ISA 2017-2018 Annual Election

President (one position)

The President serves a one year term and works during that time to propose programs and policies designed to advance the best interests of the Association. He or she convenes and presides over meetings of the Executive Committee, the Governing Council, and the Annual Business Meeting while overseeing the work of the Executive Office.
Brett Ashley Leeds, Rice University

Candidate Statement from Brett Ashley Leeds

I am deeply honored to be nominated to serve as ISA President during 2017-18. I am Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Rice University. My research primarily concerns the design and effects of international agreements. Most of my research has focused on the politics of military alliances, and I have published articles in a variety of journals including International Studies Quarterly, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Interactions, International Organization, American Journal of Political Science, and Journal of Politics.

I gave my first professional conference presentation at the annual meeting of ISA in 1995, and I have participated in ISA in a variety of roles since then. Most notably I have served as chair of the Diversity Committee (2005-08), chair of the Long Range Planning Committee (2010-12), chair of the Scientific Study of International Processes section (2007-09), Associate Editor of ISQ (2005-08), and Vice President (2010-11). I have also been honored to receive two awards from ISA—the Deutsch award in 2008 and the Susan Northcutt award in 2014. I have also been actively involved in other scholarly organizations, particularly the American Political Science Association and the Peace Science Society. My varied roles within ISA and with other organizations have provided me perspective on the strengths of the association and on its challenges.

In my view, scholarly associations are valuable because they serve three functions: (1) resolving collective action problems and reducing transactions costs for cooperation; (2) supporting and articulating norms and rules of scholarship (for example, academic freedom and research transparency); and (3) redistributing resources in ways that the association deems worthwhile (for example, travel grants and workshop grants). As President of ISA, I hope to lead conversations on how we can take advantage of new technologies to increase cooperation and interaction among a diverse set of ISA members outside of our regular meetings, and how we can best use association resources to encourage the scholarship, teaching, and involvement in ISA of members working in resource-poor institutions throughout the world.

My plan is to lead with transparency, consultation, and collaboration. ISA is a large organization of scholars with varied experiences and perspectives; its diversity is its greatest strength. Our work will be most successful with significant outreach to make sure a multiplicity of voices are heard and incorporated into decision making. I look forward to working with many of you as we pursue our common goals.

Vice Presidents (three positions)

ISA Vice Presidents are elected for a one-year term. During that time, they serve on the Executive Committee and the Governing Council. Vice Presidents help provide oversight and coordination of committees, liaison with sections and regions, interaction with other appropriate organizations, development of inter-organizational cooperation, and strengthening connections with government, foundations, and business.
Audie Klotz, Syracuse University

Candidate Statement from Audie Klotz

I am honored to be nominated as a Vice President of the ISA, an organization which has been central to my professional life. Over the years, I have served on innumerable award committees and, as cofounder of the Society for Women in International Political Economy, worked on various professional development initiatives, many of which are now routinely offered at the annual conference, including the SWIPE Mentoring Award from the International Political Economy section. As a member of the association’s executive, I would concentrate on gender equity, racial diversity, global representation, and methodological pluralism. My overriding concern would be to ensure that ISA continues to offer scholars at all stages of their careers multiple opportunities to find collegial networks and supportive mentors.

Since 2003, I have taught in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, where I am a professor of political science. Previously, I spent ten years at the University of Illinois at Chicago and have held visiting appointments at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, the University of Southern California, and Haverford College. My publications, with Cornell and Cambridge among other outlets, focus on international relations theory, global race politics, transnational activism, migration policies, and qualitative methods. My area specialties are Southern Africa and the former British Empire, developed through fieldwork supported by Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council, and National Science Foundation, among other sources. Major recognition includes co-recipient in 2014 of the ISA’s J. Ann Tickner Award for innovative scholarship and exceptional mentoring.

Jennifer Sterling-Folker, University of Connecticut

Candidate Statement from Jennifer Sterling-Folker

I am extremely honored to be nominated to serve as a Vice President for the International Studies Association. I am an international relations theorist whose writing focuses on theories of international organization and global governance. At the University of Connecticut I am the Alan R. Bennett Honors Professor of Political Science and I direct the Department’s Honors Undergraduate Program. I received my B.A. in Political Science and Art History from the University of New Hampshire, and my M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

I am excited to have this opportunity to give back to the ISA and its members because this organization has been so important to my own professional career. My first ISA was in 1995 when I was an assistant professor and barely knew anyone in the field. That first conference was an incredibly enjoyable and enriching experience, and some of the people I met and served on panels with became life-long friends. I knew then that I wanted to give back to ISA in whatever way I could and to provide similarly enriching experiences for young professionals just starting out in the field.

Since then I have served in a number capacities for ISA, with the most notable being editorial work for its journals. I served first as an Associate Editor for International Studies Perspective (2000-04) and later as a co-editor of International Studies Review (2008-12). I subsequently extended this volunteer editorial role to other professional associations in IR, and I am currently serving as a co-editor for the British International Studies Association (BISA) journal, Review of International Studies (2011-present). I am also currently a voting member of the ISA Publications Committee, having served in prior years (when an ISA journal editor) as an ex officio non-voting member.

In addition to my editorial work, I have served on the ISA Nominating Committee and as a member of the ISA-NE Governing Council. I have consistently volunteered to serve on ISA panels and roundtables as an organizer, chair and discussant, in order to provide mentorship to young professionals who, like myself, can benefit enormously from their ISA conference experience. While I was an ISA journal editor I regularly organized a Q&A roundtable consisting of the ISA editors, who would answer questions from the audience about the ISA publication process. I regularly serve on the journal publication table for the “Professional Development Café” sponsored by ISA, I have served on a number of “Mentoring for Women” roundtables, and I continue to fill-in wherever ISA might need me on the program. This mentoring role extends to my UConn undergraduates and graduate students as well, for whom I regularly organize a day-long field-trip to the ISA-NE’s Annual Meeting so that they can experience a professional IR conference early in their academic careers.

I am excited at the prospect of continuing to expand opportunities for direct mentorship of young professionals while serving as an ISA Vice-President. Thank you for this nomination and your consideration.

Rorden Wilkinson, University of Sussex, UK

Candidate Statement from Rorden Wilkinson

ISA has been an important part of my academic career and I am honoured to be nominated to serve as a Vice President. I have been an active member since 1999. I served on the Publications Committee between 2009 and 2012. I was awarded the ISA Society of Women in International Political Economy (SWIPE) Mentor Award in 2014.

I am committed to widening participation and promoting diversity. If elected I would continue to take forward the important work ISA has done in these areas. I would seek to contribute wherever possible to promoting the interests of the Association and to reaching out to new members globally.

I am currently Professor of Global Political Economy and Chair of the Department of International Relations at the University of Sussex. My teaching and research interests span the broad terrain of international studies with a particular focus on international organisation, global governance, trade, poverty and development.

At-Large Representatives (three positions)

Members-at-large are selected by the ISA membership to serve on the Governing Council and to represent the global and diverse nature of the ISA membership body in general.
Belgin San Akca, Koc University, Turkey

Candidate Statement from Belgin San Akca

I am honored to be nominated for the position of At-Large Representative to ISA’s Governing Council for the 2016-2018 term. I am Assistant Professor of International Relations at Koç University, Istanbul. I received my Ph.D. from University of California, Davis and was a visiting scholar at the Center for Middle East Studies at Harvard University. I am one of the Associate Editors of Conflict Management and Peace Science and a management committee member of the European Network of Conflict Research (ENCoRe). My research is placed at the intersection of International Relations and Comparative Politics with a focus on international security, transnational dimensions of domestic conflict, terrorism and the Middle East conflict. Since joining the department at Koç University, I have spent time for increasing the communication between the scholars in Turkey and its broader region and the ones in North American and Europe. I have contributed to the initiation and organization of the annual meetings of the Eurasian Peace Science Society, which is a network of roughly around fifty scholars from Europe, the Middle East and North America.

I am the recipient of a Marie Curie Reintegration Grant awarded by the European Commission and an award by the Turkish Academy of Sciences for Successful Young Scientists. As a member and a regular attendee of annual conventions, it has been a pleasure to observe the ISA to grow into the primary outlet involving scholars from various parts of the world. As an at-large member of the Governing Council, I would work towards further transformation of International Relations into a global discipline and improving already existing dialogue between scholars located in North America, Europe and the Middle East. Such a dialogue is especially critical during the current times, when the International Relations scholarship should put intense effort into conflict management and resolution by involving scholars from conflict-intensive regions of the world.

Thomas Bernauer, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Candidate Statement from Thomas Bernauer

Having attended many ISA annual conventions over the past 20 years and having benefited from this a lot I would be more than happy to serve as an at-large representative on the ISA Governing Council.

I am a Professor of International Politics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. My research and teaching focuses on international environmental politics and trade. I currently direct ETH Zurich’s interdisciplinary Institute of Science, Technology and Policy.

Gunther Hellmann, Goethe University, Germany

Candidate Statement from Gunther Hellmann

I have been attending ISA´s annual conventions since 1988. In 1990 I joined ISA as a member. Given its openness vis-à-vis a plurality of perspectives and approaches from within as well as outside the US ISA has in many ways represented the best of classical liberal American values. As the official representative for the German IR community in the World International Studies Committee (WISC) between 2000 and 2006 I have experienced first-hand how critical and constructive ISA has been in terms of advancing the global professional organization of International Studies. This impression has been reinforced during my tenure as a “Non-North American Member At Large” in the ISA Governing Council between 2009 and 2010.

ISA’s critical role has become ever more important to me since I became more heavily involved in WISC activities, first as Associate Executive Secretary (2011) and then as Executive Secretary (2014). Although WISC is in many ways a fragile organizational network (linking close to thirty national and regional international studies associations worldwide) its global organizational foundation and mandate also mean that it may be able to fulfil a critical function in coordinating the professional organization of International Studies at the global level. My aim during a possible tenure in the ISA Governing Council would be to help further these cooperative relationships between ISA, WISC and other national International Studies associations.

David Hornsby, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Candidate Statement from David Hornsby

It is a great honour to be nominated as an at-large representative for ISA Governing Council.  At present, I am a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and the Assistant Dean of Humanities, Teaching and Learning at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. I am also the program co-chair for the Science, Technology and Arts in International Relations Section.  Since taking up my post in South Africa, I have been an active participant in the IR community, locally, regionally and internationally. I have both written and taught on African political economy and Africa in the context of global governance, in addition to my work on science in the international political economy.  I am a frequent contributor to current affairs blogs, providing analysis into African international relations related themes, and maintain a research thrust into international relations pedagogy. As an at-large representative on the Governing Council, I would work to strengthen ISA’s networks in the Southern African region through using my position to find ways of connecting African international relations scholars and programs with ISA initiatives and the broader membership. Of particular interest would be to find a mechanism to engage African institutions and the ISA on the pedagogy of international relations. In this regard, there is much to share and learn from each other and I would be a strong advocate for developing a dialogue. 

Omar McDoom, London School of Economics, UK

Candidate Statement from Omar McDoom

I am grateful to ISA’s Nominating Committee for investing the time to select the candidates you see and for providing myself with the opportunity to stand for the position of Member-at-Large. I have one core position issue for my platform that I would wish to promote if elected to the Governing Council: ISA diversification. Concretely, I would ask the Council to devote more of its agenda time and other resources to finding creative ways for ISA to become an even more ‘international’ association by which I mean further increasing the participation of researchers from the developing world, especially scholars from sub-Saharan Africa. And not only for them to participate in ISA’s various conferences, but also to become more directly involved in its governance (I am myself a dual national of Guyana and the UK and appreciate the enormous advantage first world citizenship provides).

In terms of my own background for this position, I am a Faculty member in the Government Department of the London School of Economics where I specialize in the politics of sub-Saharan Africa, specifically the Great Lakes, and in the study of ethnic and political violence. I have been attending ISA since I was a graduate student in 2005 and have previously served as the secretary of the Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration (ENMISA) section and as the chair of its Distinguished Scholar Award. I have some experience in governance issues both inside and outside the Academy. Within my university, I serve on its new Ethics Policy Committee, first created in 2012, and where issues such as the sources of grants and donations, freedom of speech on campus, bullying and harassment, whistleblowing, and the university’s relationships with outside individuals and organizations are considered. Outside of higher education, I sit on the Board of Directors of an innovative non-profit organization that promotes leadership development in children that were affected by the rebellion in northern Uganda. I would hope to bring what I have learned from these experiences to this position.

Nominating Committee

ISA's slate of candidates is selected by the nominating committee. You can read their full report for this year's slate here:

Read the Report

The International Studies Association

Representing over 100 countries, ISA has more than 6,500 members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. Endeavoring to create communities of scholars dedicated to international studies, ISA is divided into 7 geographic subdivisions of ISA (Regions), 29 thematic groups (Sections) and 4 Caucuses which provide opportunities to exchange ideas and research with local colleagues and within specific subject areas.
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