Current Visiting Scholars

Sofyan AnsoriSofyan Ansori, Arryman Fellow, earned his bachelor’s degree in social anthropology at the University of Indonesia in 2009 and obtained his master’s degree at PPM School of Management in 2013. Since completing his studies, he has worked as a social researcher and lecturer for several institutions in Indonesia, with a focus on culture and environmental resources. He plans to study in Northwestern’s anthropology department with a focus on the political shifts, indigenous practices, and environmental changes that contribute to peat fires in the Central Kalimantan peatlands.
Senem Aslan

Senem Aslan, Keyman visiting scholar, is an associate professor in the Politics Department at Bates College.  A graduate of Bogazici University in Political Science and International Relations, she earned her Ph.D. in the Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Washington. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University between 2008 and 2010. Her book, Nation-Building in Turkey and Morocco: Governing Kurdish and Berber Dissent, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. She also published articles in International Journal of Middle East Studies, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, and the European Journal of Turkish Studies. At Bates, she teaches classes on state-building, nationalism, and politics of the Middle East. Her recent research focuses on political amnesties in Turkey.

Asma BerkaneAsma Berkane, FIG visiting predoctoral fellow, is a graduate student visiting from ENS Lyon's department of English literature and civilization. She is currently writing a master’s thesis about narration and postmodernist philosophy in Bret Easton Ellis's fiction.
Lasse BruneLasse Brune, postdoctoral fellow at the Global Poverty Research Lab, focuses his research on financial inclusion in developing countries. He also has projects related to labor markets, behavioral economics and social safety nets. Brune holds a PhD in economics from the University of Michigan.
Adèle Chevrier Adèle Chevrier, FIG visiting predoctoral fellow, holds a BA in English and literary studies from the École Normale Supérieure of Lyon. As part of her Master’s program in English and Russian language, literature, and civilization, she recently wrote her thesis on the place of Russia in Vladimir Nabokov’s early short fiction.
Sinan Erensü

Sinan Erensü, Keyman postdoctoral fellow, earned his PhD at the University of Minnesota in 2016. He holds an M.Phil degree in sociology from Cambridge University and a BA degree in Social and Political Sciences program from Sabanci University, Turkey. His interests lie in the fields of critical development studies, political economy, urban and rural theory, and political ecology with a particular focus on landscapes and infrastructures of energy. His regional focus is the Turkish Black Sea coast. His dissertation, “Fragile Energy: Power, Nature and Politics of Infrastructure in the ‘New Turkey,’” provides a reading of political power, consent, and dissent in Turkey in the 21st century through the lens of energy.

Natalia Forrat

Natalia Forrat, Buffett Institute visiting scholar, is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She recently graduated with
a PhD in sociology from
Northwestern University. Her research focuses on state-society relationships in authoritarian settings. Her book project, “The Infrastructure of Authoritarianism,” addresses the ways Vladimir Putin’s regime in Russia uses public sector organizations to manipulate grassroots politics and the factors that can prevent such abuse of the state.

Badi FosterBadi Foster, Buffett Institute visiting scholar, has a background extending from higher education and nonprofits to the corporate world and federal government. Foster has held several positions at Harvard University, as well as at Princeton University, Rutgers, and the University of Massachusetts. He currently serves on the Advisory Council to the Joan Kroc Center for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University. He is a Fellow at the W.E.B. Dubois Institute of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, where he continues work on his manuscript on leadership and organizational change in the fight against anti-Black and anti–American Indian racism (1911-2011).
Riad IsmatRiad Ismat, Buffett Institute visiting scholar, is an award-winning Syrian short-story writer and an acclaimed dramatist/critic in the Arab world, with 36 books to his credit. He was Syrian minister of culture (2010-12), and also served as ambassador, DG of State Radio & TV, and Rector of the Academy of Dramatic Arts. In his career, Ismat has emphasized bridging the gap between cultures, drawing from Arab heritage with a modern approach, condemning totalitarianism and promoting humanitarian values, democracy, and tolerance.
Hüseyin Levent KökerHüseyin Levent Köker, Keyman research associate, is a graduate of Ankara Law School and holds a PhD in political science. He was previously Hans Speier Visiting Professor in the New School for Social Research. Currently working on a critical re-interpretation of constitutional politics in Turkey, Köker’s research interests include constitution-making and post-national constitutionalism, democratic political theory, secularism, nationalism, multiculturalism, and cosmopolitanism. His publications include Modernization, Kemalism and Democracy (2009), Two Different Conceptions of Politics (2008), and Democracy, Critique, and Turkey (2008). 
Robie KholilurrahmanRobie Kholilurrahman, Arryman Fellow, completed his bachelor’s degree in international relations at the University of Indonesia with a thesis titled, “State and Mobile Investors Relation on Industrialization in Post New Order Indonesia (1998-2014).” He has worked as a researcher for the Research Center for Crisis and Alternative Development Strategies (INKRISPENA), as well as for the Directorate of Foreign Politics and International Development Cooperation, Ministry of National Development Planning. Kholilurrahman plans to study political science at Northwestern, working on a project called, “The Lost Last Two Decades: Determining Factors for the Course of Indonesian (De)Industrialization After the 1997 Crisis.”
Solomon Fikre Lemma Solomon Fikre Lemma, PAS visiting scholar, has served as Dean of the College of Law and Governance Studies and Secretary of the Senate of Addis Ababa University, as well as an assistant professor at the Schools of Law of Addis Ababa and Hawassa Universities. He received his PhD, LL.M., and LL.B. degrees from the Schools of Law of the University of Warwick, Erasmus University, and Addis Ababa University, respectively. Lemma's research interests include law and development, particularly the role and potential of land, business, and property laws in tackling poverty and fostering economic development in developing countries. He has served as a UNHCR volunteer at Bonga and Fugnido Camps for Sudanese refugees in western Ethiopia, contributing to his research interest in the protection and treatment accorded to vulnerable groups such as women, children, and refugees under international and Ethiopian laws.
Leyla NeyziLeyla Neyzi, Buffett Institute visiting scholar, is based in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabanci University in Istanbul. Neyzi received her BA from Stanford University and her PhD from Cornell University. As an anthropologist and oral historian, she listens to and archives the life stories of individuals from diverse backgrounds and communities. Her areas of interest include oral history, memory studies, European and Middle Eastern ethnography, nationalism and minorities, transnational youth and social movements.
Muhammad RidhaMuhammad Ridha, Arryman Fellow, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Indonesia and a master’s degree in development studies from Murdoch University, Australia. He currently contributes to research at the Research Centre for Crisis and Alternative Development Strategy (INKRISPENA) and at the Center of Political Studies (Pusat Kajian Politik), University of Indonesia. As a scholar-activist, Ridha is involved with the Working People’s Party (PRP) and serves as Jakarta’s Regional Secretary of the Confederation of the Indonesian People’s Movement (KPRI). He is also a member of the editorial board for, a website aimed at disseminating progressive, pro-working-class ideas in Indonesia. Ridha’s research interests include political economy, urban politics, public policy, and contemporary political theory.
Perdana Putri RoswaldyPerdana Putri Roswaldy, Arryman Fellow, is a predoctoral researcher in the sociology department at Northwestern University. She graduated cum laude from Universitas Indonesia’s Russian literature department in 2015. During her time as Northwestern, she will study the transmigration scheme of the Indonesian province of Riau and its contribution to the global supply chain of palm oil. Roswaldy was previously honored as Indonesia’s delegate for the ASEAN +3 Youth Environmental Forum in 2010. In addition, she is a freelance contributor for several Indonesian alternative media and webzines.
Kayla Wilding

Kayla Wilding is a visiting scholar at the Global Poverty Research Lab and works as a research associate for the United States Household Finance Initiative at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). She works on a portfolio of RCTs focused on improving low- and middle-income Americans’ financial health through the use of innovative financial products. Prior to joining IPA, she was a consultant at Bates White Economic Consulting focusing on valuations for financial litigation cases. She has also spent time working as a research intern for the Brookings Institution, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and Refugee Women’s Network. Kayla earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Georgia, where she focused on international development, labor, and public finance.

Senem Yildirim-OzdemSenem Yildirim-Ozdem, Keyman visiting scholar, is an assistant professor of political science and public administration at Antalya AKEV University, Turkey. Her research mainly focuses on the public-private divide in contemporary political theory, the gendered nature of this dichotomy, and the concepts of social, political, and civil society. She received her doctorate in political science in 2011 from Turkey’s Bilkent University, where she also completed her undergraduate degree. She was previously a visiting researcher at UIC.