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People of Ford


Rev. Robert Dowd, CSC Rev. Robert Dowd, CSC

Rev. Robert Dowd, CSC, ’87, a Kellogg faculty fellow and associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, is an Africanist whose research interests include religion, development, and political culture. He is the author of Christianity, Islam, and Liberal Democracy: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa (Oxford University Press, 2015) as well as articles on how religion and ethnicity affect political transitions in Africa. His current research, supported by a grant from the Templeton Foundation, focuses on how Christianity and Islam affect political attitudes and economic activities in Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda. Ordained a Holy Cross Priest in 1994, Dowd holds a PhD in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as a BA in economics from the University of Notre Dame.

Steve ReifenbergSteve Reifenberg
Director, International Development Studies Minor
130 Hesburgh Center

Jackline AridiJackline Oluoch-Aridi
East Africa Regional Program Coordinator

Jackline Oluoch-Aridi is the Ford Program’s East Africa regional program coordinator. Based in Nairobi, Aridi oversees the Ford Program’s community engagement and research in Kenya and Uganda; supports Notre Dame students doing research or internships in the region; and builds relationships with Ford Program regional partners. Previously, Aridi was regional community health worker program coordinator for East Africa for Columbia University’s Earth Institute, overseeing operations and providing technical assistance for programs in six countries. Aridi has also worked with the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs at Columbia University, the World Health Organization, the Guttmacher Institute, GBCHealth, and the Global Alliance on Improved Nutrition (GAIN). She holds a masters in public administration with a specialization in international health policy and management from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Administratio

Jaimie BleckJaimie Bleck
Senior Research Advisor
215 Hesburgh Center

Jaimie Bleck, a Kellogg faculty fellow and assistant professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, is the Ford Program’s senior research advisor. Her research interests include African elections, comparative democratization, political Islam in West Africa, Mali, and education and citizenship. The author of Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), she is currently investigating the role of the local discussion groups known as “grinw” in rebuilding civil society and democracy in Mali, drawing on research conducted in 2014–15 on an ACLS fellowship. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on research methodology appropriate for fieldwork in the developing world, among others. Previously, she worked for Winrock International on USAID's Africa Education Initiative Ambassadors Girls Scholarship Program in Central and Southern Africa and served as a consultant for Freedom House, CARE, and the World Bank. She holds a PhD from Cornell University.

Danice BrownDanice Brown
Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist

Danice Brown monitors and evaluates the Ford Program's human development projects in East Africa, drawing on skills in statistical and network analysis. Prior to joining the Ford Program, Brown worked on the UN Relief and Works Agency monitoring and evaluation team in Jordan, where she took part in designing an impact evaluation of a vocational training program and a needs assessment for the Syria Response. She also worked as a project manager for Refugee Family Services in Atlanta, GA, designing monitoring and evaluation structures for youth development projects. Previously, Brown served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, designing and implementing projects in youth and community development. She holds a BA in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and an MPP with a certificate in international development from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, where her research focused on the use of social network analysis in analyzing food security in the Middle East. 

Ilaria Schnyder von WartenseeIlaria Schnyder von Wartensee
Research Assistant Professor

Ilaria Schnyder von Wartensee is a research assistant professor at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, where she works with the Ford Program. Her principal research focus is on international development, with a particular interest in dignity and integral human development. She helps to implement the Ford Program’s human development projects, drawing on her expertise in qualitative methods, case studies, development practice, and ethnography in Africa and Latin America. She also works collaboratively with the Wellbeing at Work project, which explores wellbeing in the caring professions, with a focus on humanitarian aid workers.

Among other works, Schnyder is the coauthor of At the Root of Development: The Importance of the Human Factor (Fondazione per la Sussidiarietà, 2012). A native of Switzerland, she holds a PhD in international law and economics from Bocconi University in Milan and an Msc in anthropology and development from the London School of Economics.


Faculty with expertise in development studies who are supported by and/or conducting research with the Ford Program include:

Jaimie BleckJaimie Bleck
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Ford Program Senior Research Advisor

Wyatt BrooksWyatt Brooks
Assistant Professor of Economics

Kevin DonovanKevin Donovan
Assistant Professor of Economics

Rev. Robert Dowd, CSCRev. Robert Dowd, CSC
Associate Professor of Political Science and Ford Program Director 

Lee GettlerLee Gettler
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Hormones, Health, and Human Behavior Laboratory Director

Terence JohnsonTerence Johnson
Joseph and Deborah Loughrey Assistant Professor of Economics and Human Development

Ethan LieberEthan Lieber
Assistant Professor of Economics

Rahul Oka Rahul Oka
Ford Family Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Ilaria Schnyder von WartenseeIlaria Schnyder von Wartensee
Research Assistant Professor, Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Vania Smith-OkaVania Smith-Oka
Associate Professor of Anthropology





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The Kellogg Institute promotes scholarship, learning, and linkages that address issues of critical importance to our world. At the center of our interdisciplinary community’s work are two key themes: democratization and human development. 

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