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Meet Dr. Elise Carlson-Rainer |Inaugural Ph.D. Class

June 5, 2017

Elise Carlson Rainer during her fieldwork at Stockholm Pride 2015

The Jackson School of International Studies is proud to be one of the first schools in the nation to offer a paradigm shifting Ph.D. program combining a new cross-disciplinary approach with intensive area studies. The goal of the program is to advance problem focused graduate education in international studies in the face of contemporary global and local challenges. This year three of students of the inagrual class defended their dissertations and earned their degrees as Doctors of Philosophy.

Meet Elise Carlson- Rainer.

Name: Elise Carlson-Rainer

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Foundational Field: Law, Rights and Governance (LRG)

Dissertation title: Sexual Minority Rights as Human Rights: Mapping the Evolution of LGBT Norms in Swedish and U.S. Foreign Policy

Why did you choose the Jackson School Ph.D. program?

My committee chair, Professor Sabine Lang, could write a book on how to coach professionals in transitioning to academia. She provided a wonderful combination of encouragement, theoretical insight, and academic rigor which enabled me to finish in three years.

A highlight in your Jackson School experience:

 A meaningful moment in the field, interviewing the first in the world, and United States Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT people, Randy Berry.

What is my next professional adventure?

  • I will fill in as interim Director of the Jackson School’s Master of Arts in Applied International Studies
  • I will work for the State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights as Labor. I will continue as a Senior Editor of the annual Human Rights Reports on Jordan, Algeria, Qatar, and Oman.
  • I aim to teach a class on Human Rights in International Relations.



Click here to learn more about the Jackson School's Ph.D. program