Meet Our New Faculty

GPS welcomed five new faculty members this fall who arrived with energy, enthusiasm and a diverse range of teaching experiences. Learn a little about each of them below as we asked three questions about their academic focus, research and teaching.

Francisco Garfias

Francisco Garfias

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: My research focuses on the political economy of development.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: Good policies require capable governments that are able to implement them. My research explores why some states develop the ability to extract resources from society, while others cannot raise even the minimum necessary to implement basic policies.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: In my teaching, I help students develop the necessary skills to make sense of complex social phenomena. I highlight the relevance of clear reasoning and basic quantitative skills in future professional settings.

Teevrat Garg

Teevrat Garg

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: Environmental issues in developing countries.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: The relationships between environment, climate change and the poor are complex, and uncovering those mechanisms is key to designing climate policy that incorporates the impacts on the most marginalized groups in the world.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: I hope my students develop the ability to separate evidence and noise when understanding public policy.

Nico Ravanilla

Nico Ravanilla

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: I focus on governance, political economy of development and Southeast Asia.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: Good governance underpins the effective implementation of almost the entire development agenda. I believe my research on examining and improving the quality of the elected government plays a crucial role in the success of good governance initiatives.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: I hope students acquire skill sets that are useful in the real world and that they learn about other places such as Southeast Asia and then bring that knowledge into the problems they face in their work and social context.

Kate Ricke

Kate Ricke

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: My research addresses the heterogeneities and uncertainties associated with both present and future effects of climate change.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: I integrate tools from the physical and social sciences to analyze climate policy problems. By combining diverse techniques and drawing from a variety of disciplines, I aim to shed new light upon the policy implications of physical phenomena.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: Domain-specific intuition and problem-solving skills. I think intuition is built by repeatedly exploring a core concept in multiple contexts, especially real-world applications. Once this intuition is robust, it becomes trivial for students-turned-professionals to adapt, incorporate and apply its concepts to the problem at hand.

Weiyi Shi

Weiyi Shi

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: My research is at the intersection of international political economy and Chinese politics.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: China’s economic rise arouses both hope and anxiety. My research hopes to inform scholars, as well as the policy community, with sound empirical evidence. I’ve given talks at the Council of Foreign Relations, the World Bank and written several op-eds.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: My goal as an educator is to encourage students to ask interesting questions and seek creative and scientific ways to answer these questions, including developing an analytical toolbox. I want students to bridge theory and practice and to think about real-world applications of the toolbox they acquire in the classroom.