Project Directors

Melissa Carlson Melissa Carlson is in the third year of the Political Science PhD program at U.C. Berkeley focusing on International Relations, Comparative Politics, Methods, and the Middle East. Her research interests include the impact of aid in humanitarian crisis response, migration, irregular conflict, public goods provision, and the relationship between state and non-state actors. Currently, Melissa is Project Director at BASC, and is conducting research in conjunction with the Berkeley law school on circumstances under which vulnerable migrants may forgo applying for asylum and exercising their legal rights. Previously, Melissa has conducted extensive research on how host government outsourcing of governance/public goods provision of protracted refugee populations to external actors impact state sovereignty in the Middle East. Prior to beginning her PhD at U.C. Berkeley, Melissa worked as Public Information consultant for the International Organization for Migration Iraq Mission in Amman, Jordan. She holds a B.A. in International Relations and Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Claremont McKenna College.

» E-Mail: m.a.carlson “at”


Ishana Ratan is a first year graduate student in the Political Science department at UC Berkeley specializing in International Relations and Comparative Politics, with a focus on international political economy. Her current research interests include the politics of green technology development and deployment in emerging Southeast Asian markets. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, she worked as an international trade paralegal, which greatly inspired her interest in trade, technology, and strategic competition in the global marketplace.

» E-Mail: Ishana “at”

Andrew Reddie

Andrew Reddie is a Ph.D. student in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, specializing in international relations, public policy, and international organizations. His research interests include global institutional design, cybersecurity, and post-conflict reconstruction and development. He holds an M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University and a B.A. (hons.) in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He previously served as Managing Editor at the Canadian International Council and at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC and currently performs research for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Organizations.

» E-Mail: areddie “at”


Daniel Balke is a PhD student in political science at the University of California at Berkeley. He previously served as a Strategy and Operations Officer in the Fragility, Conflict, and Violence Group and the Middle East and North Africa Region of the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., as well as an assistant to former World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, where he helped draft speeches and analytical economic briefings for the President. Before joining the Bank in February 2013, Daniel served as an international economist in the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Western Hemisphere Office, providing macroeconomic analysis on Latin America for senior Treasury officials. Before joining the Western Hemisphere Office, Daniel worked as a special assistant in Treasury’s Office of the Chief of Staff, beginning in February 2009.  Prior to the Treasury Department, Daniel worked for the presidential campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama, as a field organizer in Southern New Mexico and, after the election, went to Washington to work for President-elect Obama’s Transition Team, where he worked with a group to help prepare Timothy Geithner for his Senate confirmation hearing to become Secretary of the Treasury. From 2007-08, Daniel served as an elementary schoolteacher in Navajo Nation, New Mexico, as part of the Teach For America program. He holds a B.A. in international relations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, where he played four years of NCAA Division 1 Tennis. Daniel also holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University’s Center for Latin American Studies, with a concentration in political economy. He is a member of the Washington, D.C., Hub of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers community, and is a founding Board Member of Building With Beans, a Washington, D.C.-based social enterprise that uses coffee sales to provide employment and workforce training to formerly incarcerated citizens and at-risk youth. Daniel’s interests include rap music, long-distance running, and tennis.

» E-Mail: Daniel “at”


Tim Marple is a second year Ph.D. student in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include themes of complexity and uncertainty in the international political economy of finance, studied through the lens of social and cognitive psychology. Specific examples of his research foci include social homophily among central bankers during the 2008 crisis, the role of social distance in regulatory advocacy at the SEC, and emergent models of environmental clauses in bilateral trade agreements. He currently serves as deputy managing editor for the journal Business and Politics, and holds a B.A. (2016) and M.A. (2017) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in Political Science and Data Analysis.’

» E-Mail: Tim “at”