I am currently a Jefferson Science Fellow working at the US Department of State in the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues
I serve as a senior science advisor in the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues, Bureau of Intelligence and Research. This means I provide all-source intelligence support and briefings on conservation issues to high level policy makers in the State Department. As a result, I interact regularly with the Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and International and Scientific Affairs, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, and the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State. I assist the State Department in its leadership on the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking and other efforts under the US Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking. Additionally, I write analysis and intelligence assessments for senior Department and US Government officials on environment, science, technology and health issues. Example issues include wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, illegal logging, climate change, health security, and other scientific and technical issues that influence foreign policy and national security.
During my time at the State Department, I am working to apply my scientific background in conservation criminology to help investigate, in particular, the linkages between criminal activity and wildlife trafficking, including convergence in different types of illegal trafficking networks.
Read more about the Jefferson Science Fellowship, including the 2016 cohort at the National Academies of Science website.
In addition to serving as a JSF, I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife and School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. I have a BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Brandies University, a MA in Environment and Resource Policy from George Washington University, and PhD in Natural Resource Policy and Management from Cornell University.
My research interests focus on community-based natural resource management and enhancing understanding of risk concepts and their application to conservation, particularly biodiversity conservation.