Carnegie Mellon University

Emily Half

Emily Half

Deputy Director, Institute for Politics and Strategy

  • Posner 391
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Office Location: Posner Hall 391
To schedule a meeting: Please email Emily at

Emily advises majors in International Relations and Politics and co-advises majors in Economics and Politics. She also advises minors in International Relations and Politics, Cybersecurity and International Conflict, and Politics and Public Policy, as well as students interested in the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program (CMU/WSP).

How long have you been at CMU and how did you get here?

I've been at CMU since 2000 and with Dietrich College since 2009. Prior to working as an academic advisor in Dietrich College, I served a number of roles in Student Affairs including diversity programming, study abroad advisor, and housefellow. 

What is something you love about your job and/or what is one of your favorite memories of being an advisor?

My most rewarding moments as an advisor are when students tell me after a meeting: “I feel so much better after our conversation.”  The barriers have been lowered, the opportunities exposed, and the students can better reflect on the possibilities that lie ahead knowing that I’m in their corner supporting their decisions and plans.  The biggest reward in my role is seeing them succeed as students and alumni, and knowing that I may have helped them to reach those outstanding moments.

What is something you love about Dietrich College and/or your department?

I love the innovative and interdisciplinary social science approach that the Institute for Politics and Strategy takes to studying political science and international relations.

What was your undergraduate major? How did you end up deciding on it?

I majored in English and Spanish as an undergraduate.  I absolutely love reading and the study of language and culture through literature fascinated me. 

What activities/hobbies do you like to do outside of work and/or what do you like to do to de-stress or unwind after a busy day? 

I am an obsessed knitter.  I am always knitting, usually a sweater.  Most tops and sweaters that you will see me wearing are hand-knit. A day doesn't pass without knitting at least a few stitches.  I also love to cook.  My husband and I have two kids- a 16-year old son and a 13-year old daughter- and we love to spend time together as a family playing games, hiking, cooking, etc.  A perfect day of balance starts with a barre workout and ends with a little bit of knitting time.