Program Overview

Faculty & Staff

The MAAIS faculty features a distinguished and diverse group drawn from the Jackson School of International Studies, the wider University of Washington academic community and prominent real-world practitioners in the field.

Program Director

  • Megan Bowman

    Director, Master of Arts in Applied International Studies

    MA in International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University


    Campus Box: 353650

    Megan Bowman has over 25 years of experience in public policy and international relations and has worked in business, government and the non-profit sector. Prior to joining the MAAIS program, she helped build a local nonprofit organization from a small startup to a successful global business network driving investment and impact across Africa. Her professional experience includes five years at Microsoft, where she managed government, industry association and political affairs at the federal level and coordinated global public policy positions in areas such as online privacy and data protection. As an executive with the global public affairs firm APCO, she developed government affairs and communications strategies for a number of non-profit and global health clients, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and several of its grantees. Her early career was spent in Washington, D.C., managing foreign policy, trade and development issues for several members of Congress.


  • Warren Acuncius

    Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies

    Master's in Public Administration, University of Washington

    Warren has worked for USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (previously known as the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance – OFDA) since 2013. He is currently a Civil-Military Disaster Operations Division (CMD) Team Lead in Washington, DC. Previously he acted as a Senior Humanitarian Assistance Advisor to the Department of Defense USIndoPacific Command based in Oahu, HI. He has a background in domestic emergency management with FEMA and specializes in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, high yield explosives (CBRNE) disaster planning. Warren facilitates approximately 15 Joint Humanitarian Operations Courses (JHOC) a year and co-facilitates the United Nations’ Civil Military Coordination Course for an international audience. He has supported numerous international disaster relief efforts in both a government and NGO capacity (e.g., Lebanon explosions, Ebola in West Africa, Haiti Earthquake). Warren was a 2018 Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security – Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity program. He is from Washington State and is a graduate of the Evans School and Western Washington University.

  • Jeffrey Begun

    Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies

    Box 353650

    Jeffrey C. Begun is a Lecturer at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. He specializes in international economics and political economy, economic growth and development, China, and environmental issues. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Washington and is the co-author of several articles including “Red Obsession: Foreign Conglomerates Battle over Chinese Wine” and “In Search of an Environmental Kuznets Curve in Sulphur Dioxide Concentrations: a Bayesian Model Averaging Approach.” He has done field work in China and has taught political economy at Renmin University in Beijing. He was part of the “5 + 2” Initiative Delegation in Taiwan and has served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sustainable Economy. He has many years of teaching experience in interdisciplinary programs and has taught courses in a variety of areas including international environmental policy, economic development, research methods, international political economy, and China’s economic rise. He speaks conversational Spanish and Mandarin.

  • James Bernard

    James Bernard

    Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies

    BA in Journalism, Ohio University

    James Bernard is Director of Corporate Sustainability Services at Resonance, an award-winning consultancy focused on partnerships in international development, impact investment and frontier market expansion. An internationally recognized expert on multi-stakeholder partnerships, Bernard is responsible for building out a West Coast office for Resonance focused on establishing stronger links between technology for international development. Prior to joining Resonance, Bernard was Senior Director of Global Strategic Partnerships for the Education group at Microsoft, where he led a team that was responsible for building partnerships with publishers, education technology companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations such as the UN and World Bank. Between 2006 and 2008 Bernard served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for World Learning, an international NGO focused on educational exchange and international development. Bernard also held a number of positions at Microsoft between 1999 and 2006, working on consumer technology products and digital access programs to bring technology to emerging markets. Bernard is a frequent speaker on issues related to public-private partnerships in education and international development. He serves on the board of directors of Pact, a global NGO working on health, livelihood and environmental projects in 35 countries.

  • Ann Burkhart

    Ann Burkhart


    Ann Burkhart joined Earthworm Foundation  (formerly known as The Forest Trust) in January 2019 as a Relationship Manager. Burkhart works with member companies to set policy around sourcing key agricultural commodities, gain traceability in their supply chain, support transformation projects at origin focused on deforestation and small holder or human rights issues, and verification of progress against these initiatives. She also has responsibility for new business development in the United States. Earthworm Foundation is based in Switzerland and has 20 years of experience in finding solutions to the major social and environmental problems that our world is facing today. 

    Burkhart formerly worked at Starbucks as a manager on the ethical sourcing team, where she focused on the company’s programs for dairy, produce and animal welfare, but also contributed to the manufactured goods, coffee and cocoa programs. Previously she helped build the company’s business ethics and compliance program and worked on the equal opportunity initiatives team. Burkhart has also worked as acting director of Weyerhaeuser’s ethics and compliance program and held management consulting positions with two Internet development firms. As a volunteer, she served on the board of directors for EarthCorps and Global Visionaries. Burkhart received her bachelor’s degree from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and her master’s degree from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

  • Scott Edwards

    Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies

    JD, Penn State Dickinson Law

    Scott Edwards has over 20 years of experience working globally in the software industry with his last 16 years at Microsoft. Scott is known as a strategic business leader who has executed multi-million dollar global programs with multi-billion dollar results. He’s been responsible for global communities, business rhythms and programs for technology, policy and sales in both the public and private sectors. He’s influenced global policy for cloud security, privacy, compliance and transparency. He’s also negotiated multi-lateral intellectual property agreements for open standards and open source development. Over the years, he’s represented the software industry and Fortune 50 companies before national and international media, technical fora, governments, industry groups and academia in dozens of speaking and consultative roles.

  • Leela Fernandes

    Director, Jackson School of International Studies

    PhD in Political Science, University of Chicago

    Leela Fernandes studies the relationship between politics and culture through both qualitative empirical research and theoretical scholarship. Her research examines the ways in which cultural meanings, practices and identities shape political behavior and deepen our explanations of political conflicts and processes. She has pursued this research agenda through extensive field research on labor politics, democratization and the politics of economic reform in India. Her focus on identity, culture and politics has led her to work extensively on qualitative and interdisciplinary methods including ethnographic and interpretive methods.

    A central dimension of Professor Fernandes’ research is the study of gender in shaping cultural, economic and political processes. She has worked on theories of intersectionality and has also examined the gendered dimensions of nationalism and transnationalism. An ongoing foundation of Professor Fernandes’ research is the study of social inequality with a particular emphasis on researching and theorizing class identity and inequality.

    Leela Fernandes recently finished two books. Transnational Feminism in the United States engages in a critical discussion of interdisciplinary research and theory on transnationalism. She also edited the Routledge Handbook on Gender and South Asia which provides a broad overview of feminist scholarship on South Asia drawing on the work of twenty three scholars from South Asia, Europe and North America. She is currently working on a new research project, The Politics of Water: Inequality and India’s Post-Liberalization State which analyzes changes in the state and the emergence of new forms of inequality through a study of the water sector in contemporary India.

    Professor Fernandes previously taught at University of Michigan, Rutgers University, New Brunswick and Oberlin College and is currently the South Asia Editor of the journal Critical Asian Studies.

  • Kathie Friedman

    Associate Professor, Jackson School of International Studies

    PhD in Sociology, Binghamton University


    Campus Box: 353650

    Kathie Friedman-Kasaba is an associate professor at the Jackson School of International Studies and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. She is a faculty member in the interdisciplinary PhD program in Near and Middle Eastern studies. Friedman is the former chair of the Jewish studies program and previously directed the master’s program in international studies and the undergraduate honors thesis programs at the Jackson School. Her main area of study and research is comparative forced migrations and immigration, particularly to the United States and the European Union, with a focus on ethnic and political incorporation. Friedman’s publications include Memories of Migration: Gender, Ethnicity, and Work in the Lives of Jewish and Italian Women, New York 1870–1924; Creating and Transforming Households: The Constraints of the World Economy (coauthored); and a chapter titled “On Halloween We Dressed Up Like KGB Agents” in Sociology Confronts the Holocaust: Memories and Identities in Jewish Diasporas.

  • Sunila Kale

    Sunila Kale

    Chair and Director, South Asian Studies, Jackson School of International Studies

    PhD in Government, University of Texas, Austin

    206 221-4852

    Campus Box: 353650

    Sunila Kale is an associate professor, chair of the South Asian Studies program and director of the South Asian Studies Center at the Jackson School. Her research and teaching focus on Indian and South Asian politics and political economy. Kale’s first book, Electrifying India, focuses on the politics of energy and infrastructure in post-independent India. She has several ongoing research projects, including the study of energy, infrastructure, and development in India; the politics of extractive industries, focused empirically on eastern India; and a collaborate project about the politics of yoga in India and the United States.

  • Reşat Kasaba

    Faculty, Jackson School of International Studies

    PhD in Sociology, Binghamton University


    Campus Box: 353650

    Reşat Kasaba served as the director of the Jackson School for 10 years, completing his tenure in June 2020. Other previous leadership roles include as President of the Association for Professional Schools of International Affairs and of the Turkish Studies Association.. His main areas of research have been the Ottoman Empire and Turkey. He has researched and taught on economic history, state-society relations, migration, urban history and ethnicity and nationalism. Kasaba is the author and editor of seven books and more than 40 articles dealing with the Ottoman Empire, Turkey and the Middle East. Recently, he edited a volume of The Cambridge History of Modern Turkey and wrote A Moveable Empire: Ottoman Nomads, Migrants, and Refugees. In 1999 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Washington.

  • John Koenig

    Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies

    MA in International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University

    John Koenig retired in 2015 after more than three decades in the U.S. Foreign Service. His last post was as U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus, where he brokered the agreement to launch the latest round of UN-sponsored settlement negotiations. He previously served as Political Advisor to the NATO Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy; as Deputy Chief of Mission in Berlin, Germany; and as Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.S. Mission at NATO. In 2011, he received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in recognition of the policy and leadership roles he played in Berlin and at USNATO.

  • Frederick Lorenz

    Senior Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies

    JD, Marquette University

    Campus Box: 353650

    Rick Lorenz served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1971 to 1998; his service included a tour as an infantry company commander, work as a judge advocate and work as a senior legal adviser during U.S. interventions in Somalia and Bosnia. After retiring from the Marine Corps with a rank of colonel, Lorenz spent a year as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in St. Petersburg, Russia, teaching courses in international law, environmental law and U.S. foreign policy. In 2000 he served as a United Nations legal affairs officer in Kosovo, working in the UN Civil Administration, and as legal adviser for the regional administrator in Mitrovica. He is a senior fellow for the Public International Law and Policy Group and has served on missions in Armenia, Somaliland and the Republic of Georgia.

  • José Antonio Lucero

    Associate Professor and Chair, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Jackson School of International Studies

    PhD in Politics, Princeton University


    Campus Box: 353650

    Tony Lucero is chair of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. His areas of expertise include international political economy, cultural interactions, social movements, Latin American politics and borderlands. His research examines the encounters between Western and indigenous political projects in the Americas. Lucero is the author of Struggles of Voice: The Politics of Indigenous Representation in the Andes and coeditor of the Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Peoples Politics. He is working on a research project on the cultural politics of conflicts between Awajún and Wampis indigenous communities and the filmmaker Werner Herzog in Peru and one on human rights activism, religion and indigenous politics on the Mexico–U.S. border. He earned his MA and PhD from Princeton University.

  • Tabitha Grace Mallory

    Affiliate Instructor, Jackson School of International Studies

    Ph.D. in International Relations, Johns Hopkins University

    Tabitha Grace Mallory is an affiliate faculty member of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. She specializes in Chinese foreign and environmental policy. Dr. Mallory is currently conducting research on China and global ocean governance and has published work on China’s fisheries and oceans policy. Dr. Mallory has consulted for the United Nations Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, the World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She previously served as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program. She has also worked for The National Bureau of Asian Research and for the U.S. government.

  • Jim McDermott

    Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies

    M.D., University of Illinois College of Medicine

    Congressman (Ret.) Jim McDermott retired in November 2016 after 14 terms representing the 7th Congressional District of Washington State, which includes Seattle and parts of several neighboring communities.  His government career spans over 40 years, including a decade in the State Senate and a year as a U.S. Foreign Medical Officer in what is today the Democratic Republic of Congo. Congressman McDermott received his M.D from the university of Illinois College of Medicine.

  • Scott Montgomery

    Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies

    MA in Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Cornell University


    Campus Box: 353650

    Scott Montgomery specializes in areas related to energy, including resources, security, policy, geopolitics and climate change. He has more than 25 years of experience as a professional and consulting geoscientist in the energy industry and has published on frontier oil and gas plays, emerging technologies and shale oil and gas. He has performed consulting work for a wide variety of companies, energy funds, investors and other entities, with individual projects in the U.S. and Canada, South America, North Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Arctic. He has received several writing awards, including a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship. He is the author of 12 books, including The Powers that Be: Global Energy for the Twenty-First Century and Beyond and Does Science Need a Global Language? English and the Future of Research. In 2014 he was honored with the Jackson School Student Service Award for his support and dedication to furthering the achievements of undergraduates.

  • Jamie Nelson

    Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies

    MA in National Security Studies, Naval War College

    Jamie Nelson is cofounder of Red Telescope Ventures, where he provides strategic planning and consultation services for organizations working in international development, international business and market research. He has extensive experience working for the U.S. government, the private sector and nonprofit sectors throughout the Middle East and Africa. He has more than a decade of experience in strategic communications and advocacy for government, businesses and nonprofits with a focus on policymaking, foreign affairs, and defense in the executive and legislative branches. Previously, Nelson served as the director of strategic development at Concentric Advisors and as the director of policy and advocacy at williamsworks. He was a senior staff member to two U.S. senators, a senior adviser at the U.S. Department of State, an associate director at the White House, a resident program officer for the International Republican Institute’s in-country program in Iraq, and a defense policy analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

  • Robert Pekkanen

    Robert Pekkanen

    Professor, Jackson School of International Studies

    PhD in Political Science, Harvard University


    Campus Box: 353650

    Robert Pekkanen is a professor at the Jackson School of International Studies and an adjunct associate professor of political science and sociology at the University of Washington. His research interests include electoral systems, political parties and civil society. He was a coprincipal investigator on a project exploring how electoral systems shape politics. Pekkanen has authored, coauthored or coedited six books on American nonprofit advocacy, Japanese civil society and Japanese elections and political parties. His first book, Japan’s Dual Civil Society: Members Without Advocates, captured the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize in 2008 and was translated into Japanese. He earned his PhD in political science from Harvard University.

  • Chris Seiple

    Senior Fellow for Comparative Religion, Jackson School of International Studies

    PhD in International Relations, Tufts University

    Dr. Seiple is the Senior Fellow for Comparative Religion at the Jackson School of International Studies. He is widely known and sought after for his decades of experience and expertise regarding issues at the intersection of geopolitics, US foreign policy, Asia, conflict resolution, human rights and religion. He has pioneered innovative solutions in the U.S. Marine Corps, at the U.S. State Department, the Templeton Religion Trust, and as the president of the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), where he developed a “Track 1.5” theory of change rooted in relational diplomacy. He and IGE are perhaps best known for playing a significant role in the removal of Vietnam (2007) and Uzbekistan (2018) from the U.S. State Department’s religious freedom violations list. His 1996 book, The U.S. Military/NGO Relationship in Humanitarian Interventions, is a seminal work in the field. Seiple is the 2003 founder of the Routledge-published journal, The Review of Faith & International Affairs. He is also co-author of International Religious Freedom Advocacy: A Guide to Organizations, Law, and NGOs, co-editor of The Routledge Handbook on Religion & Security, and co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook on Religious Literacy and Global Engagement. Dr. Seiple earned his Ph.D. in International Relations at The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. He also has an M.A. in National Security from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University. He is the recipient of the 2019 Religious Freedom Award from the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and the 2019 International Award from the International Religious Liberty Association. Chris is a three-time cancer survivor who embraces each day, gratefully.


  • James Wellman

    James Wellman

    Chair of Comparative Religion, Jackson School of International Studies

    PhD in Religion and the Human Sciences, University of Chicago


    Campus Box: 353650

    James Wellman Jr. is professor and chair of the comparative religion program in the Jackson School of International Studies. His areas of expertise are American religious culture, history and politics, and he also works on religious and global issues related to violence and human security. Wellman’s publications include The Gold Coast Church and the Ghetto: Christ and Culture in Mainline Protestantism; Belief and Bloodshed: Religion and Violence Across Time and Tradition; Religion and Human Security: A Global Perspective; and Rob Bell and a New American Christianity. His 2008 monograph Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest received honorable mention for the Distinguished Book Award by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

  • Anand Yang

    Anand Yang

    Professor, Jackson School of International Studies

    PhD in History, University of Virginia


    Campus Box: 353650

    Anand Yang is a professor in the Jackson School of International Studies and Chair of the History Department at the University of Washington. From 2002 and 2010 he served as director of the Jackson School of International Studies and was the Golub Chair of International Studies. Prior to joining the UW in 2002, Yang taught at Sweet Briar College and the University of Utah, where he was chair of the history department and then director of the Asian studies program. His publications include the books The Limited Raj: Agrarian Relations in Colonial India and Bazaar India: Markets, Society and the Colonial State in Bihar; a coedited volume titled Interactions: Transregional Perspectives on World History; an edited volume on crime and criminality in British India; and numerous articles in journals on Asian studies, history and the social sciences. Yang serves on the editorial boards of several journals on history and Asian studies and was previously an editor of The Journal of Asian Studies and Peasant Studies.

Program Staff

  • Andrea Sadlier

    Andrea Sadlier

    Graduate Program Advisor, Master of Arts in Applied International Studies

    MS in Academic Advising, Kansas State University


    Campus Box: 353650

    Andrea Sadlier is responsible for the MAAIS student experience and handles a wide range of functions, including recruitment, admissions, advising, financial aid, program coordination and event management. She has worked with undergraduate and graduate students for more than a decade at Seattle University and the University of Washington. Sadlier received her bachelor’s degree from the UW.