The Pearson Institute names inaugural faculty members

The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy has appointed two new distinguished faculty members to join The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts when it launches on July 1.

Chris Blattman, who focuses on ways to reduce poverty and violence in developing countries, and Oeindrila Dube, a scholar of the political economy of conflict and development, have received inaugural named professorships at The Pearson Institute.

“We are delighted to welcome Chris and Oeindrila to Chicago Harris,” said Dean Daniel Diermeier. “Their outstanding work in conflict and international development will help The Pearson Institute in its work to fill a critical gap in identifying new strategies, rooted in innovative and data-driven research approaches, to address global conflict.” 

Announced in the fall of 2015, The Pearson Institute, along with The Pearson Global Forum, will be the first research institute and annual global forum of their kind devoted solely to the study and resolution of global conflicts. They were made possible by a landmark $100 million gift from The Thomas L. Pearson and The Pearson Family Members Foundation, a gift equal in size to the second-largest gift in the University’s history.

Blattman, named the Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies, is currently an associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and Department of Political Science. His poverty and violence research focuses mainly on Africa and Latin America. He leads the Crime & Violence sector at MIT’s Poverty Action Lab and the Peace & Recovery program at Innovations for Poverty Action.

Blattman holds a PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s in public administration and international development from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

“I was drawn to the University of Chicago’s long legacy of bringing hard-nosed social science to big real-world problems,” said Blattman. “It is very exciting to be given the chance to help extend the University’s international reach through The Pearson Institute, especially into some of the biggest social challenges in Africa and Latin America: conflict, crime and state-building.”

Dube has been named the Philip K. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies. She is currently an assistant professor of politics and economics at New York University.  Her research aims to identify the root causes of violence and shed light on strategies used to promote post-conflict stability. Her work, to date, has focused mainly on Latin America and Africa.

Dube is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, the Center for Economic Policy Research and the International Growth Center. She holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard University, an MPhil in economics from Oxford University and a BA in public policy from Stanford University. She also received a Rhodes Scholarship in 2002. 

“The Pearson Institute can have unprecedented impact by prioritizing rigorous analytics in the study of global conflict,” Dube said. “I am thrilled to join the Institute at its founding, and to advance its goal of incubating new strategies for curbing violence worldwide.”