Undergraduate Student Seminar-From the U.S. Senate to Port-au-Prince, Haiti: A Mathematician's Journey in Government

Fri, 7 October, 2022 8:00pm

Title: From the U.S. Senate to Port-au-Prince, Haiti: A Mathematician's Journey in Government
Speaker: Dr. Margaret Callahan, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, U.S. Department of State
Date and time: Friday, October 7, 4-5 p.m.
Place: Funger Hall, Room 108

We don't often hear about mathematicians working in foreign policy at the State Department or on education issues in the U.S. Senate, but they do. Policymakers across the government are increasingly prioritizing the use of data and evidence to make better decisions, and the demand for data-savvy workers with a passion for public service is higher than ever. This talk will shed light on some of the lesser-known (and pretty cool) ways mathematicians, statisticians, and data scientists can contribute their skills to impact policy, both domestically and abroad.


Bio: Dr. Margaret Callahan is a conflict analyst in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations Office of Advanced Analytics (CSO/AA) at the U.S. Department of State. Margaret started at State in October 2018 an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow before converting to the Civil Service. Margaret is currently Acting Deputy Director for CSO/AA but is typically lead conflict analyst for the Western Hemisphere where she uses data analysis and a range of quantitative methods to understand conflict dynamics and inform U.S. policy and decision-making. Prior to joining State, Margaret was an AAAS Congressional Fellow working for a U.S. Senator on education and workforce development policy. Margaret earned her Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Case Western Reserve University in 2016; her academic research focused on Bayesian statistical inverse problems. She served as a Math and Science Education Volunteer in Peace Corps Kenya (2009-2011).


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