Faculty

Phil Potter

Philip Potter is an Associate Professor specializing in foreign policy and international relations. He also conducts research in the area of international terrorism and is a principal investigator for a Department of Defense Minerva Initiative project to map and analyze collaborative relationships between terrorist organizations.

Allan C. Stam

  • Garrett 107

Allan C. Stam is the Dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on the dynamics of armed conflict between and within states. He is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2007 he was a residential fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Ahmed Abbasi

Professor Abbasi is Director of McIntire’s Center for Business Analytics, and teaches courses in business and web analytics in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Professor Abbasi’s research interests relate to predictive analytics, with applications in online fraud and security, text mining, health, and social media. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in top journals and conferences, including MIS QuarterlyJournal of MISACM Transactions on Information SystemsIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering; and IEEE Intelligent Systems. His projects on Internet fraud and social media analytics have been funded by the National Science Foundation. He has also received the IBM Faculty Award and AWS Research Grant for his work on “big data.”

Professor Abbasi has presented his work at several national and international conferences and has won best paper awards from MIS Quarterly, the Association for Information Systems, and the Workshop on Information Technologies and Systems. He is a member of the Association for Information Systems and senior member of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Professor Abbasi serves as an associate editor for ACM TMIS and IEEE Intelligent Systems. He also serves on program committees for various conferences related to computational linguistics, text analytics, and data mining. His work has been featured in several media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal; the Associated Press, and Fox News. Before joining the McIntire School, he worked as a project lead on multimillion dollar “big data” initiatives in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Arizona. He has also co-founded and/or served on the advisory board for multiple predictive analytics-related companies.

Paul Becker

  • Garrett Hall

Paul Becker is a former Naval Intelligence Rear Admiral who served for 30 years around the globe in peace, crisis and combat. He is a recognized expert in national security affairs and leadership. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Naval Analyses. Paul most recently served as the head of the Presidential Transition’s Intelligence Community Landing Team which provided policy guidance and operational counsel to new administration Cabinet Secretaries.

Donald E. Brown

  • Olsson Hall, Room 102C

Dr. Brown is Founding Director of the Data Science Institute, the W.S. Calcott Professor of the Department of Systems and Information Engineering and Co-Director of the Translational Health Institute of Virginia, University of Virginia. Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Dr. Brown served as an officer in the U.S. Army and later worked at Vector Research, Inc. on projects in medical information processing and multi-sensor surveillance systems. He is now President of Commonwealth Computer Research, Inc. which provides data analysis and technical services for numerous private and governmental organizations. He serves on the National Research Council Committee on Transportation Security has served on the National Academy of Sciences panel on High Performance Computing and Crisis Management and on the NRC Committee on Surface Transportation Infrastructure Security. He is a past member of the Joint Directors of Laboratories Group on Data Fusion and a former Fellow at the National Institute of Justice Crime Mapping Research Center.

Dr. Brown has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator for over 90 research contracts with federal, state, and private organizations. He has over 120 published papers and two edited books. His research focuses on data fusion, knowledge discovery, and predictive modeling with applications to security and safety.

Dr. Brown is a Fellow of the IEEE and a past President of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. He is the recipient of the Norbert Wiener Award for Outstanding Research in the areas of systems engineering, data fusion, and information analysis. He has also received an Outstanding Contribution Award from that society and the IEEE Millennium Medal. The student chapter of the International Council on Systems Engineering has named him the best undergraduate teacher three years in a row (2001, 2002, and 2003). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transaction on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans . He has served on the administrative committee of the IEEE Neural Networks Council. He is coeditor of the books, Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence: The Integration of Problem Solving Strategies and Intelligent Scheduling Systems. He is also past-Chairman of the Operations Research Society of America Technical Section on Artificial Intelligence and he is the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from that Society. Dr. Brown’s students have won competitions in the Omega Rho honor society, the IEEE, the Brunswick Society, and the Operations Research Society of America.

Brad Carson

  • Garrett Hall L048

Brad Carson has built a distinguished 20-year career in public service, law, and education. Mr. Carson deployed as an intelligence officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service. Most recently, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to become the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness. Acting in that capacity from March 2015 to April 2016, Mr. Carson oversaw the human resources, military readiness, training, and healthcare of the nearly 5 million service members and civilians within the Department of Defense and managed an internal organization of 30,000 employees. For his work reforming the Pentagon bureaucracy, he was hailed by military historian Richard Kohn as the most consequential and successful leader of Personnel & Readiness since its beginning in 1950. Rising quickly through the Pentagon hierarchy, Mr. Carson was selected just a year earlier to become the Under Secretary of the U.S. Army, where he managed the daily operations of the largest military service. Mr. Carson also served for two years as General Counsel of the U.S. Army.

Alison Criss

Alison Criss is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology in the School of Medicine. Dr. Criss’s laboratory investigates how pathogenic microorganisms manipulate the immune system in order to cause disease, focusing on the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, an antibiotic-resistant “superbug” that infects hundreds of millions of people worldwide each year. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify targets in the host or pathogen for developing vaccines and new antimicrobial drugs, while preventing sterility and other negative outcomes associated with the inflammatory response to infection. This research is supported by the National Institutes of Health and local and statewide sources of funding. Dr. Criss’ honors include the American Society for Microbiology / Interscience Conference for Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Young Investigator Award, the School of Medicine Dean’s Awards for Excellence in Research and in Teaching, election to the UVA Academy of Distinguished Educators, and selection as a UVA Pinn Scholar. At UVA, Dr. Criss serves on the Executive Committee of the NIH-sponsored Infectious Diseases Training Grant and the Advisory Committee for the Biomedical Data Sciences Training Grant. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals, was editor of the Thematic Issue on Pathogenic Neisseria in the journal Pathogens and Disease (2017), has been on organizing committees of international scientific conferences, and is Chair of the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting. Criss Lab Website

Ashley Deeks

  • WB373

Ashley Deeks is the E. James Kelly, Jr.-Class of 1965 Research Professor at the University of Virginia Law School. Her primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of international law, national security, intelligence, and the laws of war. Earlier she served as the assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser. She serves on the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law and the Board of Editors for the American Journal of International Law. She is the supervising editor of AJIL Unbound and is a senior contributor to the Lawfare blog.

Kirsten Gelsdorf

  • Garrett L028

As Director of Global Humanitarian Policy, Kirsten brings 19 years of experience working in the humanitarian sector; most recently serving as the Chief of the Policy Analysis and Innovation section at the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. She has led major policy processes and authored numerous high-profile policy reports documents that have been implemented by Member States and adopted in key UN resolutions.

Harry Harding

  • Garrett L030

Harry Harding is a specialist on Asia and U.S.-Asian relations. Presently a University Professor and Professor of Public Policy at UVA, he also holds a concurrent appointment as Visiting Professor of Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where he is senior advisor to the Institute on Public Policy and an instructor in its senior executive education program for the Hong Kong government on leadership and public policy.

David Leblang

  • Garrett 102

David Leblang is Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and is a Faculty Associate at the Miller Center where he is the J. Wilson Newman Professor of Governance. He is also a Professor of Public Policy at the University’s Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy where he is Director of the Global Policy Center. Since 2010 he has served as Department Chair of the Department of Politics.

Todd S. Sechser

  • S282 Gibson Hall

Todd S. Sechser is the Pamela Feinour Edmonds and Franklin S. Edmonds Jr. Discovery Professor of Politics, Professor of Public Policy, and a Senior Fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs.
Dr. Sechser’s research interests include coercive diplomacy, emerging technologies, nuclear security, and political violence. He is coauthor of the book Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and his research has appeared in academic journals such as International Organization, the American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the Non-Proliferation Review. His writing on policy issues has been published in media outlets such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and the Christian Science Monitor, and he regularly consults for several government and military agencies. He is also the director of the Program on Strategic Stability Evaluation, a multi-university working group studying the effects of new technologies on international security.

Dr. Sechser was previously a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a John M. Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University, where he wrote an award-winning doctoral dissertation. Before entering academia, Dr. Sechser worked as a nuclear policy analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Example Publications:

Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy (Cambridge University Press, 2017). With Matthew Fuhrmann.
• “Reputations and Signaling in Coercive Bargaining.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 62:2 (2018), pp. 318-45.
• “A Bargaining Theory of Coercion.” In Kelly M. Greenhill and Peter Krause, eds., The Power to Hurt: Coercion in Theory and Practice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).
• “Military Technology and the Duration of Civil Conflict.” International Studies Quarterly 61:3 (2017), pp. 704-20. With Jonathan D. Caverley.
• “Signaling Alliance Commitments: Hand-Tying and Sunk Costs in Extended Nuclear Deterrence.” American Journal of Political Science 58:4 (2014), pp. 919-35. With Matthew Fuhrmann.
• “Crisis Bargaining and Nuclear Blackmail.” International Organization 67:1 (2013), pp. 173-95. With Matthew Fuhrmann.
• “The Illusion of Democratic Credibility.” International Organization 66:3 (2012), pp. 457-89. With Alexander B. Downes.
• “Goliath’s Curse: Coercive Threats and Asymmetric Power.” International Organization 64:4 (2010), pp. 627-60.

Gerald Warburg

  • Garrett 102

Gerry Warburg is a Professor of Practice and teaches courses at the Batten School on Congress, U.S. foreign policy and advocacy strategies. His research interests include the study of best practices by non-governmental organizations and the evolution of U.S. nuclear non-proliferation policies. Warburg’s professional background encompasses a broad array of public service. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President of Cassidy &Associates, a leading government relations firm. Prior to that position, he worked as a legislative assistant for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives under Senate Whip Alan Cranston and Representative Jonathan Bingham.