• 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
  • Elizabeth Rilling

    Elizabeth Rilling is the new program associate for Scholarly Borderlands. Elizabeth has her bachelor’s degree in political science and environmental studies from Adelphi University. She recently completed an energy and climate change internship at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

    Title
    Program Associate
    Department
    Scholarly Borderlands
    Contact
    rilling@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3679
    Staff
  • Selena Rodriguez

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

    Lucio Rojas graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in information management and technology in 2009. He is a program assistant for the Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program. He joined the SSRC in 2015.

    Title
    Program Assistant
    Department
    Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program
    Contact
    lrojas@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3705
    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
  • Renata Segura

    Renata Segura is currently the Associate Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum of the Social Science Research Council, which she joined in September 2002. As such, she has overseen dozens of research projects and workshops on challenges to democratic governance and peace in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on topics ranging from drug policy and food security to gender policies in the continent. She has written on constitutionalism, conflict prevention and resolution, drug policy, mining and diaspora politics, among other topics. Her most recent publication is the report “Made in Havana: How Colombia and the FARC decided to End the War”, published by IPI. She is also the editor, together with Josh DeWind, of the book “Convergent Interests? How Diaspora–Government Relations Shape United States’ Foreign Policy”. Prior to coming to the United States, she worked for the research center CINEP in Bogotá, where she was a researcher on several projects related to civil society, conflict and political crisis. In addition to her academic background, Renata worked for several years as a reporter for a nationally televised news program and a widely-read news magazine. Renata received her Ph.D. from the political science department, New School for Social Research. She also holds an M.A. in comparative politics from the New School for Social Research and a B.A. in political science from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá.

    Title
    Associate Director
    Department
    Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF)
    Contact
    segura@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3653
    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
  • Jennifer Sherys-Rivet

    Jennifer Sherys-Rivet is the program assistant for the African Peacebuilding Network program. She received her BS in global studies with a minor in health from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has worked twice in Ghana and participated in a language immersion program in Barcelona, Spain. Prior to joining the SSRC, Jennifer worked with the American Friends Service Committee’s Peace and Economic Security Program, the Lesley University Women’s Center, and Horizons Children’s Center. Her primary research interests include the effects of conflict and peacebuilding on public health, particularly women’s health.

    Title
    Program Assistant
    Department
    African Peacebuilding Network
    Contact
    sherys-rivet@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3669
    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
  • Line Sidonie Talla Mafotsing

    Line Sidonie Talla Mafotsing is the communications and editorial assistant for the African Peacebuilding Network and the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program. 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 finding ways in which print and digital media can be used to advocate for marginalized and underrepresented communities.

    Title
    Communications and Editorial Assistant
    Department
    African Peacebuilding Network
    Contact
    mafotsing@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Isha Tendolkar

    Isha Tendolkar is a program assistant for the International Dissertation Research Fellowship program. Tendolkar graduated from Rutgers University with a BS in public health, a certificate in health disparities, and minor in psychology. Prior to joining the SSRC, she worked in the development division of a medical research and women’s rights advocacy nonprofit and interned at a political advocacy nonprofit working on projects related to clean water legislation, environmental justice, and health equity. Her primary interests include humanitarian law and the interactions between both civil and human rights and health.

    Title
    Program Assistant
    Department
    IDRF
    Contact
    tendolkar@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Patrice Thomas

    Patrice Thomas graduated from the Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York with a bachelor’s in accounting in 2018, with a minor in business administration. She has held finance positions at various nonprofits, including amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, Common Ground, and the Institute for Community Living and Services for the Underserved.

    Title
    Budget and Payroll Coordinator
    Department
    Finance
    Contact
    thomas@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3625
    Staff
  • Vina Tran

    Vina Tran is chief of staff in the Office of the President. She has over a decade of experience working in higher education. Prior to joining the Council, she was the executive director for decanal affairs in the Division of Social Science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. At Columbia, she worked at the Women Creating Change initiative at the Center for the Study of Social Difference; the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality; the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law; and the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research on women and girls of color. She holds master’s degrees in public administration from Columbia and in gender, sexuality and cultural studies from the University of Manchester.  .

    Title
    Chief of Staff
    Department
    President's Office
    Contact
    vtran@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3613
    Staff
  • Rodrigo Ugarte

    Rodrigo Ugarte is the editorial assistant of Items: Insights from the Social Sciences. He has written about deported undocumented veterans, Jewish Argentine troops during the Falklands War, World War II female aviators, and various other topics for Remezcla and War Is Boring. Ugarte graduated with a BA in writing from Ithaca College.

    Title
    Editorial Assistant
    Department
    Items
    Contact
    ugarte@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3684
    Staff
  • Cally Waite

    Cally Waite is program director of the SSRC-Mellon Mays Fellowship Program. Waite comes to the SSRC after eight years of service as program coordinator and associate professor of history and education at Teacher's College, Columbia University. Her distinguished list of publications includes numerous articles on race and the history of the American academy, as well as the book Permission to Remain Among Us, a study of education for black students at Oberlin College at the end of the nineteenth century. Her current book project, The Journey Thus Far: Black Southern Scholars and Northern Institutions, 1896-1954 (with Margaret Smith Crocco), considers the experiences and challenges of southern black scholars who earned their doctoral degrees at northern research universities during legalized segregation in the United States.

    Title
    Program Director
    Department
    Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program
    Contact
    waite@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3676
    Staff
  • Heather Waters

    Heather Waters has over 20 years' experience working in nonprofit finance and administration in New York City. She was a finance manager for NICHE, NYU College of Nursing, and the New York Open Center. International nonprofits she has worked for include the Rainforest Alliance, Cornell University Medical College, and the Ford Foundation. Waters wrote theater reviews as a sideline in 2017 and 2018. Several of her poems have been published in small journals.

    Title
    Accounting Manager
    Department
    Finance
    Contact
    waters@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3702
    Staff
  • Penny Weber

    Penelope Weber is the projects coordinator for the SSRC’s Digital Culture program. She graduated with distinction from Bard College in 2014 with a BA in historical studies, focusing primarily on American and feminist history.

    Title
    Projects Coordinator
    Department
    Digital Culture
    Contact
    weber@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Catherine Weddig

    Catherine Weddig is a program assistant for the Social Data Initiative. She graduated with honors from Rhodes College in 2018 with a BA in history, where she focused on international political history. During this time, Catherine also studied abroad at Oxford University on a European studies program.

    Title
    Program Assistant
    Department
    Social Data Initiative
    Contact
    weddig@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Olivia Whitener

    Olivia Whitener is the program assistant for the Religion and the Public Sphere program and the editorial assistant for the program's online forum for secularism, religion, and the public sphere, The Immanent Frame. Olivia graduated with her BA in anthropology, summa cum laude, from Wake Forest University in 2015, where she also minored in psychology and health and human services. Prior to joining the SSRC, she worked as an editorial assistant for an advocacy non-profit in Washington, DC.

    Title
    Editorial Associate
    Department
    Religion Program
    Contact
    whitener@ssrc.org
    Staff
  • Lisa Yanoti

    Lisa Yanoti is the director of finance. She joined the Council in 1999 as a junior accountant and went on to become the budget manager in 2007. She holds a BS in finance from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a certificate in accounting principles from Baruch College’s Division of Continuing and Professional Studies.

    Title
    Director of Finance
    Department
    Finance
    Contact
    yanoti@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3624
    Staff
  • Nisreen Yonis

    Nisreen Yonis is the Program Associate for the Social Science Research Council’s Understanding Violent Conflict Program (UVC). Building on the SSRC's work in international peace and security, in partnership with other international policy and academic research institutions, Nisreen supports the delivery of experience-based findings, operationally relevant evidence, and policy-oriented research outputs conducted on the complexities of violent conflict, the political marketplace, and public authority in Africa and the Middle East. Nisreen also supports the management of the Conflict Research Fellowships and Small Grants Programmes, the China-Africa Peace Fellowship, and the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF). A Distinguished Delegate at American University’s School of International Studies, Nisreen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Montclair State University with a BA in International Justice, concentrating in Conflict and Development Studies. Prior to joining the SSRC in New York, Nisreen served a tour with the Homeland Project at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) refugee camps in the Palestinian Territories and before that, in the Refugee Resettlement Programs at the International Rescue Committee. While in Washington, D.C. Nisreen collected research data from the Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG) on Israeli settler violence and projectile launches from Gaza for the Jerusalem Fund & Palestine Center’s Settler Violence Project. An Orin Kramer & Hillary Ballon Scholar, Nisreen is the recipient of the 2017 University Research Award and the 2017 Best Undergraduate Paper Award.

    Title
    Program Associate
    Department
    Understanding Violent Conflict (UVC)
    Contact
    yonis@ssrc.org, (718) 517-3707
    Staff