ISERP Executive Committee

  • Giddings Professor of Sociology

    Thomas A. DiPrete is Giddings Professor of Sociology, co-director of the Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality at Columbia University, and a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center. DiPrete holds a B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has been on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Duke University, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison as well as Columbia. DiPrete’s research interests include social stratification, demography, education, economic sociology, and quantitative methodology. A specialist in comparative research, DiPrete has held research appointments at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, the Social Science Research Center – Berlin, the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the University of Amsterdam. His recent and ongoing projects include the study of gender differences in educational performance, educational attainment, and fields of study, the determinants of college persistence and dropout in the U.S., a comparative study of how educational expansion and the structure of linkages between education and the labor market contribute to earnings inequality in several industrialized countries, and the study of how social comparison processes affect the compensation of corporate executives.

  • Professor of Economics and International and Public Affairs; Dean of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

    Miguel Urquiola is a Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Columbia University, where he also chairs the Columbia Committee on the Economics of Education. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Fellow at the Bureau for Research in Development Economics (BREAD).

    Urquiola’s research is on the Economics of Education, with a focus on understanding how schools and universities compete, and how they form reputations for quality. It also covers how parents and students select educational providers, and the consequences such choices have on sorting and labor market outcomes.

    His past appointments include: Vice Dean at the School of International and Public Affairs (Columbia), Co-editor at the Journal of Human Resources, Visiting Fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation, Assistant Professor of Economics at Cornell, Young Professional at the World Bank, and Assistant Professor at the Bolivian Catholic University.

  • ISERP Co-Director
    Professor of History

    Adam Kosto (BA Yale 1989, MPhil Cambridge 1990, PhD Harvard 1996) is Professor of History at Columbia University. He specializes in the institutional history of medieval Europe, with particular interests in legal and documentary cultures. Publications include Making Agreements in Medieval Catalonia: Power, Order, and the Written Word, 1000-1200 (Cambridge, 2001), Hostages in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 2012), and (as co-editor) Documentary Culture and the Laity in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge, 2012). He is currently co-editing a volume for the Cambridge History of International Law. He is a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and a member of the Commission Internationale de Diplomatique.

  • ISERP Co-Director
    Professor of Economics and Political Science

    Alessandra Casella is professor of Economics at Columbia University and a fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge), and the Center for Economic Policy Research (London). She received her PhD in Economics from MIT in 1989, taught at UC Berkeley before moving to Columbia in 1993, and held the position of Directeur d’ Etudes (temps partiel) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Sciences Sociales (EHESS) (Paris and Marseilles) from 1996 to 2010. Her main research interests are political economy, public economics, and experimental economics. Casella has been the recipient of numerous fellowships: she has been a Guggenheim fellow, a member of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, a Russell Sage fellow, and a Straus fellow at the NYU Law School. Her book "Storable Votes. Protecting the Minority Voice" was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. Casella is Director of the Columbia Laboratory for the Social Sciences.

  • Professor of Political Science; Chair, Department of Political Science

    Justin H. Phillips (Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2005) studies American state and urban politics and public opinion. He has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization. His current research projects include analyzing the effects of public opinion on sub-national policymaking and evaluating the power of state governors in negotiations with legislatures.

  • Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies;
    A&S Afr Am & Afr Diaspora Stud; Director, Institute for Research in African-American Studies

    Jafari Sinclaire Allen (PhD Columbia 2003) is a Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University, where he directs the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS), and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Society, and Culture. A social-cultural anthropologist and critical ethnographer by doctoral training, Dr. Allen’s work pursues generative connections and disarticulations among anthropology, feminist and queer studies, and Black studies, through a re-signification of the methodologies, theories, politics, and habits of mind of each of these sites. Dr. Allen was the Principal Investigator of the Mellon Foundation-supported Miami Initiative on Global Black Studies (2019), which catalyzed the creation of the University of Miami Center for Global Black Studies, which he founded and co-directed (with Dr. Donette Francis). Prior to the Center’s founding, Allen was Director of the Program in Africana Studies, Associate Professor of Anthropology, and affiliated faculty in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies at University of Miami. His past appointments also include: Chair of the University of Miami’s Standing Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Associate Professor of Anthropology and African American Studies at Yale University, Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology at his alma mater, Morehouse College.

  • Elizabeth A. Povinelli is the Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. Her writing has focused on developing a critical theory of late liberalism that would support an anthropology of the otherwise. Her first two books, Labor's Lot: The Power, History and Culture of Aboriginal Action (The University of Chicago Press, 1994) and The Cunning of Recognition: Indigenous Alterities and the Making of Australian Multiculturalism (Duke University Press, 2002), examine the governance of the otherwise in late liberal settler colonies from the perspective of the politics of recognition. Her last two books, Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism (Duke University Press, 2011) and The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Geneology, and Carnality. A Public Planet Book. (Duke University Press, 2006), examined the same from the perspective of intimacy, embodiment, and narrative form. Her ethnographic analysis is animated by a critical engagement with the traditions of American pragmatism and continental immanent theory.
  • Professor, Marine and Polar Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
    Professor of International and Public Affairs and Director, Ph.D. in Sustainable Development

    Professor John Mutter is jointly appointed in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences with a specialty in marine seismology, and in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and is a member of the faculty of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He is Director of Graduate Studies for the PhD in Sustainable Development at SIPA. He researches the role of natural disasters in supporting and promoting the global inequality in development status and particularly in suppressing development opportunities for the poorest. He teaches a course on the sub ject with his colleague Sonali Deraniyagala, an economist from University College London. Together they are completing a short primer on Disasters and Development. He also examines these questions through the lens of human rights, asking whether rights attainment can predict disaster outcomes, such as the response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, and how the norms and principals of human rights can provide guidance for climate adaptation strategies. He is author most recently of Climate Change Science: A primer for sustainable development (Columbia University Press, 2020)


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