Meet the Organizers

Professor Katy Collin is a co-organizer of the PS-PSI, the Director of Georgetown University’s M.A. in Conflict Resolution Program, and an Assistant Teaching Professor in Georgetown’s Department of Government. Her Ph.D. is from American University’s School of International Service in international relations. Her M.A. is in international policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and B.A. is from UC Berkeley in history and peace and conflict studies. Professor Collin’s research is on the role of elections in post-conflict transitions, in particular the use of referendums in peace processes. She worked for several years in the civilian components of multilateral peace operations, most often in elections projects, including with refugee and expat communities. She has worked with the United Nations, International Organization for Migration, and IFES in the US, Europe, Asia, MENA and sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Diana Kapiszewski is a co-founder and co-organizer of the PS-PSI. She is an Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University. Her research interests include public law, comparative politics, and research methods. She has published several books (authored and co-edited) and multiple articles on comparative law and courts, as well as on field research and research transparency. Her ongoing work includes a co-edited volume on concepts, data, and methods in comparative law and politics, and projects examining the judicialization of electoral governance in Brazil and Mexico, and how research methods are used in political science scholarship. Kapiszewski directs SIGLA (the States and Institutions of Governance in Latin America database), co-directs the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, co-edits the Cambridge University Press “Methods for Social Inquiry” book series, and co-directs the Emerging Methodologists Workshop. She earned a doctorate in political science at UC Berkeley in 2007.

Professor Lahra Smith is a co-founder and co-organizer of the PS-PSI. She is a political scientist with a particular interest in African politics, migration and refugees, and citizenship and equality. Her book, Making Citizens in Africa: Ethnicity, Gender and National Identity in Ethiopia, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013. She teaches courses on migration, women and politics and theory and policy in Africa. She was the CSJ Faculty Fellow for African Migration and is currently a research fellow with the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM). Professor Smith has taught and conducted research in refugee camps in East and Southern Africa, and has ongoing research on civic education programs in Kenya, particularly focused on the role of teachers as active agents of citizen-creation. She is a First Gen college student, and is a mentor in the Georgetown Scholarship Program (GSP) and the Community Scholars Program (CSP) and loves working with international students, First Gen students, transfer students, and others who might have had unique pathways to Georgetown. Read more about Professor Smith’s journey from First Gen grad to Georgetown University professor here.