Carnegie Mellon University

CMIST has recently welcomed 13 new team members

September 25, 2023

Exciting Arrivals: Introducing CMIST's Newest Faculty, Fellows, and Staff

Lindsay Marcellus
  • Communications Specialist

Under newly-appointed Director Audrey Kurth Cronin, Trustees Professor of Security and Technology, the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology (CMIST) has recently welcomed 13 new team members. This newly launched university-wide initiative focuses on the wise development, use, and governance of new and emerging technologies that are changing the national and international security landscape. CMIST expands what was previously the Institute for Strategy and Policy (IPS) and remains Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) home for the study of Political Science and International Relations. 

With the addition of two new assistant professors, Justin Canfil and Josh Schwartz, CMIST advances academic research at the intersection of emerging technologies and political science while continuing the university's tradition of collaborative, cross-disciplinary research. Canfil explains, “I'm an international relations theorist by training, but my research interests have pulled me in some surprising directions---for example, linguistics, analytical philosophy, computer science, and psychology.” Canfil is looking forward to more opportunities for collaborative research, both within CMIST and across the university. “What I'm most enthusiastic about is the chance to discover how some of the leading-edge work being done at Carnegie Mellon in fields I've had no exposure to might also impact (or even be impacted by) international politics in non obvious ways. CMU is known for being authentically interdisciplinary, and CMIST is here in part to build those bridges,” Canfil said.

The growth in CMIST not only contributes to cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary research, but also provides opportunities for exciting new courses. From short courses on the media’s role in politics to semester-long forays into emerging technologies and the law, CMU students have new opportunities to wrestle with domestic politics, including electoral re-districting and democratic polarization, as well as international security issues, such as the relationship between technology, politics, and warfare. “I’m particularly excited to work with CMU’s students in my class Technology, Weapons, and International Conflict,” says Schwartz.  “My interactions with them thus far have been fantastic, and I know I will learn from them just as I hope they will learn from me.” 

Along with our new faculty, CMIST welcomes several visiting fellows and scholars for the academic year. Hanzhang Liu is a visiting fellow from Pitzer College in Claremont, California where she is an assistant professor of political studies. Liu will provide courses in research design and data science for political science. Nicole Kliewer is post-doctoral fellow with a joint appointment between CMIST and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. She received her Ph.D in Politics from Princeton University and will be teaching courses on media bias, politics and the US electoral system

CMIST also has new Military Fellows from the US Armed Services. This year's fellows include Major Bridget K. Pantaleon, US Air Force National Defense Fellow; Lieutenant Commander Pratiksha Patel, US Navy Federal Executive Fellow; Commander Ken Sauerbrunn, US Coast Guard Fellow; and Lieutenant Colonel Daniel N. Zisa, US Army War College Fellow. They will spend the year exploring Carnegie Mellon University’s leading programs across the spectrum of security and technology, and their expertise will in turn enrich our research.

Furthermore, CMIST hosts CMU's Distinguished Executive in Residence, Jim Richardson, LTG USA (ret.) As Acting Commanding General of US Army Futures Command, General Richardson designed that innovative new organization, drove a 25% increase in the use of emerging technologies, and oversaw all science and technology for the United States Army.

CMIST has also greatly expanded its staff.  Working alongside our faculty and fellows are new staff team members Mark Gardner, Graduate Program Manager, Jacquelyn Hopkins, Senior Administrative Coordinator, Ralph López, Deputy Director for Policy and Security Studies, and Jess Regan, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer. The diverse backgrounds and expertise of our new colleagues complement current faculty and staff, as the Carnegie Mellon Institute forStrategy & Technology strides forward into a new era. 

Director Audrey Kurth Cronin observed, “I am invigorated by the new ideas, projects, and energy of the faculty and staff building CMIST. It’s fun to come to work every day!  Together we are drawing upon the unique inter-disciplinary tradition of this great university, as well as its history of collaborative research.  We are dramatically increasing opportunities for CMU graduate and undergraduate students in Political Science, building new research programs and projects, and helping to shape the trajectory of new technologies to serve the future of humanity.”