People

GCRI affiliates are talented scholars, professionals, and students working on many different aspects of global catastrophic risk. As a geographically decentralized organization, GCRI’s affiliates are based in cities worldwide.

Interested in becoming a GCRI affiliate?

Leadership Team

Seth Baum, Ph.D., Executive Director
seth [at] gcrinstitute.org, @SethBaum, New York City
Seth Baum leads GCRI’s planning and management and contributes to GCRI’s research. He is also a Research Scientist at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science and an Affiliate Researcher at the Columbia University Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from Pennsylvania State University (2012), an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University (2006), and B.S. degrees in Optics and Applied Mathematics from the University of Rochester (2003).

Tony Barrett, Ph.D., Director of Research
tony [at] gcrinstitute.org, Washington, DC
Tony Barrett oversees GCRI’s research activities and contributes to organization planning and management. He is a Senior Risk Analyst at ABS Consulting. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University (2009) and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego (2000). He was a postdoctoral research associate at the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) at the University of Southern California and a Fellow in the RAND Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows Program.

Robert de Neufville, M.A., Director of Communications
robert [at] gcrinstitute.org, @rdeneufville, Honolulu
Robert de Neufville oversees GCRI’s website, newsletter, and public media engagement. He is a freelance writer. He blogs about the future of the human race at Anthropocene. He has contributed to Big Think, The Washington Monthly, and The Economist’s Democracy in America. He holds an M.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley (1996) and an A.B. in Government from Harvard (1992).

Grant Wilson, J.D., Deputy Director
grant [at] gcrinstitute.org, @Grant_S_Wilson, San Francisco
Grant Wilson contributes to GCRI’s planning, management, and research. He recently completed a position as Outreach and Policy Coordinator at the Earth Law Center. He holds a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School (2012) and a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Western Washington University (2009). His research interests include emerging technologies, environmental change, and international law.

Associates

Gary Ackerman, Ph.D., Associate
ackerman [at] umd.edu, Washington, DC
Gary Ackerman is the Director of the Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), based at the University of Maryland. He holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London (2014), an M.A. in International Relations from Yale University (2000) and a B.A. in law, international relations and mathematics from the University of the Witwatersrand (1995). His research interests include terrorist behavior, threat assessment, biological and nuclear weapons, and emerging technologies.

Kaitlin Butler, M.A., Associate
kaitlin [at] gcrinstitute.org, Salt Lake City
Kaitlin Butler is the Program Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network. She holds an M.A. in Climate and Society from Columbia University (2011) and a B.A. in Sociology from Vassar College (2007). Her research interests include environmental change, policy, psychology, and communications.

Dave Denkenberger, Ph.D., Associate
ddenkenb [at] tnstate.edu, Nashville
Dave Denkenberger is an Assistant Professor in Architectural Engineering at Tennessee State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from University of Colorado at Boulder (2010), an M.S.E. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University (2005), and a B.S. in Engineering Science from Pennsylvania State University (2002). His research focuses on technological solutions to reducing global catastrophic risks.

Mark Fusco, S.J., Ph.D., Associate
markpfusco.gcrinstitute [at] gmail.com, Santa Clara, CA
Mark Fusco is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University and a Jesuit priest. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Theology from the University of Toronto (2016), an S.T.L. degree in Moral Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University (1995), an M.A.R. degree in Philosophical Theology from Yale University (1991), and a B.A. in Religious Studies and English Literature from the University of Toronto (1989). His research interests include the theology and sociology of global catastrophic risk and the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Jacob Haqq-Misra, Ph.D., Associate
jacob [at] haqqmisra.net, @haqqmisra, Newark, DE
Jacob Haqq-Misra is a Research Scientist at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science and a Director of Blue Marble Space. He holds a Ph.D. in Meteorology & Astrobiology from Pennsylvania State University (2010), an M.S. in Meteorology from Pennsylvania State University (2007) and B.S. degrees in Astrophysics and Computer Science from the University of Minnesota (2005). His research interests include astrobiology and environmental change.

Tim Maher, M.S., Associate
timothy.michael.maher [at] gmail.com, New York City
Tim Maher is a catastrophe risk analyst for Aon, where he models regional scale catastrophes and assesses their financial impact. He holds an M.S. in Climate Science and Policy from Bard College (2013) and a B.S. in Astrophysics from the University of Missouri – St. Louis (2008). His research interests include astrobiology, environmental change, and the role of the insurance industry in global catastrophic risk.

Roman Yampolskiy, Ph.D., Associate
roman.yampolskiy [at] louisville.edu, @romanyam, Louisville, KY
Roman Yampolskiy is an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Louisville. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University at Buffalo (2008), an M.S. and B.S. (2004) in Computer Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology. His research interests include cybersecurity, biometrics and artificial intelligence safety.

Caroline Zaw-Mon, Associate
carolinezawmon [at] hotmail.com, Denver
Caroline Zaw-Mon is a Risk Project Manager at the University of Denver. Caroline holds an M.A. in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver (2009), an International M.B.A. from Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver (2009), and a B.S. in History (2001) from Vanderbilt University. As a Research Associate, Caroline contributes to GCRI research on nuclear war and law & policy.

Junior Associates

Jessica Cianci, Junior Associate
jc6181a [at] student.american.edu, Washington, DC
Jessica Cianci is a B.A. student in anthropology and psychology at American University. Her research interests include motivations for activism and common perceptions of global risks.

Matthijs Maas, M.Sc., Junior Associate
matthijs.m.maas [at] gmail.com, @matthijsMmaas, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Matthijs Maas is a freelance policy analyst currently based in The Netherlands. He holds an M.Sc. in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh and a B.A. in Liberal Arts & Sciences from University College Utrecht. His research interests include the geopolitics of nuclear deterrence and the safe governance of artificial intelligence. He is also active in public education for global catastrophic risk in conjunction with the effective altruism community, and participates as forecaster in the Good Judgment Project.

Steven Umbrello, Junior Associate
steven.umbrello [at] mail.utoronto.ca, @StevenUmbro, Toronto
Steven Umbrello holds an H.B.A from the University of Toronto with a focus on the philosophy of science and ethics. He currently serves as the Assistant Managing Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and sits on IEET’s Advisory Board. Steven is also a Policy Coordinator at the Global Healthspan Policy Institute where he conducts bioethics research in the sphere of biogerontology. His research interests include ethics and policy for emerging technologies.

Trevor White, J.D., Junior Associate
tnw24 [at] cornell.edu, @trevornwhite, Buffalo
Trevor White is a recent graduate of Cornell Law School (2016), graduating with a focus in international legal affairs. He holds a B.A. in Honors English and Creative Writing from the University of Washington (2013) and was a Managing Editor on the Cornell Law Review, as well as a summer legal intern for the National Coalition Against Censorship. His research for GCRI focuses on legal liability for risks posed by autonomous machines.

Former Affiliates

U. Tuncay Alparslan, Ph.D., Associate
tuncay.alparslan [at] american.edu, Washington, DC
Tuncay Alparslan is an Assistant Professor in Mathematics and Statistics at American University. He holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University (2006), an M.S. in Operations Research from Cornell University (2005), and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey (2001). His research interests include the mathematics of uncertainty and integrated assessment.

Kelly Hostetler, B.S., Research Assistant
During 2011-2012, Kelly provided research assistance to GCRI on its Nuclear War research program. Her work focused on the risk of inadvertent nuclear war. Kelly received a B.S. in Political Science from Columbia University (2011). After working with GCRI, Kelly enrolled in the Master of Urban Planning program at the University of Washington.

Matt Moretto, B.A., Research Assistant
During 2012, Matt provided research assistance to GCRI on its Religion research program. His work focused on GCR, Islam, and the Middle East. Matt received a B.A. in History from Columbia University (2011). After working with GCRI, Matt will work as a research analyst for KKP Research and Advisory Services, an organization that focuses on political risk for business ventures active in areas of heightened political tension.

Jianhua Xu, Ph.D., Associate
jianhua.xu [at] pku.edu.cn, Beijing
Jianhua Xu is an Associate Professor in Environmental Management at Peking University. She holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University (2007), an M.S. in Environmental Science from Peking University (2003), and a dual B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and English from Dalian University of Technology (2000). Her research interests include environmental change, psychology, and communications.