The University of Maryland School of Public Policy welcomes new faculty Niambi Carter, Uri Dadush, Joshua Shifrinson and Michael Woldemariam. Jim Gates returns to the University with a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy and the Department of Physics. Additionally, three colleagues have been promoted: Katrina Walsemann to Professor, Susannah Washburn to Clinical Professor, and Juan Pablo Martínez Guzmán to Assistant Professor.
The School is proud to welcome and celebrate such robust and talented faculty. Each brings a unique contribution to the research, academics, and growing partnerships that make SPP the place to be for scholar-practitioners in the policy space.Dean Robert Orr
Read on for more about our impressive new faculty and those in new roles:
Jim Gates, Distinguished University and Regents Professor
Sylvester James (Jim) Gates, Jr., is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, recipient of the National Medal of Science, and has had a very long and successful career as a theoretical physicist and an educator. He is well known for his work on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory. From 1985 - 2016 he was a faculty member at University of Maryland, College Park as a University System Regents Professor, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics, the Director of the String and Particle Theory Center, and Affiliate Professor of Mathematics. He also served on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) under President Barack Obama. He served on the Maryland State Board of Education from 2009-2016, and the National Commission on Forensic Science from 2013-2016. Sensitive to diversity issues over the duration of his career, in 1995 he authored an essay entitled "Equity versus Excellence: A False Dichotomy in Science and Society." This avenue of his writings eventually led to a work "Thoughts On Creativity, Diversity and Innovation in Science and Education" that was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States in its 2016 decision in the case 'Abigail N. Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, et. al.' Gates has engaged efforts to look at social justice themes within physics, physics education and policy.
Niambi Carter, Associate Professor
Niambi Carter earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University (2007) working primarily in the area of American Politics with a specific focus on Race and Ethnic Politics, Black Politics, Public Opinion, and Political Behavior. Her book, American While Black: African Americans, Immigration, and the Limits of Citizenship, investigates African American public opinion on immigration. Carter’s other work explores themes of citizenship, national identity, and national belonging with a particular emphasis on Black Americans. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Politics; National Review of Black Politics; Political Psychology; Politics, Groups, and Identities; and many others. She is the recipient of a number of fellowships and awards from organizations such as the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, the Consortium for Faculty Diversity Predoctoral Fellowship, and the Center for the Study of African American Politics. She is a native of Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Joshua Shifrinson, Associate Professor
Shifrinson is an expert on contemporary international security, whose research engages broad issues of great power politics, U.S. foreign policy, and diplomatic history. Recent projects include a re-examination of the sources and consequences of NATO enlargement, U.S. policy toward Russia and China, and the evolution of American grand strategy during and after the Cold War. Cornell University Press published his first book, Rising Titans, Falling Giants: How Great Powers Exploit Power Shifts in 2018; he is presently finishing another volume detailing the uses and abuses of archival research for international relations topics. Shifrinson received his B.A. summa cum laude in History and Politics from Brandeis University and his PhD in Political Science from MIT. Prior to joining SPP, he was an Associate Professor with Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies and held fellowships with the Belfer Center, Dickey Center, Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Michael Woldemariam, Associate Professor
Woldemariam joins the faculty with teaching and research interests in African security studies, with a particular focus on armed conflict in the Horn of Africa. Woldemariam’s scholarly work has been published in a wide-range of peer-reviewed journals, and his popular essays have appeared in outlets such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and Current History. His first book, Insurgent Fragmentation in the Horn of Africa: Rebellion and Its Discontents, was published with Cambridge University Press in 2018. Prior to joining SPP, Woldemariam was a tenured faculty member at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies and the Director of its African Studies Center. He has also worked as a research specialist with Princeton University’s Innovations for Successful Societies program and held fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Penn State’s African Research Center. In 2020-21, Woldemariam served on the Democratic staff at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee through a Council on Foreign Relations fellowship.
Uri Dadush, Research Professor
In addition to serving as a Research Professor at SPP, Dadush is also a Non-Resident Fellow at Bruegel in Brussels, Belgium, and at the Policy Center for the New South in Rabat, Morocco, and Principal of Economic Policy International, LLC, providing consulting services to international organizations and corporations. He was a co-chair of the Trade, Investment and Globalization Task-Force of the T20 and Vice-Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Trade and Investment at the World Economic Forum. Dadush has written several books, including Juggernaut: How Emerging Markets Are Transforming Globalization, and Inequality in America. Dadush was previously Director of the International Economics Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Director of International Trade, as well as Director of Economic Policy, and Director of the Development Prospects Group at the World Bank. Based previously in London, Brussels, and Milan, he spent 15 years in the private sector, where he was President of the Economist Intelligence Unit, Group Vice President of Data Resources, Inc., and a consultant with McKinsey and Co. He has a B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University.
Jiehong Lou, Assistant Research Professor
Jiehong Lou is an assistant research professor at the Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) in the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Her areas of expertise include: climate finance and carbon finance, energy economics, environmental policy, energy policy, sustainable development, equity and transportation justice. Lou’s research focuses on mobilization of private finance in financing climate action, corporate motivations for carbon project investment, evaluation of co-benefits from climate finance projects, measurement of different types of risks in climate finance and investment needs, behavioral change interventions on energy consumption, and how transportation accessibility imposes disparate impacts on different economic and minority groups. She was recently a postdoctoral fellow with the Maryland Transportation Institute. She holds a PhD in policy sciences with a focus on environmental and energy policy from the University of Maryland; an MA in public policy and an MA in applied economics from the University of Maryland; and a BA in public policy from Tongji University in China.
Katrina Walsemann, Professor
Walsemann is a population health scientist with a particular focus on how the U.S. education system shapes individuals’ physical, mental, and cognitive health, independent from and in relation to other structural factors such as race/ethnicity, gender, and social class. She has published extensively on how early school environments affect health and health behavior across the life course as well as how student debt influences the psychosocial health of young adults and their aging parents. Her current research explores how state and local educational contexts during childhood relate to cognitive impairment and dementia risk later in life. Fundamental to her research is an understanding of the historical and contemporary social policies that can create, reduce, or eliminate racial and social inequities in population health. She holds a Ph.D. and MPH in Health Behavior from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and completed a National Institute of Aging (NIA) post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center. Prior to joining the School of Public Policy, she was associate professor of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina and Founding Director of the Carolina Consortium on Health, Inequalities, and Populations.
Susannah Washburn, Clinical Professor
Prior to teaching, Washburn served in political appointments under both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations at the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency managing the AmeriCorps program. Washburn’s work focused on supporting youth development organizations, overseeing an agency making over $800 million in grants annually, and helping grantees improve their management. During the Obama Administration, Washburn helped launch the Social Innovation Fund and served as executive director of the White House Council for Community Solutions, a presidential council focused on youth employment. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Washburn speaks on national service, AmeriCorps, nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship, experiential learning, and leadership development at various conferences and student meetings. Washburn also directs the College Park Scholars Public Leadership Program at the University of Maryland.
Juan Pablo Martínez Guzmán, Assistant Professor
Dr. Martínez Guzmán’s research examines the factors that influence budgetary decision-making processes and the differential impact of public finance policies. His research is published in the International Public Management Journal, Review of Development Economics, Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Public Budgeting & Finance, and other outlets. Before joining the faculty, Dr. Martínez G. earned a PhD in policy studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, and master's degrees in economics and public administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He also has several years of experience at the Inter-American Development Bank working in governance reforms in Latin American and Caribbean countries.