Faculty Spotlight

New Faculty and Research Scholars 2023-24

Posted Aug 07 2023
Collage of new SIPA faculty for 2023-24: (top row, L-R) Timothy Naftali, Martsella Davitaya, and Sigga Benediktsdóttir; (bottom row, L-R) Daniel Björkegren, Erica Lonergan, Fernando Cirelli, and Marcelo Medeiros
New faculty for 2023-24 include (top row, L-R) Timothy Naftali, Martsella Davitaya, Sigga Benediktsdóttir, (bottom row, L-R) Daniel Björkegren, Erica Lonergan, Fernando Cirelli, and Marcelo Medeiros

 

“Welcoming new scholars, practitioners, and researchers each year helps ensure that SIPA remains a vibrant institution. These faculty bring fresh and diverse perspectives to the classroom and relevant expertise to our community, especially as it relates to SIPA’s five global challenges.”
— Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo

We highlight below some of the most noteworthy faculty additions for the 2023-24 school year. Welcome to all!

Teaching Faculty

Sigríður Benediktsdóttir, known as Sigga, has joined SIPA as a senior lecturer in international and public affairs. She studies international finance with focus on central banks and financial stability. Benediktsdóttir was most recently an assistant dean and lecturer at Yale, and previously held positions with the IMF, the Central Bank of Iceland, and the Federal Reserve, among other organizations.

Daniel Björkegren, a new assistant professor of international and public affairs, works on machine learning and digital data, and especially its applications in developing economies. Björkegren comes to SIPA after teaching at Brown University for several years.

Fernando Cirelli comes to SIPA as an assistant professor of international and public affairs. An expert in macroeconomics, monetary economics, and macro-finance, Cirelli has extensive experience teaching game theory, risk, uncertainty, development and more. He earned his PhD in economics from New York University in 2023.

Martsella Davitaya has joined SIPA as a lecturer in international and public affairs. Her research lies at the intersection of household finance and macroeconomics, focusing on the channels through which monetary policy impacts the economy and how heterogeneity observed at the micro level affects the economy. She received her PhD in economics from Columbia in 2023.

Erica Lonergan, a new assistant professor of international and public affairs, has published widely on cybersecurity, grand strategy, military affairs, and international security. Lonergan previously held several positions at the US Military Academy at West Point, including as assistant professor in the Army Cyber Institute. She has also been a senior director at the US Cyberspace Solarium Commission and the Atlantic Council, and had been an adjunct research scholar at SIPA since fall 2021.

Research Scholars

After serving as a visiting professor at SIPA since fall 2021, Marcelo Medeiros returns this year in a new role as a senior research scholar. Medeiros is the author, co-author, or editor of  numerous books in the areas of social inequality and mobility, demography, health, education, poverty, development theory, and disability and social protection. He has been an economic sociologist at the Brazilian Institute for Applied Economic Research and has held visiting appointments at Princeton, Yale, and Berkeley, as well as institutions in Tokyo, Paris, and other international locations.

Timothy Naftali, an expert on national security and intelligence policy, has joined SIPA as a senior research scholar. Naftali is also a well-known presidential historian who appears regularly on CNN. He has been a clinical professor of public service and history at New York University and, among other notable positions, was the founding director of the federal Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. Naftali has written or edited several books as well as articles for the New York Times, the Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, and other popular publications.