Social Science & Policy Studies department attracts multiple affiliates for exciting research


WPI's Social Science & Policy Studies department attracts a variety of research affiliates to work within the department on projects near and far, with great social implications. We are pleased to have the following distinguished research affiliates working with us.

Dr. Barfour Adjei-Barwuah is the current Ambassador of Ghana to the United States of America with concurrent accreditation in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic. His first Ambassadorial assignment was Ambassador to Japan with concurrent accreditation to Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. He has a counselling qualification from London’s Centre of Advancement of Counselling and runs his own consultancy firm - Learning Works Consult- in Accra, Ghana.  He is also a certified chaplain.

Dr. Lucy Agyepong is the Associate Dean of Engineering at Academic City College, a premium tertiary education institution offering holistic education to create world-rounded minds, located in Accra, Ghana. With a Masters in Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering followed by a PhD in Mechanical Engineering with an Aerospace Design focus, she has over 10 years’ specialist experience in conducting advanced research on both Academic and Industrial levels. Her research has spanned Aircraft Design, with focus on alternative weight estimation and reduction methodologies. Additionally, Lucy has worked with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), UK, Airbus, GKN, BAE Aerospace and Rolls-Royce.

She is a strong advocate for Women IN Engineering (WINE) and a professional member of the Ghana Institute of Engineering (GhIE). She was also part of the team that successfully hosted the 1st International Conference on Development Engineering in collaboration with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

Khatera Alizada conducts research in areas including Modeling and Simulation, Quantitative Methodology, System Dynamics Modeling, Agent-based Modeling, International relations; Comparative politics; Post-conflict state-building and democratization; Peace-building; International political economy; Human rights; Globalization, Renewable energy and Policy diffusion. She earned her doctoral degree in International Studies from Old Dominion University. After receiving her doctoral degree, she completed a year of postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Mind and Culture, a research center in Boston MA. She holds a Master’s degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University’s School of International Services in Washington D.C. where she received the Hall of Nations Fellowship Award. 

Dr Linda Deigh has over 25 years’ experience in the UK with industry and academia.

Linda is currently the Associate Dean of Faculty of Business Administration and Communication Arts at Academic City University College in Ghana. Her role supports the institution’s vision to nurture the future business professional in Africa by addressing the socioeconomic challenges on the continent which require rigour in designing relevant practical business solutions and the keen ability to create narratives along that journey. Linda is involved in collaborations with WPI in areas of research, curriculum development and delivery, and student exchange.

Stuart Hilger is a senior marketing and business development executive with broad experience in financial service firms including Fidelity Investments and Fleet Bank (now Bank of America).  In addition, Stuart has been the founder or senior team member in several successful startups in financial services and consumer tech including Route401k, CardStar and RememberIn.  Stuart is author of patent US 8881251B1 Electronic Authentication Using Pictures and Images November 2014.

Stuart has an undergraduate degree from Marquette University in Business Administration and a Masters of Management degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Justin B. Hollander, PhD, FAICP, is a professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. His research and teaching is in the areas of physical planning, Big Data, shrinking cities, and the intersection between cognitive science and the design of cities.  He has plans to collaborate with WPI faculty around several of these topics.  He co-edited the forthcoming book Urban Experience and Design: Contemporary Perspectives on Improving the Public Realm (Routledge, 2021) and is the author of seven other books on urban planning and design, including Cognitive Architecture Designing for How We Respond to the Built Environment (with Ann Sussman) and Urban Social Listening: Potential and Pitfalls for Using Microblogging Data in Studying Cities

Eric Keys is the monitoring and evaluation advisor for the Center for Digital Development at the United States Agency for International Development. He is an environmental geographer with backgrounds in natural resource conservation and economic development, and global environmental change. During his career, Eric has carried out research on commercial agriculture and tropical deforestation, wildlife friendly development policies, land use and land cover change, and field methods and techniques. Dr. Keys served as a post-doctoral fellow at CIPEC; faculty member at Arizona State University, the University of Florida, WPI; and Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is interested in linking WPI faculty and students to interesting development and conservation opportunities.

Kwabena Kyei-Aboagye is an environmental professional with over 20 years of government and academic experience, Kwabena specializes in planning, law, public policy, environmental justice, community engagement, and multi-disciplinary projects. With a deep understanding of the local, state, federal and international government policies, Kwabena works with stakeholders in formulating and implementing effective technical and environmental strategies. Currently, Kwabena works as a Massachusetts urban environmental program manager for the United States Environmental Protection Agency Region I (MA, RI, NH, ME, CT, and VT), where he is responsible for designing, implementing, and managing the Massachusetts Urban Environmental Program.

Among other initiatives, Kwabena also worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an urban environmental coordinator, sustainable development coordinator, and environmental justice coordinator. BS, MCP, Boston University; JD, Suffolk University Law School. He is the Chief of Akyem Dwenase, Akyem Abuakwa State, Ghana.

Chakanetsa Mavhunga is an Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) at MIT and founder of Research || Design || Build (RDB), a rural community-based research and innovation institute in Zimbabwe dedicated to people-initiated rural development. Chakanetsa is the author of three books on African science and technology: Transient Workspaces: Technologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe (2014). What Do Science, Technology, and Innovation Mean from Africa? (editor, 2017), and The Mobile Workshop: The Tsetse Fly and African Knowledge Production (2018), all with MIT Press. He will be collaborating with colleagues on community development engineering projects in Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

Jim Thompson contributed his national health system model to WPI’s Social Science and Policy Studies Department for use in the Global Health Initiative. He is working with Mike Radzicki and supporting an MQP to document the thousand-equation closed system feedback model and test structural policy choices.

For over 30 years, Jim applied system dynamics methodology in the field of healthcare. Jim has consulted with numerous pharmaceuticals firms on market behaviors, directed economic research for a 10-million member managed care organization (2000-2007), founded the health systems research lab for Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore (2010-2012), advised the Indonesian executive administration on long range health systems capacity planning (2013-2015), and developed a novel community health insurance program with colleagues at University of Strathclyde, London School of Tropical Medicine and icddr,b for Bangladesh (2015-2017).

Hermine Vedogbeton is a Ph.D candidate in the department of Economics with a focus in environment and development at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She also holds a master’s degree in International Development and Social Change. Her research interests include valuation of natural resources and environmental effects on maternal and child health. She recently worked on the National Science Foundation Coastal Science, Engineering, and Education Sustainability project on salt marsh persistence and value and published in the Environmental and Resource Economics journal.

She is looking forward to collaborating with the Social Science and Policy Studies department on projects related to the environment and development particularly in Africa.

Raafat Zaini spent over 20 years in the design and manufacturing industry where he held several technical and managerial positions before pursuing a Ph.D. in system dynamics and organizational behavior. His interest is in the area of organizational dynamics and innovation sustainability with a focus on a multi-perspective design approach and the dynamic modeling of R&D organizations and higher education institutions. Raafat worked as a researcher at the MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center and as and consulted for the Advance Management Group, among other accomplishments.