Our People

At AidData, we believe that game-changing ideas can come from anyone. Our team of staff, students and affiliated researchers work together in locations across the country and around the world towards a common mission. 

We embody a "never say it can't be done" attitude and push ourselves to be engines of innovation. In doing so, we deliberately seek out talented people with audacious ideas from the academic, nonprofit and technology sectors.

Executive Director

Brad Parks
Executive Director

Brad Parks is Executive Director of AidData and a Research Faculty at the College of William & Mary's Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations. He is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of AidData, its portfolio of grants and contracts, and its team of 37 faculty and staff. His research is focused on aid allocation and impact, development policy and practice, and the design and implementation of policy and institutional reforms in low-income and lower-middle income countries. From 2005-2010, Brad was part of the initial team that set up the U.S. Government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). As Acting Director of Threshold Programs at the MCC, he oversaw the implementation of reform projects in Indonesia and the Philippines. Brad holds his PhD in International Relations and an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also holds a BA in International Relations from the College of William & Mary.

Research and Evaluation

Ariel BenYishay
Chief Economist

Ariel is AidData’s Chief Economist and Assistant Professor of Economics at the College of William & Mary. He previously served as Lecturer in Economics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He also served as Associate Director of Economic Analysis and Evaluation at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Ariel has served as the principal investigator on a variety of large-scale experiments in developing countries, including Malawi, the Philippines, and the Solomon Islands. His work has been published in leading journals, including the Journal of Human Resources, the Journal of Comparative Economics, and Economic Development and Cultural Change. Ariel holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland.

Carrie Dolan
GIS Analyst and Research Fellow

Carrie is a GIS Analyst for AidData and a Research Fellow in Public Policy at the College of William and Mary. Carrie has over 10 years of experience using spatial tools such as geographic information systems and global positioning systems. She has written several articles on utilizing geocoded data to examine health outcomes and has advised projects in Africa and Latin America. Carrie holds an MPH from Tulane University and is pursuing her PhD in Healthcare Policy and Research at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Tyler Frazier
Geospatial Scientist

Tyler is a Geospatial Scientist at AidData and a Research Assistant Professor and Adjunct Lecturer at William & Mary.  Prior to joining AidData, Tyler was a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Technical University of Berlin and the Center for Development Research (ZEF) in Bonn with 8 years of combined development research experience related to field work in West Africa. Tyler holds his PhD in Geography from the University of Bonn. For more information about the courses Tyler is teaching, visit his William & Mary faculty page.

Seth Goodman
Data Engineer

Seth is a Data Engineer at AidData. He designs and develops tools and infrastructure which improve AidData's capacity to provide and analyze data for research and decision-making communities. His work includes building data processing and management systems, operationalizing novel research methods, and designing appliciations to utilize William and Mary's High Performance Computing cluster. Seth completed his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering at Villanova University, where he minored in Geography. His previous work includes documenting humanitarian projects for IEEE, and reseach and development of hybrid energy systems for both defense and humanitarian projects.

Miranda Lv
GIS Analyst

Miranda is a GIS Analyst at AidData located at the College of William and Mary. Prior to joining AidData, she worked as a programmer for TerrSet (formerly IDRISI), an integrated geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing software system. She has extensive experience in spatial analysis, management of geospatial databases, open source applications, and software development. Miranda holds an MS in GIS and an MS in Environmental Science and Policy from Clark University.

Katherine Nolan
Program Manager

Kathy is an Impact Evaluation Program Manager for AidData’s Research and Evaluation Unit. She previously worked for Innovations for Poverty Action on several different impact evaluations in Mongolia and Kenya, on topics such as land rights, education, livelihoods, and savings accounts. She has also worked on a market access research project in Northern Uganda and an electrification research project in India. She holds an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a BA in International Development and African Studies from Amherst College.

Renee Rotberg
Junior Program Manager

Renee is a Junior Program Manager at AidData for the Geocoding team. Her main responsibilities are supplying geocoded products for geospatial analysis and managing the Geocoding team. Previously Renee interned at HopeCore International Kenya in the microfinance/economic development unit, working with farmers to obtain small loans to expand their businesses and increase their disposable income. Renee received her MA in International Affairs with a certificate in Social and Economic Development from Pennsylvania State University. She holds a BA in History with a focus on the Middle East and Africa, and a BA in Dance from the University of California, Riverside.  
 

Daniel Runfola
Senior Geospatial Scientist

Dan is AidData's Senior Geospatial Scientist. He previously worked on research projects for the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers examining the use of Geographic Information Science (GIS) in climate-change related decision making. Currently, he is working to integrate AidData's information into better decisions regarding aid allocation. Dan has widely published his work in a number of high-profile outlets, including recent contributions to the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fifth assessment report. Dan holds a PhD and MA in Geography from Clark University, and a BA in Geography from Georgia State University.

Rachel Trichler
Senior Research Analyst

Rachel is a Senior Research Analyst at AidData. Rachel oversees design protocols and analysis for rigorous evaluations using geospatial program and outcome data as part of the Research and Evaluation Unit’s work with bilateral and multilateral organizations and private foundations. Previously, Rachel supported monitoring and evaluation activities for the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group, Social Impact, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Rachel holds an MS in Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Jessica Wells
Senior Program Manager

Jessica is a Research Manager with AidData, serving as AidData Research Consortium’s (ARC) principal point of contact. Previously, she served as the Chief Operating Officer at the WomanStats Project, and worked with the Worldwide Organization for Women as a Global Education Opportunity Intern in Geneva, Switzerland. Jessica received her MS in Public Policy and BA in Economics from Brigham Young University.

Policy Analysis

Samantha Custer
Director of Policy Analysis

Samantha is the Director of Policy Analysis for AidData. She has co-authored World Bank papers on open data and citizen feedback with the Open Development Technology Alliance, and assisted former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to teach a class on foreign policy. Samantha previously advised on multilingual education policy with SIL International and coordinated the advocacy efforts of the Asia Multilingual Education Working Group for UNESCO. She holds a dual MS in Foreign Service and Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Mengfan Cheng
Junior Program Manager

Mengfan is a Junior Program Manager for the TUFF and Non-DAC team at AidData. Her main responsibilities are supporting the data team, conducting quality assurance and managing RAs. She received her MS in Public Policy from Georgetown University. Before joining AidData, she has worked in both news agencies, such as Xinhua News Agency, and think tanks including the Brookings Institution.
 

Matthew DiLorenzo
Research Analyst

Matthew is a Research Analyst at AidData. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Vanderbilt University, an MA in Political Science and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Politics and Policy from the University of New Hampshire, and a BS in Political Science from Salem State University.

Sol Eskenazi
Junior Program Manager

Sol is a Junior Program Manager at AidData. She holds her BA in International Relations and French Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from college, Sol served as a Princeton in Africa Fellow at the African School of Economics in Benin. In this role, she conducted research on intergenerational mobility and its effects on risk aversion, work ethics and life outlook, and provided logistical and analytical support for a J-Pal RCT that examines the relationship between remedial education and learning outcomes at the secondary school level.

Siddhartha Ghose
Data Specialist

Siddhartha is a Data Specialist at AidData. He is responsible for the delivery of all data products and business development opportunities. He was previously associated with the risk management divisions of banks such as HSBC, Barclays and Mashreq where he built data driven decision-making frameworks. Siddhartha holds an MS in Quantitative Economics from the University of Hyderabad, India.

Rebecca Latourell
Senior Program Manager

Rebecca is a Senior Program Manager responsible for AidData's Survey Practice. Prior to joining AidData, Rebecca worked in communications and marketing coordinating high-level events with diverse stakeholders and audiences, including product launches, trade shows, and the Leading Large Scale Change Executive Briefing Series. She has a particular interest in food security, and served as a graduate intern in USAID’s Bureau for Food Security where she helped establish the strategic review process for Feed the Future focus countries. She holds an MPA from New York University, where she specialized in policy analysis and international development, and a BA in History with honors from the University of Washington.

Brook Lautenslager
Software Developer

Brook is a Software Developer with AidData. She has over 15 years of experience as a software engineer designing, developing, and testing many different types of applications.  Previously, she worked for 3M Cogent developing ID enrollment applications and for Northrop Grumman developing command and control systems and inventory tracking applications. Brook has a BS in Computer Science from Christopher Newport University.

Takaaki Masaki
Senior Research Analyst

Taka is a Senior Research Analyst at AidData. His primary role is to advise and oversee efforts to clean, code, and run policy analyses utilizing complex datasets generated from surveys, crowdsourcing, web scraping, etc. Taka holds a PhD in Government from Cornell University, an MA in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, and a BA in Liberal Arts from Soka University of America.

Jason Rogers
Web Applications Developer

Jason has over 6 years experience designing and developing accessible web applications in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Aid Data as a Web Applications Developer, he worked for the Arizona Department of Economic Security and the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in designing, developing, and testing websites, web applications and data to meet a variety of business needs, goals and requirements. Jason studied Music Education and Political Science at the University of Mississippi.

Brooke Russell
Assistant Data Manager

Brooke is an Assistant Data Manager with AidData focused on non-traditional donor relations.  She oversees work with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) related to collecting development cooperation from non-traditional donors, focused on addressing HIV/AIDS.  Previously Brooke was a project manager for AidData from 2009-2011.  She holds an MA in Public Affairs from the University of Texas in Austin and a BA in Political Science and Business Administration from Brigham Young University.

Tanya Sethi
Policy Specialist

Prior to joining AidData, Tanya worked with J-PAL South Asia as a Senior Policy Associate. Her responsibilities included writing evaluation summaries and policy briefs to disseminate research findings, initiating new impact evaluations with state governments, and assisting with media outreach and internal recruitment. She also worked with an Indian social sciences journal, Economic and Political Weekly, as an Assistant Editor. Tanya holds an MS in Public Policy from the Paris School of Economics and an MS in Economics from the University of Hyderabad, India. 

Jacob Sims
Senior Program Manager

Jacob is a Senior Program Manager on the Policy Team. He previously led human rights abuse tracking and reporting programs in northern Myanmar and co-founded an international development organization in eastern Uganda. He has also directed private-sector international business development into European and Latin American markets. Jacob holds a dual MSc degree in International Development from The London School of Economics and Political Science. 

Jennifer Turner
Junior Program Manager

Jennifer is a Junior Program Manager at AidData working on sustainable development solutions. Before coming to AidData, she worked with Kiva, the National Democratic Institute, and the World Bank. Jennifer holds an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a BA in French from the College of Charleston.

Partnerships and Communications

Alex Wooley
Director of Partnerships and Communications

Alex is Director of Partnerships and Communications for AidData. He previously worked as Vice President for Communications and Development at InterMedia and oversaw the start-up of a USAID-funded media development program in Sierra Leone. A former editor of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Alex has written for Public Diplomacy Magazine and The Huffington Post. Alex holds an MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University.

Caroline Bergeron
Partnerships Associate

Caroline is a Partnership Associate and supports the Director of Partnerships and Communications at AidData. Her responsibilities include developing partnership opportunities and business development collateral publications. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia.

John Custer
Communications Manager

John brings 15 years of professional and international experience as AidData's Communications Manager. Prior to joining AidData, John co-founded an online coffee company and worked as the Government Relations Director for an NGO in Southeast Asia running multilingual education programs. John holds a BS in International Business from Grove City College.

Soren Patterson
Communications Associate

Soren is AidData's Communications Associate, working to increase the research lab's reach and visibility by publicizing and promoting its unique activities. Soren manages AidData's blog, The First Tranche, and its social media and web presence. He holds a BA in Government with a secondary in East Asian Studies from Harvard University.

Operations

David Trichler
Director of Operations

David is Director of Operations at AidData. Previously, David served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to USAID's Chief Economist as a Presidential Management Fellow. He worked as a faculty assistant to Secretary Madeleine Albright, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios and as a consultant for the World Bank and ExxonMobil Foundation. He holds an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a BA from Brigham Young University.

Josephine Garcia
Financial & Business Analytics Manager

Josephine is AidData’s Financial and Business Analytics Manager, where she develops and analyzes information to assess the current and future financial status of the project. She previously worked as a Program Cost Control Analyst responsible for managing program’s financial operation, coordination of annual cost proposals, and contract administration. Josephine attended minor studies at the University of Santo Tomas, and received her BA in Business with a concentration in Accounting from Saint Leo University with honors.

Carey Glenn
Junior Program Manager

Carey is AidData’s Junior Program Manager for the USAID HESN award. Before coming to AidData, Carey was most recently a research assistant at Argonne National Laboratory where she studied the intersections of natural resource allocation, climate change, and women’s rights. Carey holds a triple BA with honors in Public Policy, Political Science, and Environmental Studies from the University of Chicago.

Alena Stern
Senior Program Manager

Alena is AidData's Senior Program Manager for the USAID HESN award, whose portfolio includes donor relations, program management, and monitoring and evaluation. Prior to joining AidData, she worked as an Associate at Chemonics International. Alena received her BA in International Relations and Economics from the College of William and Mary.