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SIS Welcomes New Full-Time Faculty Members for ’23-’24

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AU’s School of International Service is honored to welcome four new full-time faculty members for the 2023-2024 school year. Each faculty member is an expert in their field and brings extensive research and practical experience to the classroom.

Among the new faculty, SIS also is welcoming our inaugural SIS Changemaker Postdoctoral Fellows. These positions are for emerging scholars working on transformational research designed to address pressing contemporary problems in international affairs, such as social cohesion, climate change, humanitarian crises, and social inequality within and across nations.

Meet these new faculty members below and learn more about their interests and recent research.

Samantha AgarwalSamantha Agarwal joins the SIS faculty as a Changemaker Postdoctoral Fellow. Her interests broadly fall within the fields of political economy of race and ethnicity, political sociology, and global sociology. In her recent work, she examines the reproduction of social inequalities and politics based on caste in contemporary India. Her dissertation, supported by fellowships from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Social Science Research Council, and the Johns Hopkins School of Arts and Sciences, asks: Why have India’s formerly “untouchable” castes (Dalits) begun supporting a rightwing ethnonationalist movement led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—a movement disproportionately comprised of upper-caste followers who have traditionally stigmatized Dalits? Her dissertation draws on 200 interviews, nine months of ethnography, an extensive household survey, and archival research in Kerala; in it, she argues that explaining Dalit defection from left to right requires attention to the limits of unidimensional attempts to address multidimensional inequalities. She is currently finishing her PhD in the Department of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University.

Trey HerrTrey Herr joins SIS as an assistant professor. He is the director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, where his team works on cybersecurity and geopolitics. His research focuses on security and digital technologies, including the power of non-state groups, the proliferation of offensive cyber capabilities, and the politics of technology design and governance. Trey previously worked as a senior security strategist with Microsoft, where he handled cloud computing and supply chain security. He also served as a non-resident fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Before that, Trey was a postdoctoral fellow with the Belfer Cybersecurity Project at Harvard Kennedy School. He holds a PhD in political science from George Washington University and a BS in musical theatre and political science from Northwestern University. Come find him on campus to talk about all things cyber, policy, or performance.

Douaa SheetDouaa Sheet joins SIS as an assistant professor. She is a political anthropologist whose research and teaching interests are at the intersection of human rights studies; post-conflict mechanisms of justice, reconciliation, and repair; notions of time in political utopias; Islam; gender; and the politics of digital media in the Middle East and North Africa. She received her PhD in cultural anthropology with distinction from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her first book-length project, The Politics of Dignity and the Tunisian Truth Commission (2011-2019), builds on her fieldwork in Tunisia in the aftermath of the 2011 uprising in which she worked closely with civil society stakeholders, human rights lawyers, jurists, international rights experts, and the victims involved in the Truth and Dignity Commission’s efforts to address the former regime’s human rights violations against its citizens. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Citizens and Scholars, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan.

Jorge Daniel VásquezJorge Daniel Vásquez joins the SIS faculty as a Changemaker Postdoctoral Fellow. He is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. His research integrates global and transnational sociology, historical sociology, sociology of race and ethnicity, and decolonial studies. His work has been published in Critical Sociology, Journal of Historical Sociology, Sociologias, and the International Education Journal. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Transforming Ethnicity: Youth and Migration in Southern Ecuadorian Andes, and is currently working on a book manuscript, The Sociology of the Global Color Line: W.E.B. Du Bois, Irene Diggs, and the Critique of Race in the Americas.