research in Rio de Janeiro on the social and economic impacts of hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, and has also undertaken economic research on Brazilian financial institutions and the country’s experience during the 2008 global financial crisis. Before joining ISS, Blair was working as a researcher for Brown University’s ‘Brazil Initiative’ at the US National Archives in Washington DC. Blair has lived in Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Ecuador and Brazil, and is an avid rugby player.

Tristan Dreisbach

Before joining ISS, Tristan spent two years as a journalist based in Tunisia and was managing editor of Tunisia Live. Prior to that, he was a program officer at the New York University Center on International Cooperation, where he studied statebuilding and peacebuilding in transitioning states. He also worked as the youth and community relations coordinator for Habitat for Humanity in New York City, and interned with the Center on Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and the office of former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. Tristan has an MA in Politics from New York University and did his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan.

Maya Gainer, Research Specialist

Before coming to ISS, Maya worked as a Princeton in Africa Fellow at the International Rescue Committee in Kenya, where she supported programming for refugees in the Dadaab camps and urban areas. She holds a bachelor's degree in Politics with a certificate in African Studies from Princeton. Maya has conducted independent research on out of country voting in post-conflict elections, and her academic interests include forced migration, elections, and conflict management, with a focus on Africa.

Rachel Jackson, Research Specialist

Before coming to ISS, Rachel worked as a reporter at the legal news website Main Justice in Washington, DC covering U.S. and international anti-corruption enforcement. She holds a bachelor's degree in politics with a certificate in African Studies from Princeton.  She conducted independent research in Botswana and Somaliland on the role of traditional leaders in national politics. Her academic interests are in African politics, with a particular emphasis on post-conflict governance-building.

Robert Joyce, Research Specialist

Before joining ISS Robert worked as an editor with Tunisia Live, a news outlet based in Tunis. At TL, he covered Tunisia's post-revolution transition including the passage of a new constitution, youth unemployment, and ongoing police violence. Robert graduated Princeton University with a degree in Near Eastern Studies. At Princeton, he studied Arabic, MENA history, politics and journalism and interned with ISS, Human Rights First and World Policy Journal. His thesis covered the influence of Palestinian solidarity activism in Egyptian political history and its impact on the 2011 revolution, involving fieldwork in Cairo. Robert has lived in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Hong Kong.

Elizabeth Samios, Program Manager

Elizabeth Samios joined the ISS pogram in the summer of 2013 as the program manager. Prior to joining the ISS program, Elizabeth worked in product management at a pharmaceutical company, and more recently for the Admissions Office at Princeton University. She holds a B.A and  M.B.A. from Duke University. 

Jim Golder, Production Specialist

Jim Golder is a graduate of Rider University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration. He joined Princeton in 1998 working in the Woodrow Wilson School Finance Office.  Before that, he worked in the Woodrow Wilson School as the grants manager.  As ISS production specialist, he is responsible for logistical planning and data management associated with the oral history program, as well as budget and finance for the program.

Doug Hulette, Program Editor

Doug Hulette is a veteran of The Wall Street Journal copy desk, where he edited articles for the Asian and European editions as well as the U.S. publication. Besides newspapers, he also worked on wire services and websites for Dow Jones and other organizations. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University and a bachelor's in English.

Sarah Torian, Communications Specialist

Sarah Torian has been involved in issues of civil rights and social and economic justice professionally for the past fifteen years. For six years, she served as communications coordinator at the Southern Regional Council, writing and editing for the organization’s quarterly journal Southern Changes. Since 2002, she has worked with nonprofits and foundations as the principal of Torian+Whitley Consulting. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has been a client throughout that time and Sarah assists the Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site and Center for Community and Economic Opportunity in the qualitative evaluation and communication of their programs and results.  BA in History from the University of Virginia and a MA in the interdisciplinary study of the American South at the University of Mississippi.


George Gavrilis
George Gavrilis, PhD

Dr. George Gavrilis is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life at Columbia University working in the areas of international relations, foreign policy, higher education and oral history. He is also a specialist on the Middle East and Central Asia. He recently served as Executive Director of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue, an NGO based in Washington, DC and Istanbul, Turkey. In 2008-09 he served as an International Affairs Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations and worked with the United Nations on various policy initiatives on Central Asia and Afghanistan. He previously taught international relations and comparative politics in the Department of Government at the University of Texas-Austin, directed research for the CFR Oral History Project at Columbia University, and served as a National Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. He is author of The Dynamics of Interstate Boundaries (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and has published articles in Foreign Affairs and The New York Times on Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel and the West Bank.

Joan Ricart-Huguet

Joan Ricart-Huguet is a PhD candidate in the Politics Department at Princeton. Prior to starting his PhD, he obtained an MA in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences from Columbia University as a recipient of la Caixa Graduate Fellowship. He also holds a BA in Political Science from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and spent his year abroad the the University of California, Berkeley. He has interned at the World Bank in Poverty Reduction and Economic Management and at the United Nations Association-USA. His academic interests include electoral violence, ethnicity and regionalism as well as quantitative methods, with a focus on developing countries. 

Daniel Tavana

Daniel Tavana is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He was previously a Research Associate at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). Before joining POMED, Daniel worked in Cairo, Egypt, as a consultant for members of the Egyptian Constituent Assembly. He has worked on security and governance issues for a variety of government agencies, including the Departments of State, Defense, and Treasury. Daniel has master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he worked at the Belfer Center and co-founded the Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy. Daniel’s research focuses on the relationship between foreign assistance and democratization in the Middle East. He speaks Farsi, and his articles on the Middle East have been published by Global Public Square at CNN, the Atlantic Council, and the Carnegie Endowment.

Undergraduate Interns

Logan Coleman

Logan Coleman is a senior in the Politics department pursuing a certificate in Latin American studies. Upon graduation, she will enter the Masters in Public Affairs program at the Woodrow Wilson School as a Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI) recipient. Logan’s areas of interest include civilian violence, organized crime and governance in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. On campus, she served as co-director of the Princeton DREAM Team: a group dedicated to immigrant rights and immigration reform. She spent the spring of her junior year studying abroad in Havana, Cuba. During her summers, Logan conducted independent field research in Guatemala and El Salvador in 2012 and 2013, and interned at the Central America office of the State Department in 2014 amidst the surge of unaccompanied minors to the U.S. border. 


Andrea Gallego Rodriguez

Andrea Gallego Rodriguez is a junior from Mexico, majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs and getting a certificate in Latin American Studies. She is particularly interested in economic development in Latin America. On campus, Andrea has been Director of Membership & Recruitment and an Analyst for Princeton Business Volunteers. Additionally, she has been involved with Engineers Without Borders as the Director of Community Development. Andrea just joined Innovation for Successful Societies and is excited to contribute to its mission. 

Harriet Kiwanuka

Harriet Kiwanuka is a senior in the Politics Department with a concentration in Comparative Politics, and this is her third year working at ISS. She is also Pre-Medicine, and has worked as a research trainee in the Center for Reconstructive and Restorative Surgery Lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital for the past 3 summers. She is very interested in democracy and governance in developing countries and post-authoritarian regimes, with a particular interest in African politics.

Jeremy Rotblat

Jeremy Rotblat is a member of Princeton’s class of 2017 from Cherry Hill, New Jersey who plans on majoring in Near Eastern Studies and obtaining a certificate in African Studies. His interest in international development primarily began after his participation in Princeton’s Bridge Year Program, in which he spent 9 months living and volunteering in Senegal. He is deeply interested in African politics, as well as Islam and the Middle East. Having recently spent a summer in Jordan, he avidly enjoys studying Arabic in addition to Persian and French. He is excited to be interning at ISS and hopes to learn more about the issues of governance reform and state stability.