I am the Ford International Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I am also Director of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC), Associate Director of the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), and Chair of the doctoral program in Social and Engineering Systems (SES) at MIT's Schwarzman College of Computing. My research has focused on issues of conflict and cooperation in the Muslim world, and I have conducted fieldwork in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Yemen. I am currently working to bridge the social sciences, data science, and computation pursuing a new line of research that examines how to effectively integrate computational and AI tools for public good.
I am the author of “Alliance Formation in Civil War” (Cambridge University Press, 2012), which was awarded the Luebbert Award for Best Book in Comparative Politics, the Lepgold Prize for Best Book in International Relations, and a Distinguished Book Award from the International Studies Association. I am also co-editor with Graeme Blair (UCLA) and Jeremy Weinstein (Stanford) of "Crime, Insecurity, and Community Policing: Experiments on Building Trust", forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in September 2024. I was also an inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellow and a Harvard Academy Fellow. My articles have appeared in Science, Nature Human Behavior, Review of Economic Studies, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, NeurIPs, Communications Medicine, IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics and Annual Review of Political Science among other journals. My opinion pieces have been published in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Boston Globe among other outlets. For my research, I have received support from MURI and DARPA grants, as well as from Google, the International Growth Center, the Russell Sage Foundation, USAID, CIDA, the UN, and the World Bank among others. I graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 2001 with a joint BA in Economics–Operations Research and an MA in International Affairs. I joined the MIT faculty in July 2008 after receiving my PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University that year.
This website is dedicated to my research. To give you a sense of where I did my fieldwork, here are some photos from the field in Najaf in Iraq, Aden in Yemen, Maidan Saleh in Saudi Arabia, as well as from Balkh, Daikundi, Nangarhar, and from several of our other field sites in Afghanistan.