The Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas will welcome Dr. Brandon Merrell and Dr. Abigail Vaughn to its faculty starting July 1. Merrell and Vaughn come to the Clinton School from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Brandon and Abby from the entire Clinton School community,” said Dean Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto. “Their backgrounds and areas of expertise will be invaluable resources to Clinton School students.”
Merrell, currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy and the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, was previously at Yale University as the Henry A. Kissinger Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and International Security Studies. He served as the Herb York Dissertation Fellow at the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, San Diego, where he earned his Ph.D. in political science.
Merrell’s research examines how international processes affect global development, inequality, and political violence. His recent work has been published by World Development and Cornell University Press and has benefited from financial support from the U.K.'s Department for International Development, the Minerva Research Initiative at the U.S. Department of Defense, the Institute on Global Conflict & Cooperation, and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.
"I am thrilled to join the Clinton School and the broader Little Rock community,” Merrell said. “Public service and public engagement are crucial for those who aim to address complex policy issues or effect social change, both here in the United States and around the world. I am excited to work alongside colleagues whose research improves our understanding of such topics, and I am eager to train graduate students who are committed to careers in nonprofit, private, or public service. Finally, I want to thank all of the faculty, staff, and students at the Clinton School who have already extended such a warm welcome."
Vaughn is currently an Assistant Professor in Georgia Tech’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs where she teaches courses on globalization and the international political economy. Previously, she served as a research fellow at Princeton University’s Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance. She earned her Ph.D. in political science from UC San Diego.
Vaughn’s research focuses on financial inclusion, global governance, and political stability in emerging market economies. Her past research has examined alternative forms of international cooperation that encourage security and development in the global south. Her work has been published by Cornell University Press.
“I am very eager to join the Clinton School to work with service-oriented students motivated to improve the human condition,” said Vaughn. “I think it is a uniquely rewarding experience to get to translate our research into practical applications.”
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.