Learn more about the David M. Rubenstein Fellows program and the 2021 class »

Madiha Afzal, Foreign Policy

Madiha Afzal is a visiting fellow at Brookings. Her book, “Pakistan Under Siege: Extremism, Society, and the State” (Brookings Institution Press, 2018), examines the roots of extremism in Pakistan. Her research lies at the intersection of development, security, and politics, with a focus on Pakistan. Afzal has also published several journal articles, book chapters, policy reports, and essays. In addition, she writes analytical pieces for publications including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, Dawn, and Newsweek. She is regularly interviewed by media outlets including BBC, NPR, and PBS. Afzal was previously an assistant professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has also taught at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and consulted for international organizations including the World Bank and UK’s Department for International Development.

Matthew Collin, Global Economy and Development

Matthew Collin is an Anglo-American economist whose research focuses on understanding and addressing spillovers of global institutions and norms as well as helping domestic institutions become more efficient and equitable. Specifically, his recent academic research aims to understand the costs and benefits of policies aimed at reducing illicit financial flows, including money laundering and cross-border tax evasion. It also includes work on making property rights systems more effective, improving domestic tax compliance and measuring the effectiveness of age-of-marriage laws. He is also keenly interested in the implications for machine-learning in development policy as well as how access to science improves research productivity in developing countries. Matt has previously worked in the World Bank as an economist in the Global Tax Team and as a Young Professional in the Human Development Chief Economist’s office. He has also previously held positions as a Research Fellow at the Center for Global Development and as an ODI Fellow in the Ministry of Finance of Malawi. He holds both a DPhil in Economics and an MSc in Economics for Development from the University of Oxford and a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Clemson University.

Alex Engler, Governance Studies

Alex Engler studies the implications of artificial intelligence and emerging data technologies on society and governance. Most recently faculty at the University of Chicago, Alex teaches classes on large-scale data science and visualization to public policy students. He ran UChicago’s MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy and designed the MS in Data Science and Public Policy at Georgetown University. He was formerly a data scientist and principal investigator at the Urban Institute, where he helped found the Center for Technology and Data Science. Alex is also a proud alumnus of Sunlight Foundation’s Labs and the Congressional Research Service.

Lindsey Ford, Foreign Policy

Lindsey Ford’s research focuses on U.S. defense strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, including U.S. security alliances, military posture, and regional security architecture. She is the Richard Holbrooke Fellow and Director for Political-Security Affairs at the Asia Society Policy Institute. Ford previously served as a senior adviser in the Pentagon from 2009-2015, where she managed a team of advisers overseeing maritime security, multilateral security affairs, and force management planning. She was also a leading architect of the Asia rebalance strategy work for the Department of Defense’s 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance Review and oversaw the development of the Department’s first Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy.

Annelies Goger, Metropolitan Policy Program

Annelies Goger applies her knowledge as an economic geographer to develop innovative policy solutions to address rising inequality and improve access to economic opportunity. Her research focuses on workforce development policy, the future of work (processes of industrial transformation), and inclusive economic development. Prior to joining Brookings, Annelies was a senior associate at Social Policy Research Associates, where she specialized in workforce development and human services program evaluation and capacity building. She has also been a research associate at IMPAQ International and the Duke University Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness (now the Duke Value Chains Center). Her doctoral research examined ethical manufacturing practices in Sri Lankan clothing supply chains, where she was a Fulbright scholar and a Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellow.

Molly Kinder, Metropolitan Policy Program

Molly Kinder’s research explores an equitable future of work and examines the impact of emerging technologies on low wage workers and women. Currently, Molly is a Senior Advisor with New America’s Work, Workers and Technology program and leads a human-centered initiative researching the perspectives of workers at high risk of automation. She is also a research fellow and adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, where she taught a new class on the social, economic and policy implications of artificial intelligence. Molly has more than 15 years of experience in innovation, policy, research, and impact investing. Previously, she was co-founder and Vice President of a $200 million social impact fund and served in the Obama administration as director in a new innovation program at USAID. She is co-author of the Center for Global Development’s best-selling book, “Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health.”

Addisu Lashitew, Global Economy and Development

Addisu Lashitew is a research fellow at the Global Economy and Development program of the Brookings Institution. He has previously held post-doctoral researcher positions at Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Simon Fraser University (Canada). Addisu’s research interest spans various topics in development economics, including firm growth and productivity, resource allocation, and economic diversification. His most recent research has looked into market-based corporate approaches towards sustainable development and poverty alleviation. He has actively published on the topics of financial inclusion, social innovation, inclusive business strategies, sustainable finance, and Base of the Pyramid strategies. Addisu maintains teaching and research affiliations with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) in Nairobi, and the School of Commerce of Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

Rashawn Ray, Governance Studies

Rashawn Ray is Associate Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also one of the co-editors of Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public. Formerly, Ray was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. Ray specializes in racial and social inequality with a particular focus on police-civilian relations and men’s treatment of women. His work also speaks to ways that inequality may be attenuated through social policy and racial uplift activism. Currently, Ray is working on a series of research projects creating innovative virtual reality experiments that focus on policing and other social outcomes.

Sarah Reber, Economic Studies

Sarah Reber is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Her research focuses on school desegregation, elementary and secondary education finance policy, and college access. She is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a California Center for Population Research (CCPR) affiliate, and a California Policy Lab (CPL) affiliated expert. Previously, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at UC Berkeley and a Research Assistant and Staff Economist on the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).

Mallika Thomas, Economic Studies

Mallika Thomas is a professor of economics at Cornell, in the Department of Economics and in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations.  She is a labor economist, and her research focuses on examining the causes of persistent wage inequality and the consequences of policy responses. Her most recent work examines the impact of government-mandated family leave policies on the wages and promotion opportunities of young women and the role of employer-based discrimination in the effectiveness of such policies.  Thomas’ ongoing work focuses on peer effects in education among female MBA students in male-dominated areas of concentration and the causes of the gender-wage gap upon graduation, the impact of employer-provided benefits on the wages and employment of low-wage workers, and the consequences of rising wage inequality and changing wage structure on the educational investments of men and women.  Thomas holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, a B.S. in physics and a B.A. in economics from Yale University.  She has received a number of awards during her academic career, including the University of Chicago Presidential Fellowship, the George Stigler dissertation award, and the American Economic Association dissertation fellowship.