ACDP Graduate Research Fellows and IPD Task Team Leaders
The AidData Center for Development Policy (ACDP), supported by a collaborative partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN), supports ten graduate research fellowships at The University of Texas at Austin each year. More information on the ACDP and the USAID HESN programs can be found on our partner AidData's website.
Daniela Hernandez (Program Manager)
Daniela Hernandez is a second-year master’s student at LBJ and LLILAS, pursuing a dual degree in Global Policy and Latin American Studies. Her research focuses on good governance, transparency and accountability initiatives, anti-corruption monitoring, and international development with a regional focus in Latin America. Before coming to grad school, she spent the summer in the Philippines working as an AidData summer fellow with the Map the Philippines Initiative. She led workshops for local governments, universities, NGOs, and businesses with the purpose of building capacity to use geospatial tools for disaster resilience. She holds a BA in Anthropology and a BDP certificate in Global Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Daniela is fluent in Spanish. Read Daniela's CV here.
Caleb Rudow is a second-year Masters in Global Policy Studies student with a specialization in advanced methods for international development. Caleb is interested in understanding how to use GIS and open data to improve decision making in international development. Prior to attending UT, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia where he learned the Bantu languages of Chinyanja and Chinsenga. During his Peace Corps service he lived and worked in a rural village for two years, and was with USAID Zambia for a year managing small grants and coordinating GIS activities for the Economic Growth Team in Zambia’s capital city. Caleb is fluent in Spanish and has extensive experience living and working in Central America. Over the past summer, Caleb was managing and designing an RCT to study the uptake of open data in Honduras. Read Caleb's CV here.
Michael (Mike) Denly is a PhD student in the Department of Government. Prior to joining UT Austin, Mike worked in various capacities for the World Bank. His first assignment concerned operational data quality, during which Mike co-developed and operationalized the World Bank´s climate change co-benefit tracking system. Another assignment brought Mike to Togo, where he prepared the implementation arrangements and risk framework for an education project. Currently, Mike conducts research for the World Bank on governance and anti-corruption issues, a consultancy position he has held since 2013. In August 2015, Mike graduated with a dual MA in Development Management and Policy from Georgetown University and Universidad Nacional de San Martín in Argentina. Mike also holds an MSc in Public Policy and Human Development from Maastricht University in the Netherlands and a BA in International Studies from the University of Denver. Primarily as a result of studying and working in various countries in Europe, Latin America, and Africa, Mike is fluent in French, Spanish, and Italian, and also speaks basic Dutch. Read Mike's CV here.
Iasmin Goes is a PhD student in the department of Government. She specializes in political economy, economic history, authoritarianism and democratization in Latin America, mostly from a mixed-methods perspective. Prior to attending UT, she worked as a research assistant at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and as a PR consultant for the OECD. In both cases, she was responsible for data collection, interpretation and/or visualization. She holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Latin American Studies, both from the Free University of Berlin. In addition to her native Portuguese and German, she speaks fluent Spanish and intermediate French. Read Iasmin's CV here.
Billy Matthias is a first-year PhD student in the department of Government, focusing on International Relations and Comparative Politics. Before coming to UT Austin and IPD, he worked as a Project Manager for the Political and Economic Development Labs at Brigham Young University where he helped implement field experiments throughout the developing world to better understand issues related to global development, corruption, international law, and politics and gender. Billy also spent time working as a Project Coordinator for Ascend Alliance, a non-profit organization, where he helped coordinate efforts between donors and local institutions to build schools in rural Peru. While in each of these capacities, he spent significant time abroad in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa . He speaks fluent Spanish. Billy earned his BA in International Relations from Brigham Young University.
José D. Sierra
José D. Sierra is a PhD student in the department of Government. José is interested in both international and comparative political economy. Prior to joining UT Austin, José worked for the Inter-American Development Bank´s Honduras office as an economist. During his tenure there he co-published two papers: the first one analyzing Honduras’ total factor productivity and the second one studying illegal emigration flows among low-income citizens. He also coedited a book on Social Exclusion in Honduras and contributed to the Bank´s Country Strategy design. José’s work on Honduras also touched upon the relation between institutions and economic development, as well as in the relation between education and labor income. He earned his BA (2009) degree in economics from the National Autonomous University of Honduras and a MA (2013) degree in economics from Duke University. Read José's CV here.
Andrew Stravers is a PhD student in the Department of Government, specializing in International Relations and Comparative Politics. Andrew is interested in the American aid policies around the world and its effects on local development. His current work focuses on the placement of US military bases in rural and impoverished communities as a form of economic development aid, where they often have significant impacts upon local populations and the structure of the host governments. Andrew aims to produce theoretically innovative and policy relevant scholarly work that will contribute to a better understanding of the connection between economic and security issues around the world. His work has appeared in The Diplomat, The National Interest, RealClearDefense, and elsewhere. Read Andy's CV here.
Mary Vo is a second-year MA student in Global Policy Studies, specializing in International Development. Her research interests are disaster risk reduction and security issues in Asia. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Urban Studies in 2010. From 2012 to 2014, she worked abroad through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, and speaks intermediate-level Japanese. Her primary research skills include statistical analysis, GIS, and report writing. Her other skills include web design, graphic design, and video editing.
Honorary Research Fellows
Nisha Krishnan is a PhD student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, a former Project Manager for IPD and now lead GRA on the Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia (CEPSA) project funded by the Department of Defense Minerva Initiative. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of development and environment. She worked on the Global Adaptation Atlas at Resources for the Future (RFF), conducted vulnerability assessments in Central and West Asia, and designed guidance on climate change adaptation strategies for USAID. She has written on several topics, including monitoring and tracking systems for adaptation aid, the economic costs of adaptation, and application of valuation techniques for climate change. She holds a M.A. in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Macalester College.
Josiah Marineau is a PhD student in political science at the University of Texas-Austin. His research interests include the effects of foreign aid on peace agreement implementation in post-conflict African countries and network analysis approach to studying decisions to allocate and revoke foreign aid. He has conducted fieldwork in Burundi on refugee return and land conflicts, and has presented papers on this work at the African Studies Association conference and other conferences. He is also publishing a book chapter on military intervention in the civil wars Burundi between 1972 and 2006 in Securing Africa: Local Crises and Global Interventions (Forthcoming). He has studied French, and is knowledgeable about the R and SAS software. Prior to coming to the University of Texas-Austin, Josiah received a Master's in International Studies at the Korbel School of International Studies.
Henry Pascoe is a PhD student in the Department of Government, The University of Texas at Austin. He received a BA Political Science from the University of North Texas and expects to receive an MS Statistics in May 2014. His research interests focus on the relationship between organized violence, political development, and international cooperation. He has conducted field research in Bogota, Colombia. Current research projects consider issues surrounding the effective disbursement of aid and the role of foreign aid in political development. His dissertation focuses on how the ability (or inability) of leaders to exercise sovereignty over domestic groups conditions agreements between states, and how these interstate dynamics may incentivize strategic political development. Henry has methodological interests in field experiments, the development of inferential methods for geo-spatial analysis, and the formal analysis of signaling and learning.
James Smith is a second-year master’s student in Global Policy Studies at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs where he specializes in security, law, and diplomacy. Prior to beginning his studies at the University of Texas at Austin, James worked as an English teacher in Asia, where he spent two years in Busan, South Korea and one year in Ayutthaya, Thailand. His interest is primarily centered on Sino-U.S. relations and how they influence the East Asia-Pacific region. One of his focuses is how this relationship effects the potential reunification of the Korean Peninsula; his other areas of interest include conflict management and disaster relief. James received his BA in French from the University of New Orleans in 2010. He is fluent in French and proficient in Korean, Thai, and Mandarin Chinese.