Meet Our New Faculty

GPS welcomed five new faculty members 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.

bazzi.jpgSam Bazzi

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: My research examines how individuals and nations adapt to the challenges of diversity in a global world. Migration continuously shapes the cultural fabric of diverse societies. What holds citizens together amidst ethnic, religious and class divisions? My work explores the struggle between state and society and how these interactions affect political and economic development.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: My research aims to inform public debate and policy related to migration and diversity. My work on international migration has helped shape efforts by the Indonesian government to improve the lives of its citizens working abroad and to elevate the development impact of migration at home. My research on diversity and nation building has opened a new window for governments to foster stronger ties across ethnic and religious divides and to mitigate conflict.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: My goal is for students to develop the analytical toolkit needed to address today's most pressing global challenges. Evidence-based policymaking is crucial, and the most compelling evidence often requires navigating interdisciplinary and cross-cultural boundaries. My classes will leave students with the ability to ask the right questions and the tools to work together to answer them.

fortunato.jpeg

David Fortunato

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: I study many different types of processes and outcomes, but most of my research focuses on legislatures in one way or another. For example, one recent article examines the impact of women's representation in legislatures on import taxes and finds that when women control more seats in the legislature, tariff schedules are less gender discriminatory.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: Several of my working papers are focused on the real impact of investment in government capacity. Two working papers find that when legislatures have more resources (more meeting days, more staff to help gather information and scrutinize bureaucrats) they can get better performance out of on-the-ground government agents leading to 1) more transparent police agencies, that accurately report on their activities and 2) higher quality pharmaceutical control, which led to fewer opioid overdose deaths.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: I'd like my students to understand that the world is complicated and making effective policy instruments that can actually accomplish their intended goals is difficult.

faculty_handley.jpgKyle Handley

Q: What is your academic focus?

A: I am an applied economist studying the causes and consequences of globalization in the context of international trade, investment, uncertainty and firm employment dynamics. My research focuses on international trade, including how patterns in firm behavior and micro-data aggregate up to large economic impact; how international trade connects with industrial organization, macroeconomics, economic geography and entrepreneurship; and interactions between trade and other important economic outcomes like employment, income and uncertainty.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: Much of my research agenda is aimed at understanding how uncertainty over trade policy affects business decisions. In much of my work, we've found that reducing trade policy uncertainty through trade agreements can be just as important as reducing trade barriers. I've applied this approach to policy commitments at the WTO, Brexit and China's accession to the WTO in 2001. Insights from my work were used in the U.S. International Trade Commission's assessment of the costs and benefits of the renegotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreements.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: My goal is for the students to use economics as a way of knowing the business and policy world they will enter after leaving GPS. I try to bring as many current events and policy issues into lecture to make topics more relevant and accessible to students. Long after leaving my course and GPS behind, I hope they can still pick up a newspaper, read an international news story and understand how it may or may not affect their own work or their country.

libgober.jpg

Brian Libgober

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: My research focuses on the politics of regulation-making in the U.S. It addresses questions about legislative-executive relations, public bureaucracy and lobbying. 

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: Generalist legislatures are having a progressively harder time keeping up with the demands of overseeing an increasingly specialized economy. Therefore, they face increasing pressures to delegate law-making responsibilities to specialized agencies staffed by experts. My research examines how and when the public interest is protected or undermined through such delegation.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: I hope my classes impart situational awareness about the policymaking process. Policymakers and advocates constantly act under the proverbial fog of war. I want my students to understand the possible incentives and constraints facing various players in this system, so that they have a conceptual map for navigating these uncertain environments.

morgan-levy.jpg

Morgan Levy

Q: What is your academic focus?
A: I study water resources from an interdisciplinary perspective. I use methods from hydrology and ecohydrology, environmental and earth systems science, and applied statistics to do data-driven, policy-relevant research that connects climate to environmental and human health through water cycle processes.

Q: What are the real-world impacts of your research?
A: Many threats to people, economies and ecosystems are governed by connections between climate and hydrology. Policy solutions to challenges like freshwater availability, food insecurity and the transmission of many diseases rely on understanding how society interacts with natural and engineered water systems. For this reason, I work to understand feedbacks between humans and different components of the water cycle, such as rainfall and river flow. Ultimately, my goal is to inform the design of management and policy that supports sustainable freshwater systems.

Q: What skills or understanding do you hope students leave your class with?
A: With respect to my teaching focused on data analytics, I hope to give students practical data science tools for analysis of different types of data. Literacy and skill with rapidly expanding catalogs of physical and social data are not only critical for the assessment of environmental issues, but management and policy issues broadly.

With respect to my teaching on water resources, a goal of mine is for students to come away with an understanding of how water system processes are central to their lives and future work. I also hope to encourage the use of contemporary water science topics as a lens through which to think not only about environmental policy, but also about environmental equity and justice.