Professor of the Practice

Senator James Sasser

Senator James Sasser ( has spent more than a quarter-century in public life, as a Senator from Tennessee and Ambassador of the United States to the People’s Republic of China. During his time in Beijing from 1996-1999, he played a pivotal role in strengthening Sino-U.S. relations, developing close working relationships with President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji and the next generation of Chinese leaders.

Prior to his appointment as ambassador by President Clinton, Sasser served as a United States Senator from Tennessee from 1977-1995. During his three-terms in Washington, Sasser became a leader on budgetary matters and fiscal issues, chairing the Senate Budget Committee from 1989-1995. As Chairman, Sasser pushed through fiscal reform measures which erased the federal deficit for the first time in a generation.

After leaving the Senate and before assuming his duties in Beijing, Sasser, was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Harvard University (1995). He was named the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Visiting Professor at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs during the 2000 school year.

Sasser provides strategic advice to leading US and China companies serving as a senior advisor to FedEx Corporation and a senior counselor to APCO Worldwide. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, vice-chairman of the Committee on US-China Relations, vice-chairman of the US-China Foundation, and a member of the Yale University International Advisory Board of the Culture and Civilization of China. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Honors Burch Field Research Seminar in Domestic and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Research Professor

John Scott

Professor Scott is an (Adjunct) Research Associate Professor and Lead Faculty Member with the Honors Carolina/Public Policy Burch Field Research Seminar in Washington DC.Professor Scott’s research interests include: aging and work; retirement policy; lobbying; social network analysis; quantitative analysis; public policy.

As Director of the Retirement Income Security Project at the Pew Charitable Trust, Dr. Scott will be implementing and directing the initiative, including hiring a team of researchers and policy analysts, overseeing the research agenda, serving as the project’s primary spokesperson and liaison to key policy audiences and the media, disseminating research findings widely and collaborating on fundraising.

This project provides rigorous research to inform a series of policy discussions at the state and federal level about how to help families increase their private savings. The focus of this research is on employer-based retirement programs, such as 401(k) plans, as most families accumulate the bulk of their retirement savings at work. Specifically, the project provides highly credible, independent, non-partisan research to address critical questions, including: significant factors that prevent employers from offering retirement plans or from implementing plan features that lead to greater savings; the impact of disclosure on plan fees, and how leading state and federal proposals to increase retirement savings would affect employers, workers and taxpayers. The project is also extensively engage influential policy makers, thought leaders, business organizations, and advocates in policy discussions that address these questions.

Dr. Scott’s position is based in Pew’s Washington DC office, and the Retirement Security Project is part of the Family Economic Stability portfolio.

Visiting Faculty

Lance D. Fusarelli

Lance D. Fusarelli ( Lance D. Fusarelli is Professor, Associate Department Head, and Director of Graduate Programs in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Adult and Higher Education at North Carolina State University. He conducts research in the politics of education, federal education policy, poverty and demographic change, and on superintendents/school board relations. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998, M.A. in Government (UT-Austin, 1994), and B.A. in History and American Studies (Case Western Reserve University). In 2012, he was ranked 79th in the nation among scholars whose research contributes most substantially to public debates about schools and schooling. He is at work on a second edition of the Handbook of Education Politics and Policy and as guest co-editor of a special issue of the Peabody Journal of Education focusing on education and inequality. He teaches courses on the politics of education, educational policy, advanced qualitative research methods, and case study research methods.

Xingwang (Kevin) Qian

Xingwang (Kevin) Qian ( is Associate Professor of Economics and Finance in State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo State, where he has taught since 2008. His research examines macroeconomic interactions between countries, particularly the economics and finance development issues in emerging markets and developing countries. For example, he researches on how capital investment and trade activities from other developing countries, e.g. China, affect the economic development of African countries. He has published numerous refereed articles in various professional journals, including Review of Development Economics, Journal of International Money and Finance, Review of International Economics, and Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, etc.

Professor Qian was a research fellow in Hong Kong Institution of Monetary Research (HKIMR) and visiting professor to City University of Hong Kong and The Institute of Empirical Economic Research, University of Osnabruck, Germany. He have been a research associate of Santa Cruz Institution of International Economics (SCIIE) in the University of California, Santa Cruz since 2008. He received his Ph.D. in International Economics and MA from the University of California, Santa Cruz and BA from Nankai University in China.


Gail Corrado

Gail Corrado ( 

Abernethy Hall 101


Sarah Fuller

Sarah Fuller ( holds a BA (highest honors in psychology) from Carolina and an MA and Ph.D. in public policy from Duke University. Fuller has research interests in education policy; early childhood development; social stratification; and quantitative research methods. Dr. Fuller is currently a postdoc at the Educational Policy Initiative at Carolina (EPIC), a unit with Public Policy.

Micah Gilmer

Micah Gilmer ( is a specialist in applied research and social enterprise with a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University and a BA in Religious and African-American Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill. His research focuses on the process of community-building among people interested in social change, working at intersection of cutting-edge youth development practices with “mainstream” contexts like education and athletics. Gilmer also helped launch Frontline Solutions, a consulting firm that works with non-profit organizations and foundations across the country. At Frontline, Gilmer provides leadership to applied research teams, directs the creative process for reports and oversees public communication.

John Hardin

John Hardin ( is a Ph.D. graduate of UNC in Political Science who now serves as Executive Director of the Office of Science, Technology & Innovation in the North Carolina Department of Commerce. From 2003 to 2008, he served as the office’s Deputy Director and Chief Policy Analyst. In his current role he conducts strategic planning and makes recommendations for technology-based economic development, implements technology-related economic development policy and resource allocations, supervises the staff of the N.C. Board of Science and Technology, directs and oversees the administration of grant programs to support technology development and commercialization, and oversees strategic initiatives. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from UNC, and a B.A. in economics from Baylor University.

Asher Hildebrand

Asher Hildebrand ( Bio coming soon.

Anna Krome-Lukens

Anna Krome-Lukens ( recently completed her PhD in U.S. History at UNC-Chapel Hill under Jacquelyn D. Hall. Her research focuses on the history of social welfare and public health policies, particularly the history of North Carolina’s eugenics and social welfare programs in the early 20th century. Her dissertation, “The Reform Imagination: Gender, Eugenics, and Welfare State in North Carolina, 1900-1940,” demonstrates the lasting influence of eugenics in shaping welfare policies: by dividing the “fit” from the “unfit,” eugenics ideology helped rationalize decisions about who deserves the full benefits of the welfare state and whose reproduction must be regulated to protect the greater good. Her article-in-progress, “The Newest Science: The Appeal of Eugenics in the Progressive-Era South,” was a finalist for the 2014 Louis Pelzer Memorial Award from the Organization of American Historians.

Julie T. Marks

Dr. Julie T. Marks ( holds a B.A. in Biology from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Nutrition Intervention & Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Julie T. Marks serves as Director of the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina and Principal Investigator for the evaluation of North Carolina’s $400M statewide federal Race to the Top (RttT) education reform grant. In this capacity, she manages and provides research guidance to over ten evaluation projects to determine the individual and synergistic impact of initiatives targeting teacher effectiveness and student achievement across the state. Within this evaluation she also co-directs the New Teacher Support Program and Overall Impact evaluations. Dr. Marks has held senior leadership roles at contract research firms such as Constella Group, LLC and SRA International, where she served as Project Director of concurrent multi-million dollar evaluation contracts. Her expertise is focused in intervention design and analysis, formative and summative evaluation methodologies, and disseminating findings to key education stakeholders including school administrators, external funders, and local, state, and federal policymakers.

Aimee McHale

Aimee McHale ( holds a law degree (with a focus in health law) and a master’s degree in public health (with certificate in Global Health) from the Gillings School of Public Health at Carolina. She has significant professional training and experience in policy analysis and program implementation. In her most recent role, Ms. Aimee McHale served as program director for the Triangle Global Health Consortium, an effort to bring together universities, NGO’s and private sector companies working on global health challenges. Prior to this position, McHale served in significant leadership roles in local non-profits organizations with a focus on the health of vulnerable populations in developing countries and here in North Carolina.

Elizabeth Sasser

Elizabeth Sasser ( has a B.A. and an M.P.P. from Duke University and studied at Peking University in Beijing, China, where she developed a fluency in Mandarin. Sasser served as a policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy through the first term of the Obama Administration. She worked with Administration leadership on strategies to advance the nation’s interests on environmental and energy issues, focusing primarily on bilateral relations with China. Sasser worked with Department of Energy laboratories, private and public sector stakeholders, and Chinese officials to negotiate the terms of U.S.-China clean energy cooperation and then execute on those agreements. In her role with the Department of Energy, Elizabeth brought together a wide range of stakeholders from the public and private sectors to forge cooperative paths forward on the difficult issues of the day.

Shai Tamari

Shai Tamari ( is the Associate Director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a lecturer under the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense at UNC, where he teaches a research seminar course titled: “Challenges to Peace-Making in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Prior to his UNC appointments, between 2008 and 2010, Shai was the foreign policy adviser for Congressman James P. Moran (D-VA) at the U.S. House of Representatives, and focused on issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, human rights in Iran, and parental child abduction to Japan.

Born and raised in Jerusalem, Shai served in the Israeli military between 1994 and 1997. He earned a B.A. in Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and a Master’s degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London in the UK. In 2006, Shai was awarded a Rotary Peace Fellowship and studied for a second Master’s in Global History, along with Arabic and Conflict Resolution at UNC-Chapel Hill. While a Rotary Peace Fellow, Shai worked in the summer of 2007 with the Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF) International in Amman, Jordan.

Shai specializes in the history and politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is fluent in Hebrew, and is a continuing student of Arabic.