Fotini Christia

Director of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center

Fotini Christia is the Ford International Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is Director of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC), Associate Director of the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), and Chair of the doctoral program in Social and Engineering Systems (SES) at MIT’s Schwarzman College of Computing. Her research had focused on issues of conflict and cooperation in the Muslim world, and she has conducted fieldwork in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Yemen. She is currently working to bridge the social sciences, data science, and computation by bringing researchers from these disciplines together to address systemic racism across housing, healthcare, policing, and social media. She also has a new line of research that examines how to effectively integrate AI tools in public policy.

Fotini is the author of “Alliance Formation in Civil War” (Cambridge University Press, 2012), which was awarded the Luebbert Award for Best Book in Comparative Politics, the Lepgold Prize for Best Book in International Relations, and a Distinguished Book Award from the International Studies Association. She is co-editor with Graeme Blair (UCLA) and Jeremy Weinstein (Stanford) of “Crime, Insecurity, and Community Policing: Experiments on Building Trust”, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press (2024). Her research has also appeared in Science, Nature Human Behavior, Review of Economic Studies, NeurIPs, Communications Medicine, IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, American Political Science Review, and Annual Review of Political Science among other journals. Her opinion pieces have been published in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Boston Globe among other outlets. Fotini graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 2001 with a joint BA in Economics–Operations Research and an MA in International Affairs. She joined the MIT faculty in July 2008 after receiving her PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University that year.

Fotini Christia smailes at camera in a red and brown quilted vest

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