Preceptors are advanced PhD students who work with CIR students individually and in small groups to help them in completing the Committee's degree requirements. Students work closely with preceptors as they select an MA topic and they advise students in the thesis writing process.
Milena Ang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, specializing on Comparative Politics and Political Methodology. Her dissertation uses a mixed-methods approach to study the trajectory of politicians that have been involved in corruption scandals in Mexico, India, and Indonesia. In particular, she analyzes how a variety of actors and democratic institutions (elections, political parties, and the judicial system) fail or succeed at holding them accountable. Other research interests include transparency, federalism and subnational politics, democratic practices and institutions, and representation in contemporary democracies. Milena enjoys building and analyzing large-N datasets, particularly if the data structure is well suited for hierarchical modeling, and is currently learning web scraping and content analysis. She holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations from CIDE (Mexico City, 2008). Before coming to the University of Chicago, she worked as a research assistant for a public opinion firm in Mexico.
Chad Levinson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, specializing in International Security, American Political Development, and US Foreign Policy. His research examines the role of interest groups in US national security politics. He focuses on the mutually beneficial relationship between the executive branch and particular extra-governmental organizations, and the public relations collaboration between these two sets of political actors. This partnership allows the government to bypass statutory restrictions on domestically-targeted propaganda, and provides outside groups with access to the national security apparatus. Chad employs a methodologically pluralist approach to research design, using large-n statistical analysis, laboratory experiments, and archival research to demonstrate the centrality of third-party organizations in the growth of the state's political capacity in the domain of national security during the twentieth century. This research agenda touches on various topics, including presidential politics, public opinion, security studies, international political economy, congressional oversight (or the lack thereof), the military-industrial complex, campaign finance, lobbying, and political communication, to name a few. Chad also worked as a software developer, database programmer, and general technology consultant before embarking on an academic career.
Dina Rashed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, specializing in civil-military relations, violence, authoritarian regimes, state-society relations and Middle East Politics. Her reseach examines dynamics of domestic security arrangements in authoritarian regimes. In her dissertation, she investigates how domestic and external threats impact relationships between presidents and states’ institutions of force (militaries and police forces), and the impact of forms of domestic coercive control on regime persistence. Her comparative research draws upon experiences of political development in Egypt, Algeria and Mexico. The project employs multi-method research design including institutional historical analysis and ethnography. Dina’s work is at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations. She holds a BSc in Political Science from Cairo University, an MA in International Studies from DePaul University, and an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago.