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.

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. 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.


Leon Schreiber, Research Affiliate

Leon Schreiber joined ISS as a Senior Research Specialist in June 2015. In May 2019, he was elected as a Member of Parliament in South Africa for the Democratic Alliance, where he serves as the Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration. Leon holds a PhD in Political Science magna cum laude from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, as well as MA, BA (Honours) and BA degrees from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He is the author of the book Coalition Country: South Africa after the ANC (Tafelberg), has published numerous case studies and papers, and regularly writes and appears in the South African press. Leon's research interests include the political economy of institutional reform, public administration reform, and government accountability, with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa. 

Gordon LaForge, Research Affiliate

Gordon LaForge is a writer and global affairs analyst most recently with Predata, a predictive analytics firm specializing in geopolitical risk. He previously worked at the UN Mission to NATO and has conducted research in Brazil, Ghana, Czech Republic, and Indonesia, where he was a Fulbright scholar and journalist covering politics and corruption. He holds a master's degree from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a BA in literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.



Tristan Dreisbach, Research Affiliate

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 Affiliate

Maya Gainer served as a senior research specialist at ISS from 2014 to 2017, covering issues from land administration to judicial reform. Previously, she worked at the International Rescue Committee in Kenya, where she managed grants and conducted research and advocacy on refugee rights. Maya graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 2019 with an M.A. in International Economics and International Development. At SAIS, she focused on governance and service delivery in developing countries. She spent the summer of 2018 interning at UN Women in Kenya, where she focused on women’s participation in politics and inclusion of women with disabilities. Maya also holds a B.A. in Politics with a certificate in African Studies from Princeton University.

Bunmi Otegbade, Research Affiliate

Bunmi Otegbade is an ISS Research Affiliate. He remains an entrepreneur with interests in effective government, human capital development, job creation and Africa. He holds an MPP from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a BSc in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Baylor University

Gabriel Kuris, Research Affiliate

Gabriel Kuris served as a senior research specialist for ISS from 2011 to 2014, focused on anti-corruption and elections. Previously, he worked to promote human rights and legal reforms in the Philippines, Cambodia, and the Solomon Islands. He also practiced corporate law in London and New York and interned in several US government offices. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. Currently, Gabriel is the deputy director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School. After ISS, Gabriel served as the deputy director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School. He continues to contribute case studies to ISS on an occasional basis.

Tyler McBrien, Research Affiliate

Tyler McBrien joins ISS from the Council on Foreign Relations, where he worked as an Associate Editor on a new public education initiative. Prior to that, he worked for the Student Success Network and the Education Advisory Board, and served as the 2015-16 Princeton in Africa fellow with Equal Education in South Africa. Tyler graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in International Relations and History. He has contributed to Foreign PolicyHistory Today, Georgetown Journal for International Affairs, Africa is a Country, and The Diplomat

Bill Steiden, Editor, Research Affiliate

Bill Steiden is the former nation/world editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Cox Newspapers. He holds a master's degree in public management from Georgia State University's Andrew Young School for Policy Studies. A resident of Kalamazoo, Michigan, he tries to grow tomatoes between snowstorms and trips to fascinating locales.

Undergraduate Interns

Carlos Giron

Carlos Giron is a junior at Princeton pursuing a concentration in Near Eastern Studies as well as certificates in Computer Science, Translation, and Arabic. He is from Takoma Park, MD.

Caleb Visser

Caleb Visser is a senior at Princeton University majoring in Politics of International Relations with certificates in African and Latin American Studies. Caleb is the Company Commander of the Princeton Army ROTC Program, responsible for training and developing Princeton's cadets. He has served as a student government executive, Residential College Advisor at Wilson College and organizer of Vote100, a campus civic engagement initiative. Caleb has cultivated his interest in community development as a Sigmund Scholar and through research on international development and US foreign policy. He has interned for Tostan International while a Novogratz Bridge Year Scholar in Dakar, Senegal and Veterans Campaign in Washington D.C. as well as researched with the Theory, Research and International Policy Project at the College of William and Mary's Global Research Institute. Caleb is from Williamsburg, Virginia. 

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