• 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 Resources 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
  • Sidney Lok

    Sidney Lok is the program assistant for the Religion and the Public Sphere and Transregional Collaboratory on the Indian Ocean programs. Prior to joining the Council, she worked at a faith-based organization in Prague and was most recently research assistant and executive coordinator at an architecture firm supporting housing need and public transit research. Lok graduated from Cornell University with a BS in environmental engineering and a minor in design and environmental analysis in 2019.

    Title
    Program Assistant
    Department
    Religion and the Public Sphere & Transregional Collaboratory on the Indian Ocean
    Contact
    lok@ssrc.org
    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
  • Weichen Mo

    Weichen Mo is a staff accountant at the SSRC. He graduated from Brooklyn College with a master’s degree in accounting in 2020. When he was a college student, he joined in the VITA Program as a tax return volunteer. He also worked as an accounting intern at Race Forward. Before joining the Council, he was a staff accountant at American Thoracic Society.

    Title
    Staff Accountant
    Department
    Finance
    Contact
    mo@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Alondra Nelson

    Alondra Nelson is an acclaimed sociologist, author, and researcher who explores questions of science, technology, and social inequality. Nelson is President of the Social Science Research Council, an organization dedicated to the advancement of social research for the public good. She is the Harold F. Linder Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Her work brings together several research traditions: political sociology; racial and ethnic studies; the sociology of science, knowledge and technology; medical sociology; and social and cultural theory.   Nelson is the author of two award-winning books, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome (Beacon Press, 2016); the co-editor of two collective volumes, Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life (with Thuy Linh Tu; NYU Press, 2001) and Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History (with Keith Wailoo and Catherine Lee; Rutgers University Press, 2012. Nelson serves on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Russell Sage Foundation. She sits on the board of directors of the Data & Society Research Institute, the Center for Research Libraries, the Teagle Foundation, and the Brotherhood/Sister Sol. She is a member of the editorial board of Social Studies of Science and president-elect of the international Society for Social Studies of Science. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Salon, and Science, among other venues. She has been a commentator for a range of media outlets, including National Public Radio, PBS, National Geographic, and MSNBC. Nelson is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, San Diego, with a B.A. in anthropology. She earned her Ph.D. in American studies from New York University in 2003. She was first appointed in 2003 as Assistant Professor and later Associate Professor in Sociology and African American Studies at Yale University, where she received the Poorvu Family Award for interdisciplinary teaching excellence. She was then recruited in 2009 to the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia University. The recipient of numerous honors and fellowships, Nelson has been a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, the International Center for Advanced Studies at New York University, and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Nelson is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and of the Hastings Center, and an elected Member of the Sociological Research Association, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Medicine. She was formerly a Member of the World Economic Forum Network on Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and the Future of Trust, and of the National Science Foundation–sponsored Council for Big Data, Ethics, and Society.

    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 programs. Before joining the Council in 2019, Omanga was the Head, Department of Publishing and Media Studies, Moi University (Kenya) and a senior lecturer of Media Studies there. Omanga was until February 2019 a British Academy visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge (2018/9) and is also a 2014 APN (Africa Peacebuilding Network-SSRC) alumnus. He has previously held one of the two 2015/6 African Visiting Fellowships (Centre for African Studies) at the University of Cambridge. Omanga was the nominee for the 2017 Mary Kingsley Zochonis Lecture (ASAUK), SOAS, a lecture that was based on his research on "Social Media, Political Devolution and public Participation in Kenya." Omanga’s research is on the intersection of digitality, security, and democracy in East Africa and his latest research grant was a Facebook-funded research project on "Human Rights, Policing and Digital Landscapes" in Nairobi. Omanga is an alumnus of the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS) at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

    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
  • Rajat Singh

    Rajat Singh is executive assistant for the President’s Office. Singh earned his BA in Latin from Boston University and an MA in anthropology from the New School for Social Research. Prior to joining the Council, Singh was a graduate assistant to Ann Laura Stoler (the New School) and Neni Panourgiá (Columbia). Most recently, he served as assistant to the dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons School of Design, as well as program administrator for the graduate programs in the school. Singh writes creative nonfiction and is assembling a collection of essays that explore South Asian culture as a site of queer melancholy. His work appears in StoryQuarterly, Lapham’s Quarterly, LitHub, The Offing, The Millions, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. He is a contributor for Catapult magazine. His work has been longlisted for the Notting Hill Editions 2017 essay prize. He has fellowships from the Tin House Summer Workshop and the Lambda Literary Writing Retreat and was an artist resident at the Spruceton Inn.

    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
  • Line Sidonie Talla Mafotsing

    Line Sidonie Talla Mafotsing is a communications and editorial assistant in the Communications department. She graduated from New York University with a BS in media, culture, and communication. Line has interned for both the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization in their communications department and was also an editorial intern at Simon and Schuster. While at university she wrote and edited for two online publications, Fresh U NYU and Her Campus NYU. Her main interests lie in understanding how narrative storytelling through print and digital media advocate for marginalized and underrepresented communities.

    Title
    Communications and Editorial Assistant
    Department
    Communications
    Contact
    mafotsing@ssrc.org
    Staff