Programme Fellows 2023

Christiana Parreira

Christiana Parreira is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations and Political Science at the Geneva Graduate Institute. She holds a PhD in political science from Stanford University and a BA in public policy from Princeton University. Her research focuses on the role of local political institutions and actors in governance, looking primarily at post-conflict contexts in the Middle East and North Africa. Her forthcoming book project, for which she conducted several years of fieldwork, examines how local governments and elections have facilitated predatory state-building practices in Lebanon.  

Her other research has been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Peace Research, and Politics & Religion. Before joining the Graduate Institute, she served as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University and a pre-doctoral associate at the Harvard Kennedy School's Middle East Initiative.


Read the GLD interview with Christiana here!

Gabriel Koehler-Derrick

Gabriel Koehler-Derrick is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at NYU Abu Dhabi.  He holds a PhD from Harvard University, an MA from Columbia University, and a BA from Tufts University.  Gabe’s research focuses on economic and political development, state building, and the politics of religion with a regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa.  His work has been published in theQuarterly Journal of Economics,Terrorism and Political Violence, andInternational Studies Quarterly.

Prior to his current appointment, Gabe was a postdoctoral research associate at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. 


Read the GLD interview with Gabriel here

Ezra Karmel

Ezra Karmel received his PhD in political science from the University of Guelph, and he currently works with Proximity International, leading its Innovation Lab and providing technical input for its research, monitoring, evaluation, and learning programs. His research interests include public policy, local governance, and elections in authoritarian and stabilization contexts.

He has conducted the majority of his research in the Middle East and North Africa, with a particular focus on Jordan. He is also the host of the Middle East Law and Governance Podcast.  


Read the GLD interview with Ezra here

Jennifer Brass

Jennifer N. Brass is an associate professor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Her research focuses on service provision, governance, and state-society relationships in sub-Saharan Africa. Brass asks questions about how, which, and when people get access to services; whether and how the type of service provider (state, nonprofit, market) matters for service quality and state-society interactions; and how variation in access to services affects development outcomes.

Her award-winning 2016 Cambridge University Press book, Allies or Adversaries? NGOs and States in Africa and a series of related articles address these questions by focusing on service-providing NGOs. Brass shows how NGOs have become intertwined in governance in Kenya, not only in terms of both policymaking and implementation but also in terms of extending the geographic reach of the state. She argues that nonstate service provision relates to citizens' views of the state and their democratic participation. Another line of her publications focuses on one type of service: electricity. Brass is currently studying the very rapid expansion of electricity access in Kenya, examining questions related to energy security, energy justice, accountability, and citizenship practices.

Brass holds an MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.


Read the GLD interview with Jennifer here!  

Jesper Katomero

Jesper Katomero is an experienced researcher on local governance, water sector governance and accountability based in Tanzania. He is currently coordinating a two-year multi-country Accountability for Water (AfW) research programme involving Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia under Shahidi wa Maji (SwM) and Water Witness International (WWI) NGOs. The two NGO’s advocates for a fair water future and water security for all and are based in Tanzania and the UK, respectively. The Accountability for Water Research Programme seeks to strengthen accountability for improved water service delivery, water resource management and sector governance, and to accelerate the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals on water.

Jesper is also a lecturer at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Dodoma, Tanzania. His work has been funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research—Science for Global Development (NW-WOTRO), Hewlett Foundation and DFID. His normative orientation is “working with the grain” of institutions and organizations in the global South. 

Michael Wahman

Michael Wahman is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University, United States. He earned his PhD from Lund University (Sweden) and has previously held teaching and research positions at the University of Missouri, the London School of Economics, and the University of Texas-Austin. His work focuses on issues related to elections and democracy in Africa. He has particularly contributed to debates about political regionalism, election violence, representation, and party-system development. In extension, his work addresses the ways in which elections may contribute both to political liberalization and regime stability.

Dr. Wahman’s work has appeared in many of the top journals in political science, including journals such as American Political Science Research, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Journal of Peace Research, and Political Geography. He is currently finishing a book manuscript on the electoral geography of election violence in Malawi and Zambia.   

Sabine Franklin

Sabine Franklin earned her Ph.D from the School of Organisations, Economy and Society at the University of Westminster in London, U.K. Her research interests are in African politics, global health, and institutions. Her work can be found in Africa Spectrum, Revista Brasileira Estudos Políticos, and in the recent book:Outbreaks, Epidemics, and Health Security: COVID-19 and Ensuring Future Pandemic Preparedness in Ireland and the World. 

She is a Visiting Researcher at the Westminster Development Policy Network and is currently a 2022-2023 AAUW Postdoctoral Research Fellowship recipient at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. 

Silvia Otero Bahamón

Silvia Otero Bahamón is an Associate Professor at the School of International, Political, and Urban Studies at Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia. She completed her PhD in Political Science at Northwestern University (2016) and a master's degree at the same institution (2013).

Silvia's research topics include social policy, political economy of inequality, comparative politics of Latin America, state formation, and qualitative methods. Specifically, her research agenda focuses on the subnational dimensions of inequality, on which she is currently writing a book on subnational social inequality in Latin America and is advancing a research project on the reduction of income inequality in four Colombian cities. She has published her studies in World Development, Latin American Politics and Society, Geoforum, Studies in Comparative International Development, Health Affairs, and Revista de Estudios Sociales, among other journals.  

Sridhar Telidevara

Prof. Sridhar Telidevara has varied research interests and has published articles in journals like Poverty and Public Policy, Macroeconomics and Finance in Emerging Market Economies, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. He did his doctoral studies at SUNY Buffalo, USA. His academic research encompasses wide-ranging topics, including applied microeconomics, Consumer Behavior, the performance of dairy cooperative societies, and Governance and Local Development. The nature of research involves both theoretical and empirical modelling, including calibration of empirical data to theoretical models.

His teaching experience is also varied, and he has been teaching management graduates for over a decade on core, functional, and integrative courses. At DMI, he is associated with Sustainable Livelihoods and Leadership and Governance Collaborative Action Research and Education Centers. 

Tanu Kumar

Tanu Kumar is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Politics and Economics at Claremont Graduate University, and a faculty affiliate at the Center for Effective Global Action. 

Citizens almost universally feel that their national-level governments are out of touch with their needs. How can individuals create change in their own communities? Tanu studies the behaviour of citizens and bureaucrats in everyday politics at the local level, a political arena that has become much more important in the last twenty years.

Currently, she studies how growth in three areas can amplify citizen voice. These areas are housing policies, new or understudied modes of civic participation, and digital inclusion. Her regional expertise is in urban India. 

Vanessa van den Boogaard

Vanessa van den Boogaard is a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) and is based at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. At the ICTD, she co-leads the research programme on informality and taxation, which focuses on both informal taxation and the taxation of the informal economy.  

Her research focuses on the politics of taxation and informal institutions, with a particular focus on informal taxation and revenue generation and the relationship between formal and informal institutions. Her work aims to understand local institutions of financing public goods and the impacts that these institutions have for development, the state, and statebuilding processes. In addition to her work on informal taxation and revenue generation, Vanessa has ongoing research projects related to armed group taxation, formalisation processes, the role of zakat in non-state social welfare provision, and the role of traditional authorities in local governance.  

Vanessa completed a PhD in Political Science at the University of Toronto and has mixed methods, qualitative, and experimental research experience in Sierra Leone, Somalia, the DRC, Ghana, and Pakistan. 

Valesca Lima

Dr Valesca Lima is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the School of Law and Government in Dublin City University. She researches policymaking and governance with three main areas of interest: citizen participation, housing policy and social mobilization. Her examined recent housing mobilization for housing justice in Ireland and Portugal was funded by the Irish Research Council. Her work focused on citizen inclusion at the sub-national levels, especially in contexts where participatory democracy was being implemented. This work led to the publication of the book 'Participatory Democracy and Crisis' with Palgrave and several other articles.

Her co-edited volume, 'The Consequences of Brazilian Social Movements in Historical Perspectives' examines the political outcome of social movements and explores the various consequences of social protest, published with Routledge. She has also worked on the interconnections between the political participation of vulnerable groups and has an ongoing interest in democratic innovations in Ireland, Latin America, the EU and beyond.

She’s currently co-editor of the International Review of Public Policy (IRPP), the open-access journal of the International Public Policy Association (IPPA), the co-convenor of the PSAI's Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group and co-director of the Women in Research Ireland, a charity focused on elevating the voice of minorities in academia.