Amir Bagherpour

Senior Advisor, US State Department.

Amir Bagherpour is Senior Advisor at the US State Department, Bureau of Conflict Stabilization and Operations (CSO) in the Office of Policy, Partnerships and Learning. He is also Research Fellow at TransResearch Consortium. Dr. Bagherpour'sregional expertise is the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Before joining CSO, Dr. Bagherpour was a Senior Analyst at Voice of America where he established the Iran Research Desk.

Dr. Bagherpour's research interests center on the role of religion, governance and democracy. He is currently finishing a book detailing the Arab Spring through the intersection of social upheaval and democratic change processes, due out in 2013. Prior to his civilian career, Dr. Bagherpour served in the U.S. Army as an Armor Officer and is the first Iranian born graduate of West Point.Dr. Bagherpour received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University and an M.B.A. from the University of California Irvine.

Marie Besançon


Name: Marie Besançon
Academic Title: Associate Professor / Research Fellow
Email Address:

Dr. Besançon is currently writing about the Sudanese Muslim Brothers while a research fellow at the University of Khartoum, Sudan. She is also an associate professor at Portland State University and a senior fellow with the Trans Research Consortium. Additionally, her research encompasses state and regional alliances in the Horn of Africa.

From 2010 to 2013, Marie was the lead officer for the Socio-Cultural Research and Advisory Team at the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in Djibouti where she did research, writing, and training in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya.

After earning her PhD in Political Science from Claremont Graduate School, Marie was a post doc, research fellow, and senior fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government from 2002-2009 in the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. During this tenure, she was an adjunct professor at Northeastern University and co-taught classes at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Dr. Besançon was also an associate with the Initiative on Religion in International Affairs at the Kennedy School, and a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC simultaneously with a fellowship at the Hauser Center for Non Profits at Harvard. After visiting Darfur in 2005, Dr. Besançon founded Homes for Sudan (a nonprofit organization) with the late Nader Khalili from the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture.

Publications/Working Papers/Reports:

• ‘The Evolution of an Islamist.’ Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2016
• ‘The Soldier and the Street: East African CIMIC, Somalia and Beyond.’ 2015. PRISM. Vol. 5, No. 2
• “’China’s Growing Presence in Africa’ – ‘Sino-African Union Cooperation in Peace and Security’: Views of African and Chinese Scholars’” 2013 [CJTF-HOA Report]
• ‘Uganda Karamoja VETCAP: Partnering with UPDF and NGOs.’ 2012. [CJTF-HOA Report]
• ‘Al Shabaab: Diminishing Influence or New Strategies?’ 2012. [CJTF-HOA Report]
• ‘Obock MEDCAP- Optometry and Dental.’ (Evaluation of Medical Civic Action Program in Northern Djibouti) 2011. [CJTF-HOA Report]
• ‘Dire Dawa-Ethiopia: Local Views of U.S. Military Operations.’ 2010. [CJTF-HOA Report]
• ‘Somalia / Al-Shabaab Recruiting and Finance.’ 2010 [CJTF-HOA Report]
• ‘Islam into the Fold.’ [submitted /APSR, World Politics - under revision and updating]
• ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’ – Case Study on Senator Danforth as Special Envoy to the Sudan. 2009. [Harvard Kennedy School of Government- CR14-09-1905.0]
• ‘Government structure, strength, and effectiveness.’ 2008. Book Chapter in The Design and Use of Political Economy Indicators: Challenges of definition, Aggregation, and Application Eds. King Banaian, Bryan Roberts. Palgrave Macmillan.
• ‘Facing a Fragile Situation in Darfur.’ 2007. Boston Globe OPED
• ‘Relative Resources: Economic Inequality in Ethnic Wars, Revolutions and Genocide.’ 2005. Journal of Peace Research. Vol. 42, No. 4.
• ‘Measuring Capacity and Willingness for Poverty Reduction in Difficult Environments.’ 2005. DFID Paper
• Good Governance Rankings: The Art of Measurement. 2003. World Peace Foundation Reports, no. 36.
• ‘Women in the Northern Ireland Peace Process: A Novel Use of Expected Utility in Bridging the Gap between the Quantitative Scholars and the Policy Pundits.’ 2003. Boston Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights Working Paper No. 101
• ‘Effect of hypokalemia on the abundance of HK alpha 1 and HK alpha 2 protein in the rat kidney.’ 1997. (Kraut JA; Hiura J; Besancon M; Smolka A; Sachs G; Scott D) Am J Physiol. 272 (6 Pt 2): F744-50.
• ‘Acid secretion and Helicobacter pylori.’ 1997. (Sachs G; Meyer-Rosberg K; Scott DR; Melchers K; Shin J; Besancon M) Digestion. 58 Suppl 1: 8-13.
• ‘Sites of reaction of the gastric H,K-ATPase with extracytoplasmic thiol reagents.’ 1997. (Besancon M; Simon A; Sachs G; Shin JM) J Biol Chem; 272 (36): 22438-46.
• ‘Structural aspects of the gastric H,K ATPase.’ 1997. (Shin JM; Besancon M; Bamberg K; Sachs G) Ann NY Acad Sci; 834: 65-76.
• ‘Turnover of the gastric H+, K+-Adenosine triphosphatase a subunit and its effect on inhibition of rat gastric acid secretion.’ 1995. (K. Gedda, D. Scott, M. Besancon, P. Lorentzon G. Sachs) Gastroenterology: Vol 109: Issue 4:1134-1141.
• ‘Gastric acid secretion: activation and inhibition.’ 1994. (Sachs G; Prinz C; Loo D; Bamberg K; Besancon M; Shin JM) Yale J Biol Med; 67 (3-4): 81-95.
• ‘Continuing development of acid pump inhibitors: site of action of pantoprazole.’ 1994. (Shin JM; Besancon M; Prinz C; Simon A; Sachs G) Aliment Pharmacol Ther; 8 Suppl 1: 11-23.
• ‘Antibody epitope mapping of the gastric H+/K(+)-ATPase.’ 1993. (Mercier F; Bayle D; Besancon M; Joys T; Shin JM; Lewin MJ; Prinz C; Reuben MA; Soumarmon A; Wong H; et al) Biochim Biophys Acta; 1149 (1): 151-65.
• ‘The site of action of pantoprazole in the gastric H+/K(+)-ATPase.’ 1993. (Shin JM; Besancon M; Simon A; Sachs G) Biochim Biophys Acta; 1148 (2): 223-33.
• ‘Membrane topology and omeprazole labeling of the gastric H+,K(+)-adenosinetriphosphatase.’ 1993. (Besancon M; Shin JM; Mercier F; Munson K; Miller M; Hersey S; Sachs G) Biochemistry; 32 (9): 2345-55.
• ‘The continuing development of gastric acid pump inhibitors.’ 1993. (Sachs G; Shin JM; Besancon M; Prinz C) Aliment Pharmacol Ther; 7 Suppl 1 4-12, discussion 29-31.
• ‘Chemomechanical coupling in the gastric H,K ATPase.’ 1992. (Besancon M; Shin JM; Mercier F; Munson K; Rabon E; Hersey S; Sachs G) Acta Physiol Scand Suppl; 607: 77-88.
• ‘Topology and sites in the H,K-ATPase.’ 1992. (Sachs G; Shin JM; Besancon M; Munson K; Hersey S) Ann N Y Acad Sci; 671: 204-16.
• ‘Structural aspects of the gastric H,K-ATPase.’ 1992. (Sachs G; Besancon M; Shin JM; Mercier F; Munson K; Hersey S) J Bioenerg Biomembr; 24 (3): 301-8.

Constantine Boussalis

Empirical Research Fellow, Harvard Law School
Work Phone: (617)­ 495-4068

Constantine primarily studies the impact of political and social institutions on public health, environmental and economic outcomes. He also investigates political psychological aspects of these topics such as public support for regional integration and foreign aid.

His dissertation examined the political-economic and social factors which help minimize the destructive consequences of natural shocks. His systematic cross-national investigation of earthquake risk has yielded empirical evidence which suggests that after accounting for geophysical factors, government capacity and social capital are significantly associated with lower levels of devastation caused by seismic shocks. Other examples of recent work include an investigation of the impact of government capacity on malaria incidence reduction at the state level in India (with Hal Nelson and Siddharth Swaminathan) and an analysis of the determinants of HIV/AIDS foreign aid targeting by donor countries (with Caryn Peiffer).

Constantine's work has appeared in Social Science & Medicine and Journal of Development Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and a M.A. in International Studies from Claremont Graduate University as well as a B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Los Angeles.

Other related research work, publication, websites, and links

  • Towards Comprehensive Malaria Planning: The Effect of Government Capacity, Health Policy, and Land Use Variables on Malaria Incidence in India. (with Hal Nelson and Siddharth Swaminathan) Science & Medicine 75(7), 1213–1221. (October 2012)
  • Health, Need and Politics: the Determinants of Bilateral HIV/AIDS Assistance. (with Caryn Peiffer) Journal of Development Studies 47(12), 1798–1825. (December 2011)
  • Foreign Assistance and the Struggle against HIV/AIDS in the Developing World. (with Caryn Peiffer) Journal of Development Studies 46(3), 556–573. (March 2010)
  • Identity and Public Support for North American Integration (with Jennifer Merolla and Caryn Peiffer). Under Review.
  • Love Thy Neighbor: Social Identity and Public Support for Humanitarian Aid (with Linda Alvarez, Jennifer Merolla and Caryn Peiffer). Working Paper.
  • Social Capital, Democracy, and Trade Liberalization (with Hal Nelson and Peter Noordijk). Working Paper.
  • Doing a Good Turn Daily: Boy and Girl Scouts as a Proxy for Cross-National Social Capital (with Travis Coan and Hal Nelson) Research in progress.
  • 'Balance as Bias' Revisited: Harnessing the Power of Text-Mining to Understand Media Coverage of Climate Change (with Travis Coan) Research in progress.

Kristine Webster


Associate Professor, Accounting, Finance, and Real Estate, La Sierra University

Kristine Webster is an Associate Professor of Accounting, Finance and Real Estate at the Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University and is a doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Forensic Accountant, Notary, insurance producer and Realtor with 28 years of accounting, finance, real estate and insurance experience, including 20 years as Chief Financial Officer of both public and private companies. Her public accounting experience includes working for both Ernst & Whinney and Ernst & Young. Kristine has been an IRS VITA Site Coordinator for multi years overseeing and preparing hundreds of returns. She is currently serving as The Transresearch Consortium controller. She has also served as a detail-oriented, hands-on CFO/Vice President Finance for entities including:

• Tapout, LLC, the world’s leading mixed-martial arts apparel, gear and lifestyle brand for men, women and children on the market today;

• San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, one of the largest employers in the Inland Empire encompassing gaming, governmental operations and other enterprises employing over 3,000 people;

• Family Service Association of Western Riverside County, a nationally recognized non-profit agency that has responded to the changing dynamics of families, by expanding the scope of services to include comprehensive care for families in need;

•, among the first and largest online retailers in the dot com era. She took the company public in 1997 and was instrumental in arranging for its sale to Compaq Computer Corporation—for $220 million—via a reverse triangular merger in 1999.

Zeyad Elkelani


PhD Candidate and Research Assistant at Claremont Graduate University


Zeyad Elkelani is a world politics and computational analytics PhD student at Claremont Graduate University. He taught comparative politics and political methodology at the political science department, Cairo University and AMIDEAST. He participated in numerous international academic and business conferences. His prior research focused on the interplay between socioeconomic conditions and political values worldwide and the relation between political connections and state-business relations in the Middle East. He served as a former 2016 UN-AOC fellow and 2015 honorary ambassador for the Shafik Gabr foundation.

He is an advocate for research transparency through the UC Berkeley Initiative for Research Transparency. Zeyad completed his undergraduate degree in political science and public administration at Cairo University, Joint MA degree at the American University in Cairo and Tubingen University in Germany, in addition to studying abroad at Columbia Add to dictionary and Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Travis G. Coan

Statistician and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
Work Phone: (617)­ 495-5268

Travis research examines the influence of environmental, economic, and security crises on political behavior and public policy preferences. His research also investigates topics in international political economy, including the politics of foreign direct investment and the dynamics of international development.

Travis' research spans a wide-range of topics in political science. His most recent work uses experimental methods to explore the relationship between human security crises and political behavior. This research examines a diverse set of crises, from terrorism and economic decline (with Jennifer L. Merolla and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister) to global environmental threats (with Mirya R. Holman). Travis is also involved in an on-going project on the dynamics of human development (with Mark A. Abdollahian and Birol Yesilada) and the political economy of foreign direct investment (with Tadeusz Kugler).

Travis' research has appeared in International Studies Quarterly, International Interactions, Political Psychology, and Social Science Quarterly, among others. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and a M.A. in International Political Economy from Claremont Graduate University, as well as a B.A. in Economics from California State University, Chico. For more information on Travis and links to his research, see

Other related research work, publication, websites, and links

  • Mark Abdollahian, Travis G. Coan, Hana Oh, and Birol Yesilada. 2012. Dynamics of Cultural Change: the Human Development Perspective." International Studies Quarterly: 1-17.
  • Travis G. Coan, Jennifer L. Merolla, Jennifer Ramos, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. 2010. Engage Abroad, Protect at Home," in Jennifer Merolla and Elizabeth Zechmeister's Democracy at Risk: How Terrorist Threats Affect the Public. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.
  • Travis G. Coan and Mirya R. Holman. 2008. "Voting Green." Social Science Quarterly, 89(5): 1121-1135.
  • Travis G. Coan and Tadeusz Kugler. 2008. "The Politics of Foreign Direct Investment: An Interactive Framework." International Interactions, 34: 402-422.
  • Travis G. Coan, Jennifer L. Merolla, Laura Stephenson, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. 2008. "It's Not Easy Being Green: Minor Party Labels as Heuristic Aids." Political Psychology, 29(3): 389-405.
  • Travis G. Coan, Jennifer L. Merolla, and Elizabeth J. Zechmeister. "Emotional Responses to Human Security Threats: Evidence from a National Experiment." Working Paper, 2012.
  • Travis G. Coan and Mirya R. Holman. "Evaluating Political and Environmental Behavior in the Face of a Green Crisis: An Experimental Analysis." Under Review, 2012.
  • Constantine Boussalis and Travis G. Coan. "'Balance as Bias' Revisited: Harnessing the Power of Text-Mining to Understand Media Coverage of Climate Change," Working Paper, 2012.
  • Principal Investigator for the World Values Survey in Cyprus.

Ali Fisunoglu

Name: Ali Fisunoglu
Academic Title: Assistant Professor
Email Address:

Ali Fisunoglu is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Ozyegin University, Istanbul, Turkey. He received his B.A. in Economics from Koç University in 2009, M.A. in International Political Economy from Claremont Graduate University in 2012, and Ph.D. in Political Science and Economics from Claremont Graduate University in 2014. His research interests include political economy of growth and development, peace & conflict studies, political demography, international political economy, economic and demographic consequences of war, measurement and analysis of political performance of nations, econometrics, game theory, and computational analysis.

Dr. Fisunoglu has been awarded scholarships from Vehbi Koç Foundation and Claremont Graduate University, and is also a Fulbright alumni. He is a Senior Fellow at the TransResearch Consortium and an Associate Analyst at Global Impact Strategies.

Curriculum Vitae: Click Here