• Erik Gartzke

    Erik Gartzke


    Dr. Gartzke studies war, peace and international institutions.  His research interests include nuclear security, the liberal peace, international institutions and the evolving nature of warfare.  He has written on the effects of commerce, economic development, system structure and climate change on war.  Professor Gartzke’s research appears in theAmerican Political Science Review,the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science,International Organization,International Security, International Studies Quarterly,the Journal of Conflict Resolution,the Journal of Politics,World Politics, and elsewhere
  • Megumi Naoi

    Megumi Naoi

    Affiliated Researcher: Executive Committee

    Dr. Naoi is an Associate Professor of Political Science at University of California, San Diego. Her research interests bridge the fields of international and comparative political economy with particular interests in the politics of trade in East Asia, especially in Japan. Naoi is the author of Building Legislative Coalitions for Free Trade in Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which examines how party leaders liberalized trade in post-War Japan and Thailand by buying off legislative support with side-payments such as pork barrel projects. Her other works have appeared in American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly and others. Naoi received a Ph.D. from Columbia University and M.A. and B.A. from Keio University, Tokyo, Japan. 

  • Stephan Haggard

    Stephan Haggard

    Affiliated Researcher: Executive Committee

    Stephan Haggard is the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies; director, Korea-Pacific Program; and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. He works on the political economy of developing countries, with a particular interest in Asia and the Korean peninsula. His current research focuses on the relationship between inequality, democratization, and authoritarianism in developing countries.  Haggard has written extensively on the political economy of North Korea with Marcus Noland, including Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid, and Reform (2007) and Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea (2011). Haggard and Noland co-author the “North Korea: Witness to Transformation” blog at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Haggard is the editor of the Journal of East Asian Studies and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He earned his PhD from UC Berkeley.

  • David A. Lake

    David A. Lake

    Affiliated Researcher: Executive Committee

    David A. Lake is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. He has published widely in international relations theory and international political economy. Lake’s most recent book is Hierarchy in International Relations (2009). In addition to over seventy scholarly articles and chapters, he is also the author of Power, Protection, and Free Trade: International Sources of U.S. Commercial Strategy, 1887-1939 (1988) and Entangling Relations: American Foreign Policy in its Century (1999) and co-editor of eight volumes including most recently Governance in a Global Economy: Political Authority in Transition (2003) andDelegation and Agency in International Organizations (2006). He is also the co-author of a comprehensive new textbook on World Politics: Interests, Interactions, and Institutions (2009). Lake has served as Research Director at the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (1992-1966 and 2000-2001), co-editor of the journal International Organization (1997-2001), chair of UCSD’s Political Science department (2000-2004), and Associate Dean (2006-2011) and Acting Dean (2011-12) of Social Sciences at UCSD. He is the founding chair of the International Political Economy Society, and was Program Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (2007). He is President-Elect of International Studies Association (2010-2011). The recipient of the UCSD Chancellor’s Associates Award for Excellence in Graduate Education (2005), he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1984 and taught at UCLA from 1983 to 1992.

  • Branislav Slantchev

    Branislav Slantchev

    Affiliated Researcher

    Slantchev studies military coercion, the causes of war and peace, the political economy of non-democratic regimes, and state formation. His articles appear in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political ScienceInternational Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and Security Studies, among others.  His book, Military Threats: The Costs of Coercion and the Price of Peace, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation. Slantchev teaches courses in International Relations, National Security, American Foreign Policy, and Game Theory.

  • Rex Douglass

    Rex Douglass

    MSSL Director

    Rex W. Douglass is the director of the Machine Learning for Social Science Lab (MSSL) at the Center for Peace and Security Studies, University of California San Diego. His research focuses on applying advanced technologies to research problems in the social sciences and policy world, particularly on issues of human conflict. Some of his research investigates how to use existing sources in novel ways, like cell phone data for creating a population census, historical news and archival documents for global measures of human violence, or historical military maps and satellite imagery as a measure of global infrastructure. Other projects focus on automating and reducing the cost of getting unstructured raw information into usable big data, like graphical user interfaces for human labeling of text sources, natural language processing pipelines for automated knowledge extraction, and machine vision pipelines for optical character recognition on old historical documents. He has worked at UCSD since 2012 after completing his Ph.D. in Politics at Princeton University
  • Peter Schram

    Peter Schram


    Peter Schram is a former postdoc for the Political Science Department at UCSD. He holds a PhD from the Political Economics group at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. His research uses empirical and microeconomic methods to study counterinsurgency, economic development, and grey zone conflict. He currently works on the Minerva project “Deterring Complex Threats: the Effects of asymmetry, interdependence and Multi-polarity on International Strategy”, where he uses game theoretic modeling to examine the decisions of state and non-state actors regarding their tactics and use of force. In the Fall 2017, he joined Vanderbilt’s Political Science Department as an Assistant Professor.

  • Jon Lindsay

    Jon Lindsay


    Dr. Lindsay is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs. He teaches in the Masters of Global Affairs curriculum. His research focuses on cybersecurity, military innovation, and grand strategy. He examines the impact of technology on international security and has appeared in International Security, Security Studies, Journal of Strategic Studies, and Technology and Culture. He is editor (with Tai Ming Cheung and Derek Reveron) and contributor for China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming 2015). He holds a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MS in computer science and BS in symbolic systems from Stanford University. He is an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve with seventeen years of experience, including active duty assignments in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

  • Michael Nacht

    Michael Nacht


    Dr. Nacht is the Thomas and Alison Schneider Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Dr. Nacht has had a diverse career in academic, government, and the private sector, specializing in US national security policy and international affairs; technology and public policy; and management strategies for complex organizations. Dr. Nacht served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs from 2009-10 after a unanimous US Senate confirmation for which he received the Distinguished Public Service award, the highest civilian honor.

  • Peter Barnes Jr.

    Peter Barnes Jr.


    Dr. Barnes is a research scientist in Livermore’s Physical and Life Sciences Directorate. He has a 24 year background in systems architecture, design, and implementation. He received his B. S. in Physics from Yale University, and Ph.D. in Physics from UC Berkeley, where he designed and built the first cryogenic dark matter experiment. Since then he has designed, built, and deployed experimental systems for neutrino oscillations, proton radiography, particle production and cross section measurements, and homeland security applications. Recently he has applied algorithms and methods from particle physics analysis to advanced cyber-security problems. He currently leads the network modeling team at Livermore, and co-leads the discrete event simulation team. He has published in Physical Review, Physical Review Letters, Nuclear Instruments and Methods, and The Annals of the ACM.

  • Braden C. Soper

    Braden C. Soper


    Dr. Braden Soper is a data scientist in the Global Security Computing Applications Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  His thesis research involved the development, analysis and computation of game theoretic models for adversarial threat detection in the cyber security domain.  As a researcher at LLNL, Dr. Soper applies his skills as an applied mathematician and statistician to assist in the modeling and analysis of complex data sets in a variety of domains.

  • Kyle Beardsley

    Kyle Beardsley


    Kyle is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Duke University, after having recently moved from Emory University. He received his PhD from the University of California, San Diego in 2006. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland. He teaches a range of courses on international conflict resolution, international security, and research methodology. His research interests include the political consequences and causes of third-party involvement in peace processes, the nature of intrastate rebellion, the motivations for and implications of gender balancing in post-conflict security forces, and the effects of nuclear-weapons proliferation on conflict behavior. 

  • Victor Asal

    Victor Asal


    Victor Asal is Director of the Center for Policy Research and an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the director of the Homeland Security Certificate and MPA Concentration in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. He received his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park.  He is also, along with R. Karl Rethemeyer,  the co-director of the Project on Violent Conflict.  Dr. Asal is affiliated with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Dr. Asal’s research focuses on the choice of violence by non-state organizational actors as well as the causes of political discrimination by states against different groups such as sexual minorities, women and ethnic groups. In addition, Prof. Asal has done research on the impact of nuclear proliferation and on the pedagogy of simulations.  Asal has been involved in research projects funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, The Department of Homeland Security, The National Science Foundation, and The Office of Naval Research. 

    Prof. Asal teaches courses on world and comparative politics, political violence and oppression, negotiation and research design. He has worked as a negotiation trainer in a variety of academic, governmental and military settings, and in conjunction with the ICONS Project, created simulations on varied topics.

  • Thomas Leo Scherer

    Thomas Leo Scherer


    Tom Scherer is the deputy director of the Machine Learning for Social Science Lab (MSSL) at the Center for Peace and Security Studies, University of California San Diego where he works with the team to apply innovative research technologies to peace and conflict issues. Tom spent three years at the US Institute of Peace conducting and supporting research on peace and conflict before joining cPASS in 2017. He completed his PhD in Politics at Princeton University. His dissertation, "Peace for Keeps", examined the strategic interaction between the UN, the host government, and the rebels, and what this can tell us about the role of sovereignty in International Relations. He is also interested in global emergency response, gender and conflict, and  the micro-dynamics of conflict.

  • Jason M. Lopez

    Jason M. Lopez

    Program Manager

    As the Program Administrator for the Center for Peace and Security Studies (cPASS) at UCSD, Jason provides day-to-day organizational management, budget tracking and forecasting, project reports, coordination with subawardees and off campus collaborators, locates funding opportunities, oversees new proposals, and serves as primary resource for PIs and primary point of contact for program inquiries. He currently manages several DoD research projects that include the study of Cross Domain Deterrence, Cybersecurity, Grayzone Conflict, Power Projection and other Peace and International Security issues.  Mr. Lopez holds an MPA from Villanova University, is a Veteran of the Unites States Army, and has over 15 years of experience working in Public Administration.

  • Jeff Fritsch

    Jeff Fritsch

    Programmer/ Analyst/ IT Consultant

    Jeff is the Director of computer systems and consulting. He oversees programming and systems support, application and development research, and system security at the University of California, San Diego campus.

  • Lea Williams

    Lea Williams

    Grant Administrator 

    As the Grant Administrator for the Center for Peace and Security Studies (cPASS), Lea conducts research for new grant opportunities, assembles and completes grant proposals, oversees transactions related to contract and grant management, and maintains contract and grant records. Her previous experience has included grants, data, and management work with social services-oriented nonprofit organizations in San Diego. Ms. Williams holds a MPIA from the University of California, San Diego and a BA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

  • Sandra Soto

    Sandra Soto

    Fund Manager

    As the Fund Manager for the Center for Peace and Security Studies (cPASS), Sandra manages post-award services.  Sandra has been with UCSD for over 2 years and has experience in budget preparation, budget projections, expenditure reports, subcontracts, federal grants, private sponsors, agency compliance, and UCSD fiscal practices.

  • Andres Gannon

    Andres Gannon

    Graduate Student Researcher

    J Andres Gannon is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. He studies international security and variations in how interstate wars are fought and planned. His current work focuses on the evolution of military strategy by great powers, variations in signaling and communication during international crises, and the implications these have for international stability and US foreign policy. Andres holds a BA in International Relations from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.

  • Patrick Hulme

    Patrick Hulme

    Graduate Student Researcher

    Patrick Hulme is a Ph.D. student in political science at the University of California, San Diego, where he is a Jacobs Fellow. His research and teaching interests include the international relations of the Asia-Pacific, U.S.-China relations, international security, international law, and U.S. foreign policy. He holds a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Chinese from the University of California, Davis, and a J.D.—with a specialization in International and Comparative Law—from the UCLA School of Law.

  • Alexandra Woodruff

    Alexandra Woodruff

    Graduate Student Researcher

    Alexandra Woodruff is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests include international security, foreign policy, public opinion, political psychology, and experimental design. Her current research explores the foundations and consequences of individual preference formation regarding foreign policy. Alexandra holds a BA from Dartmouth College.


  • Daegyeong (D.G.) Kim

    Daegyeong (D.G.) Kim

    Graduate Student Researcher

    Daegyeong (D.G.) Kim is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. His research interests include the psychological and cognitive foundations of foreign policymaking and public opinion utilizing experiments and neuroimaging techniques. D.G. holds a BA from Cornell University.

  • Shannon Carcelli

    Shannon Carcelli

    Graduate Student Researcher

    Shannon Carcelli is a Ph.D. Candidate specializing in International Political Economy and American Foreign Policy at the University of California, San Diego. Her research seeks to explain and measure changes in the fragmentation of U.S. foreign policy, especially foreign aid policy, over the past half century. She holds a BA from Carleton College. Find more information on her research at cPass and UCSD at

  • Jiakun Jack Zhang

    Jiakun Jack Zhang

    Graduate Student Researcher

    Jiakun Jack Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of California, San Diego. His research explores the political economy of trade and conflict in East Asia. His dissertation examines when and why economically interdependent countries use military versus economic coercion in foreign policy disputes. Drawing upon field work in Beijing and original data on Chinese economic coercion, he focuses particularly on Chinese behavior towards its trade partners and foreign multinational companies. His research and teaching interests include international political economy, international security, Chinese politics, and U.S.-China relations. His research has been supported by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation.

  • Rachel Theo

    Rachel Theo

    Fiscal and Travel Assistant

    Rachel Theo is a fourth year undergraduate student at University of California, San Diego. She is majoring in International Studies - International Business with a Rady minor in Accounting. At cPASS, she assists Jason Lopez, the project manager, in tracking all events, managing travel plans, and processing reimbursements for any travel and/or other expenses incurred under cPASS. Outside of her field, she has a deep love for music, tropical islands and poetry.
  • Rosa Namgoong

    Rosa Namgoong

    Administrative Assistant

    Rosa Namgoong is a pre-law Political Science International Relations major with a minor in Philosophy. At the Center for Peach and Security Studies, Rosa works under the Project Manager, Jason Lopez. Her duties include projects such as grant proposals, event management and office logistics.

  • Amanda Madany

    Amanda Madany

    Amanda Madany is a third year undergraduate student at University of California, San Diego. She is a double major in Political Science: International Relations and Chinese Studies. She previously worked as an intern at American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai while studying abroad in Shanghai. She will be compiling data on various projects involving militarized disputes and is interested in international security and strategic deterrence. 
  • Erin Werner

    Erin Werner

    Erin Werner is a third year undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego. She is an Applied Mathematics major with a minor in Computer Science. Erin is responsible for the data collection of various projects as well as coding programs to facilitate data analytics. Her academic interests include data science and machine learning.
  • Lisa Yen

    Lisa Yen

    Lisa is a third year undergraduate student at UC San Diego, majoring in Cognitive Science with specialization in Human-Computer Interaction. Lisa is responsible for data collection for various projects under cPASS. Outside of school, she enjoys watching movies and reading.
  • Cailen Rodriguez

    Cailen Rodriguez

    Cailen is a third year undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego. She is majoring in Political Science/ International Relations and has a minor in Law & Society. At cPASS, she assists with data collection for various projects involving military operations, the history of war and its participants. Outside of cPASS, she’s an intern at the El Cajon Superior Court East County Division and is an important member of the Warren Equilibrium research journal. Her interests include international law and conflict, international organizations, and national security.
  • Lichen (Brittany) Zhang

    Lichen (Brittany) Zhang

    Brittany is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego, majoring in Mathematics - Computer Science with a minor in Spanish Studies. She works as a Research Assistant at the Machine Learning for Social Science Lab (MSSL) at the Center for Peace and Security Studies. She writes R and Python programs that applies advanced technologies to research problems in social sciences. Brittany’s academic interests include data structures and computer graphics.

  • Erin Ling

    Erin Ling

    Erin is a first-year undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego, currently majoring in Political Science-International Relations. She is responsible for assisting graduate students with data collection regarding military affairs and international security. Erin’s academic interests include political theory, national security studies, and cognitive behavioral science.
  • Woong Hyun Suh

    Woong Hyun Suh

    Woong is a senior undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego, majoring in Electrical Engineering & Society (Economics Track), with minor in Mathematics. He works as a Research Assistant collecting and encoding data for various projects at the Center for Peace and Security Studies (cPASS), and also participating in R and Python coding for projects under Machine Learning for Social Science Lab (MSSL). Previously, he worked as a project management intern at Becton Dickinson, San Diego, modeling efficient project design. Woong is interested in Data Science and its diverse application.
  • Yiyi Sun

    Yiyi Sun

    Yiyi is a second year undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego. She is currently majoring in economics with a minor in political science. At cPASS she assists with data collection for various projects related to international security and military affairs. Outside of cPASS, Yiyi works as a private equity research intern at StepStone Group.

  • Cole Reynolds

    Cole Reynolds

    Cole is a third year undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego. He is a double major in Mathematics - Computer Science and Cognitive Science - Machine Learning. At cPASS, Cole focuses on applying data science methods to international security issues. His main interests are data science, machine learning, cyber warfare, and naval strategy.