• Laura Laderman

    Laura Laderman, data analyst, performs quantitative analysis and creates data visualizations for Measure of America. She holds a BA in physics and a minor in statistics from Swarthmore College. She was previously a Summer of Maps Fellow at Azavea, where she conducted geospatial analysis for nonprofit organizations. In addition to making maps, she enjoys dancing, hiking, and growing vegetables.

    Title
    Research Associate
    Department
    Measure of America
    Contact
    laderman@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3715
    Staff
  • Vikki Lassiter

    Vikki Lassiter, Partnerships Specialist, provides strategic direction for stakeholder outreach and expanding Measure of America’s collaborative advantage to support research, advocacy, and bottom-up innovation. Previously, Vikki was the senior advisor and executive director for the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network based at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health. Vikki’s prior work has focused on a number of issues related to change management, health equity, and community-partnered research. Vikki earned an MS in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University.

    Title
    Partnerships Specialist
    Department
    Measure of America
    Contact
    Lassiter@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Nicole Levit

    Nicole Restrick Levit is the manager of the fellowships office and the assistant director of the Abe Fellowship Program and the Japan Program. She holds a B.A. in modern literary studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Cornell University. Prior to joining the Council in 2006, Nicole worked in the field of international education, exchange and outreach for five years, first as associate director of the National Clearinghouse for U.S.-Japan Studies, Indiana University, and then as an international programs officer at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.

    Title
    Fellowships Manager; Associate Director
    Department
    Abe Fellowship Program
    Contact
    levit@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3639
    Staff
  • Brandi Lewis

    Brandi Lewis is the director of human resources and has more than 10 years of nonprofit human resources experience managing all aspects of the HR function. Her passion and expertise is in both operational and strategic HR practices. Prior to joining the Council, Lewis served as director of human resources for New York Cares and director of human resources for Homes for the Homeless. She holds a BA from Southern University at New Orleans, and is also credentialed by the Society of Human Resource Management.

    Title
    Human Resouces Director
    Department
    Human Resources
    Contact
    blewis@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Kristen Lewis

    Kristen Lewis is Co-Director of Measure of America and co-author of two volumes of The Measure of America (Columbia University Press, 2008 and NYU Press, 2010) as well as well-being reports for California, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Marin and Sonoma Counties. Before founding Measure of America with co-director Sarah Burd-Sharps in 2007, Kristen was senior policy advisor to the water and sanitation task force of the UN Millennium Project, led by Jeffery Sachs, and was co-author of the task force report, Health, Dignity and Development: What will it take? (Earthscan, 2005). She previously worked at the United Nations for many years, first with UNIFEM and then as in UNDP's policy bureau, and has served as a consultant on gender equality issues for numerous international development organizations, including UNICEF and UNFPA. Kristen contributes regularly to media outlets, with articles published in the The Nation, Huffington Post, and Stanford Social Innovation Review, among others, research cited by The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic, Washington Post, NPR, Slate, Freakonomics blog, and frequent newspaper and radio interviews. She received a Masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

    Title
    Director
    Department
    Measure of America
    Contact
    kristen@measureofamerica.org, (718) 517-3689
    Staff
  • Peter Marino

    Title
    Research Associate
    Department
    President's Office
    Contact
    marino@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Lisa Marshall

    Lisa Marshall joined the SSRC in 2014 as Development Officer, in which capacity she coordinates the Council's annual fund and manages the College & University Fund for the Social Sciences. Lisa came to the SSRC from Portland, Oregon, where she spent 12 years fundraising in the arts and social service sectors. She has a BA in English and graphic design from Lewis & Clark College. In addition to her work in nonprofit fundraising, Lisa also offers freelance graphic design and strategic marketing services to a variety of small business clients.

    Title
    Development Officer
    Department
    Development
    Contact
    marshall@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3713
    Staff
  • Clare McGranahan

    Clare McGranahan is the associate director of communications. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 2013 with a BA in religion and philosophy. Before working at the Council she interned for Island Press’s Production Department in Washington, DC. She joined the SSRC as editorial assistant in 2015.

    Title
    Associate Director
    Department
    Communications
    Contact
    mcgranahan@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3709
    Staff
  • Michael Miller

    Michael Miller is program director for the Social Science Research Council's Just Tech program and Media & Democracy program. He received his PhD in political science from the City University of New York, where his research explored how mechanisms of censorship, surveillance, and propaganda vary across media types in China. He serves on the 2020-22 First Draft US Board of Directors, and is a 2018-2020 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow. Prior to joining the SSRC he was an adjunct professor of political science at Hunter College and Hostos Community College of the City University of New York.

    Title
    Program Director
    Department
    Just Tech, Media & Democracy
    Contact
    miller@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3650
    Staff
  • Alondra Nelson

    Alondra Nelson is the fourteenth president of the Social Science Research Council. Widely known for her research at the intersection of science, politics, and social inequality, she holds the Harold F. Linder Chair in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, an independent research center in Princeton, New Jersey. She was previously professor of sociology and gender studies at Columbia University, where she served as the inaugural dean of social science for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. As dean, she led the first strategic planning process for the social sciences at Columbia, working with faculty to set long-term research priorities. Nelson began her academic career on the faculty of Yale University, where she received the Poorvu Award for interdisciplinary teaching excellence. Nelson’s work offers a critical and innovative approach to the social sciences that is conducive to a fruitful dialogue with many disciplines. Her major research contributions are situated at the intersection of racial formation and social citizenship, on the one hand, and emerging scientific and technological phenomena, on the other. She connects these dimensions in award-winning and acclaimed books, including The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome; Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination; Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race and History (with Keith Wailoo and Catherine Lee); and Technicolor: Race, Technology and Everyday Life (with Thuy Linh Tu). Her recent publications also include a symposium in the British Journal of Sociology on the history of slavery, genetic genealogy, and the #GU272, and articles with collaborators in the journals PLOS: Computational Biology, Genetics in Medicine, and the The Du Bois Review. She is currently completing a book on science and technology policy in the Obama administration. Nelson’s research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. She has been a visiting fellow of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the BIOS Centre at the London School of Economics, the Bavarian-American Academy, the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Nelson serves on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation, and on the Board of Directors of the Teagle Foundation and Data & Society. She also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brotherhood/Sister Sol, a Harlem-based youth development organization. Nelson is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Raised in Southern California, Nelson received her BA from the University of California, San Diego, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her PhD from New York University in 2003.

    Title
    President
    Contact
    president@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Lorna Nicholls-Brown

    Lorna Nicholls-Brown is the SSRC's accounting and finance manager. Nicholls-Brown has over 30 years of accounting experience in various industries and joins the SSRC from HLW International LLP, a global architectural firm, where she served as controller. She previously served as controller for the International Center for Transitional Justice for five years and holds a BA degree from CUNY Queens College in accounting and is currently working on an MS in risk management.

    Title
    Accounting and Finance Manager
    Department
    Finance
    Contact
    nicholls-brown@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Cleia Noia

    Cleia Noia is the associate director of the Drugs, Security and Democracy (DSD) Program. She received her law degree from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie in Brazil and her master's degree in law and diplomacy, with a focus on international development and human security, from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Prior to joining the Council in 2014, Cleia worked as a lawyer in Brazil and consulted on Brazil's drug policy for the Open Society Foundations.

    Title
    Associate Director
    Department
    Drugs, Security and Democracy Program
    Contact
    noia@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3710
    Staff
  • Cyril Obi

    Cyril Obi is program director for the African Peacebuilding Network (APN) and the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program, bringing his extensive research, networking, and publishing experience on African peace, security, and development to the Council. After completing his doctoral studies in Political Science at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, he joined the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and was promoted to associate research professor in 2004. That same year, Dr. Obi was awarded the Claude Ake Visiting Chair at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. From 2005 to 2011, he was a senior researcher and led the research cluster on “Conflict, Displacement and Transformation” at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Uppsala. He has received academic awards and fellowships from the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in Dakar, Senegal; the Social Science Research Council (SSRC); Africa Studies Center (ASC), Leiden; St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford; 21st Century Trust; Salzburg Seminar; and the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI). Dr. Obi is currently a research associate of the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; a visiting scholar to the Institute of African Studies (IAS), Columbia University; and an adjunct professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Obi serves on the editorial boards of several reputable journals, including African Affairs, African and Asian Studies, African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review, African Security Review, Brazilian Journal of African Studies, International Political Science Review, Governance in Africa, Strategic Review for Southern Africa, and Ubuntu: Journal of Conflict Transformation. He is also an international contributing editor to the Review of African Political Economyand serves on the Zed Books Africa editorial advisory board. Dr. Obi is also a member of the Board of Directors of the African Studies Association (ASA) and the International Advisory Board of the International Panel on Exiting Violence (IPEV), Paris. His publications include The Rise of China and India in Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Critical Interventions (Zed Books, 2010), with Fantu Cheru; Oil and Insurgency in the Niger Delta: Managing the Complex Politics of Petro-Violence (Zed Books, 2011), with Siri Aas Rustad; and a special issue of the African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review on the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) (Indiana University Press, 2014), with T. Tieku and L. Scorgie-Porter. He has also contributed articles to the following peer-reviewed journals: Review of African Political Economy (2014), Extractive Industries and Society (2014), and South African Journal of International Affairs (2015). Dr. Obi recently contributed a chapter, “Understanding the Resource Curse Effect: Instability and Violent Conflict in Africa,” to Minding the Gap: Conflict Management in a Time of Change, edited by Pamela Aall and Chester Crocker (CIGI, 2016).

    Title
    Program Director
    Department
    The Africa Initiatives
    Contact
    obi@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3673
    Staff
  • Duncan Omanga

    Dr. Duncan Omanga is program officer for the African Peacebuilding Network and Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program. He is an alumnus of the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies, where he completed a doctoral degree in media studies. His research probed how international terrorism was framed in the local press in Kenya, and how this fed into perceptions of legitimacy and recognition. Omanga was formerly a senior lecturer and head of the department of media and publishing studies at Moi University, Eldoret (Kenya). He received an African Peacebuilding Network Individual Research Grant in 2014 and was the 2015/2016 visiting fellow at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK. He has experience in teaching and supervision across the East African region.

    Title
    Program Officer
    Department
    African Peacebuilding Network
    Contact
    omanga@ssrc.org, 0787959411
    Staff
  • Fred Palm

    Fred Palm is vice president of administration and operations at the Social Science Research Council, overseeing the Council’s administrative division, including finance, operations, human resources, and IT. As a member of the executive leadership team, he provides guidance on the Council’s organizational development and strategic direction. From 2007 to 2019, Palm held roles at Columbia University, most recently as chief administrative and academic affairs officer for the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and lecturer-in-discipline in the School of Professional Studies, and previously as senior associate dean for faculty and administrative affairs in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Palm has also served as an officer for the Faculty Resource Network, a consortium dedicated to faculty development at New York University. Palm holds an EdD from Fordham University in education, administration, and leadership, an MA from New York University in higher education administration, and an MS from Columbia University in construction administration. Palm’s research interests focus on organizational effectiveness, specifically related to issues of diversity, inclusion, and career advancement.

    Title
    Vice President of Administration and Operations
    Contact
    palm@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3634
    Staff
  • Elsa Ransom

    Elsa Ransom joined the SSRC in June 2007 and is now the Assistant Director of the IDRF program. She received her BA in political science and Russian studies from UCLA and her MA in Russian and Central Asian studies from Harvard. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia as an English teacher and Tashkent, Uzbekistan as an intern for the US Embassy and then again as a graduate student conducting research on water resource management. Prior to joining the SSRC, Elsa worked at the Open Society Institute on a fellowship program that brought students from the former Soviet Union to the United States for graduate studies.

    Title
    Assistant Director
    Department
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) Program
    Contact
    ransom@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3642
    Staff
  • Jason Rhody

    Jason Rhody directs the Digital Culture program, Social Data Initiative, and the Media & Democracy program at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).  Previously, he served as senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), where he helped create the Office of Digital Humanities (ODH). In that role, he developed and managed multiple grant programs that enabled scholars, librarians, and archivists to harness emerging technologies to advance research, encourage scholarly inquiry of digital culture, and foster collaboration across international and disciplinary boundaries.  He created and directed joint grant programs with Jisc in the UK and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in Germany, and contributed to collaborations with the Research Councils UK, FAPESP in Brazil, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Department of Energy (DOE).  He received his PhD in English from the University of Maryland where, prior to joining NEH in 2003, he managed and advised digital humanities projects at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) and taught courses in literature and digital media.

    Title
    Program Director
    Department
    Digital Culture
    Contact
    rhody@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3717
    Staff
  • Selena Rodriguez

    Selena Rodriguez is the program assistant for the Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network, an initiative of the Social Science Research Council and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She received her bachelor of arts in both international studies and sociology from Johns Hopkins University in 2017. Her previous undergraduate research with the Global Social Protest Research Working Group of the Arrighi Center analyzed the spatial-temporal distribution of social unrest. While in Maryland, Rodriguez worked for the JHU Tutorial Project, a free after-school program assisting underserved elementary school students in Baltimore City. Prior to joining the SSRC, Rodriguez worked in health-care administration throughout New York, catering to a stratified, diverse population with varying forms of insurance coverage.

    Title
    Program Assistant
    Department
    Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network
    Contact
    srodriguez@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Daniella Sarnoff

    Daniella Sarnoff is the director of the International Dissertation Research Fellowship Program (IDRF) at the Social Science Research Council. Dr. Sarnoff holds a PhD in European history and works on extremist politics in the interwar years and the intersections of culture and politics, especially gender ideology, domesticity, and consumption. Before joining the Council in 2008, Dr. Sarnoff taught at Xavier University, Fordham University, and New York University. She has published in journals and in edited volumes on the topics of French fascism, women’s suffrage, and gender and fascism. Her most recent piece is “An Overview of Women and Gender in French Fascism” published in The French Right Between the Wars: Political and Intellectual Movements from Conservatism to Fascism (Berghahn Books, 2014).

    Title
    Program Director
    Department
    International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) Program
    Contact
    sarnoff@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3641
    Staff
  • Seteney Shami

    Seteney Shami has been with the Social Science Research Council since July 1999 and is director of the InterAsia Program as well as the Middle East and North Africa Program. She also currently serves as founding director of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS), a regional nonprofit organization headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon. She received her doctorate in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Shami's most recent publication is an co-edited volume (with Cynthia Miller-Idriss) entitled Middle East Studies for the New Millennium: Infrastructures of Knowledge (SSRC and NYU Press 2016). A forthcoming volume is co-authored with Mitchell Stevens and Cynthia Miller-Idriss entitled Seeing the World: How U.S. Universities make Knowledge in a Global Era (Princeton University Press 2018). Seteney Shami has taught at Yarmouk University, UC Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and Stockholm University. She served on the editorial boards of several publications, including Central Asian Survey, The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnos, and International Migration Review.

    Title
    Program Director
    Department
    Middle East North Africa; InterAsia Program
    Contact
    shami@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3660
    Staff
  • Leon Sigal

    Leon V. Sigal is director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council in New York. His book, Disarming Strangers: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea, published by Princeton University Press, was one of five nominees for the Lionel Gelber Prize as the most outstanding book in international relations for 1997-98 and was named the 1998 book of distinction by the American Academy of Diplomacy. His most recent book, Negotiating Minefields: The Landmines Ban in American Politics, was published by Routledge in 2006. Sigal was a member of the editorial board of The New York Times from 1989 to 1995. He served in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, in 1979 as International Affairs Fellow and in 1980 as Special Assistant to the Director. He was a Rockefeller Younger Scholar in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in 1972-1974 and a guest scholar there in 1981-1984. From 1974 to 1989 he was a professor of government at Wesleyan University. He was an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs from 1985 to 1989 and from 1996 to 2000 and a visiting lecturer at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School in 1988 and 2000. Sigal is also the author of Reporters and Officials: The Organization and Politics of Newsmaking, Alliance Security: NATO and the No-First-Use Question (with John Steinbruner), Nuclear Forces in Europe: Enduring Dilemmas, Present Prospects, Fighting to a Finish: The Politics of War Termination in the United States and Japan, 1945, and Hang Separately: Cooperative Security Between the United States and Russia, 1985-1994, as well as numerous articles in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic Monthly, and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, among others. He edited The Changing Dynamics of U.S. Defense Spending.

    Title
    Director
    Department
    Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project
    Contact
    sigal@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3688
    Staff
  • Rajat Singh

    Title
    Executive Assistant
    Department
    President's Office
    Contact
    singh@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3613
    Staff
  • Laura Sitkin

    Laura Sitkin, MEd, language and literacy, Harvard University, and BA, Latin American studies, University of Miami, has been with the Council since July 2010 and is executive coordinator and manager of special projects in the Office of the President.

    Title
    Executive Coordinator and Manager of Special Projects
    Department
    President's Office
    Contact
    sitkin@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3621
    Staff
  • Sam Spies

    Samuel Spies is program officer in the Media & Democracy program and heads its Disinformation Research Mapping Initiative. He has a PhD in anthropology from Temple University. For his dissertation fieldwork, he studied responses to censorship at online media outlets in Jordan. Before turning to the social sciences, he worked in newspaper, online, and wire-service journalism.

    Title
    Program Officer
    Department
    Media and Democracy
    Contact
    spies@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3623
    Staff
  • John St. Bernard

    John St. Bernard is a travel professional handling the SSRC Travel Desk. He has earned a degree in hospitality management, as well as a bachelor of arts in African studies from Hunter College. He has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and several American states. Europe, Asia, and African are on his bucket list. John is very active in his community, and supports two community gardens and is the president of his building tenants association. In his spare time he loves attending concerts, dancing, and cooking.

    Title
    NTA Onsite Travel Agent
    Contact
    travel@ssrc.org
    Staff