Planning Team & Advisors

Planning Team

The development and implementation of the Science Diplomacy Center is being led by the Planning Team below (non-exhaustive list by alphabetical order):

Diana Chigas

Diana Chigas is Professor of the Practice of International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and also services as Senior International Officer and Associate Provost at Tufts University. As Senior International Officer, she is also responsible for leading the development and realization of a university-wide global strategy. Prior to joining the Provost’s office, Diana was also director of the Reflecting on Peace Practice program and co-director of collaborative learning at CDA, a non-governmental organization dedicated to working with development, humanitarian and peacebuilding practitioners, as well as the private sector, to improve the effectiveness of international assistance in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. At CDA, Diana focused on systemic approaches to conflict analysis, the role and impact of the private sector in peacebuilding, and strategic planning, reflection and evaluation to improve the impact of peace and conflict programming. Diana has over 25 years of experience as a facilitator and consultant in negotiation and conflict resolution. Her work has included development of strategies, training and advice on preventive diplomacy in the OSCE, training for the United Nations, the World Health Organization and several regional organizations, “track two” dialogue in El Salvador, in South Africa, Ecuador and Peru and in the Georgia/South Ossetia peace process, and facilitation of inter-ethnic dialogue in Cyprus.

Sabin Dhakal

Sabin Dhakal received his PhD in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program from Harvard University. He conducted his thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Joan Brugge in the department of cell biology where his research focused on understanding the functional significance of intratumoral heterogeneity in triple negative breast cancer. His interests lie in the role of scientific and technological innovation in the sustainable development of developing and underdeveloped parts of the world. Outside of his thesis work, Sabin was enrolled in the Science, Technology and Society secondary field of concentration offered by Harvard Kennedy School. Sabin also served on the executive board of the Graduate Student Council (GSC) at Harvard where he represented the graduate students in the Division of Medical Sciences (DMS) in the council. In addition, Sabin served on the executive board of the Harvard Science Policy Group. Sabin recently led the efforts to design and offer a course “Introduction to Science and Technology Policy” that served as a window to introduce Harvard graduate students to the field of Science and Technology Policy. The success of the effort led to initiation of a certificate program in Science Policy at Harvard Medical School. Sabin is currently working with Harvard Medical School’s Division of Medical Sciences (DMS) administration to design the curriculum for the science policy certificate program. He was the vice president of the consulting club at MIT for two years where he co-lead teams that organized case competitions as well as volunteer consulting programs.

Sabin, originally from Nepal, came to the US for his undergraduate studies. He went to Hanover College where he double majored in Chemistry and Biology with a minor in Mathematics, which included completion of two senior theses. Connect with Sabin on Twitter @sabindhakal1.

Research Interests: Global health, Health policy, Science Policy, Science Diplomacy, Social Entrepreneurship

Mihaela Papa

Prof. Mihaela Papa is a Lecturer in Sustainable Development and Global Governance at Fletcher and an Overseas Member at the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. She specializes in analyzing policy conflict and strategizing in complex negotiations, especially on environmental regulation and the rise of new powers. As a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Law School, she examined India, China and Brazil in global legal governance, spent six months in China as a visiting researcher and embarked on a BRICS-focused research agenda. Papa’s current research analyzes BRICS diplomacy in the context of sustainable development and draws on her PhD research on forum shopping in global governance. She has extensive teaching experience: she is a faculty member at Brandeis University’s Heller School and has also taught international affairs in Europe and in Asia. She often serves as a policy analyst/advisor and project evaluator (e.g., for European Commission) and develops negotiation trainings (e.g., for Harvard Kennedy School). She has previously worked for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (consultant) and the Croatian Foreign Ministry (multilateral affairs officer). She holds a BA in Economics from University of Zagreb, an MA in Law and Diplomacy and a PhD in International Relations from The Fletcher School, Tufts University.

Diane Souvaine

Dr. Diane L. Souvaine, Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics, has been a member of the Tufts University faculty since 1998. She served as Senior Advisor to the Provost from 2016-2017, Vice Provost for Research from 2012-2016, and Chair of the Department of Computer Science from 2002-2009. Prior to Tufts, Dr. Souvaine was a member of the Rutgers University faculty for 12 years where she served for 2.5 years in the Directorate of NSF’s Science and Technology Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), a groundbreaking academic/industry collaboration of Princeton, Rutgers, Bell Labs and Bellcore.  She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Dr. Souvaine was appointed in 2008 to the National Science Board, a 24-member body that governs the National Science Foundation and advises the United States government about science policy. She was reappointed in 2014 and elected vice chair in 2016.

Larry Susskind

Larry Susskind is Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he heads the MIT Science Impact Collaborative and has been a member of the faculty in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning for more than 45 years. He was one of the founders of the inter-university Program on Negotiation(PON) at Harvard Law School and is currently Vice-Chair for Instruction. He heads the Public Disputes Program at PON, serves as their Director of the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) and offers Negotiation Master Classes twice a year, as well as a week-long Advanced Mediation Workshop.  Almost 30 years ago he founded the Consensus Building Institute, a not-for-profit company that provides mediation services in complex resource management disputes around the world. Professor Susskind is the author of more than 20 books including Environmental Diplomacy (with Saleem Ali), Water Diplomacy (with Shafiqul Islam), Managing Climate Risks in Coastal Communities (with Danya Rumore, Carri Hulet and Patrick Field), and the forthcoming Environmental Problem Solving (with Bruno Verdini, Jessica Gordon and Yasmin Zaerpoor).


Rocky Weitz

Rockford Weitz, Ph.D. is Professor of Practice, Entrepreneur Coach, and Director of the Maritime Studies Program at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He also serves as President of the Institute for Global Maritime Studies Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit seeking practical solutions to global maritime challenges, and President & CEO at Rhumb Line International LLC, a consultancy providing strategic advice to entrepreneurs and startups. In 2014, Rockford served as founding Executive Director at FinTech Sandbox Inc. From 2008 to 2013, he served as founding CEO at CargoMetrics, leading the effort to build a VC-backed financial technology business that started in his Cambridge apartment. Prior to co-founding CargoMetrics, he was a senior fellow at the Institute for Global Maritime Studies, a team leader of Fletcher’s Abu Dhabi Project, a fellow at Fletcher’s Maritime Studies Program, and a fellow at Fletcher’s Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies. He has taught courses in Jurisprudence, Maritime Security, and Global Maritime Affairs at the Fletcher School, and published op-eds in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Straits Times (Singapore), among others. Before co-founding Rhumb Line in 2005, he served as international counsel at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc., leading the effort to open 12 international subsidiaries and streamline global operations. He also worked at the U.S. Trade Representative, and co-founded and served as Co-Founder and Program Director of the Borgenicht Peace Initiative, a social entrepreneurship venture in Bethlehem. Rockford earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Fletcher School, and a B.A. in International Relations: Political Economy from the College of William and Mary. He is a fellow in the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program, a member of the Fletcher School’s Advancement Council, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Abi Williams

Prof. Abi Williams is Director of The Institute for Global Leadership, and Professor of the Practice of International Politics at The Fletcher School. He served for four years as President of The Hague Institute for Global Justice. Prof. Williams served at the United States Institute of Peace as Senior Vice President of the Center for Conflict Management from 2010 to 2012, and as Vice President of the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention from 2008 to 2009.  From 2001 to 2007 he was Director of Strategic Planning for United Nations Secretaries-General Ban Ki-Moon and Kofi Annan in New York.  He gained valuable field operational experience, serving with the United Nations from 1994 to 2000 in peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and Haiti, in senior political and humanitarian roles. Prof. Williams has held previous academic appointments including as Centennial Fellow and Adjunct Professor of International Relations at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. He is Past Chair of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS). He has published widely on conflict prevention and UN peacekeeping.


Kelly Sims Gallagher

Kelly Sims Gallagher is Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. She directs the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Fletcher. From June 2014-September 2015 she served in the Obama Administration as a Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and as Senior China Advisor in the Special Envoy for Climate Change office at the U.S. State Department. Gallagher is a member of the board of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, where she previously directed the Energy Technology Innovation Policy (ETIP) research group. She is also a faculty affiliate with the Harvard University Center for Environment. Broadly, she focuses on energy and climate policy in both the United States and China. She specializes in the role of policy in spurring the development and deployment of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies, domestically and internationally. A Truman Scholar, she has a MALD and PhD in international affairs from The Fletcher School, and an AB from Occidental College. She speaks Spanish and basic Mandarin Chinese, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of “China Shifts Gears: Automakers, Oil, Pollution, and Development,” (The MIT Press 2006), editor of “Acting in Time on Energy Policy,” (Brookings Institution Press 2009), “The Global Diffusion of Clean Energy Technologies: Lessons from China,” (MIT Press 2014), and numerous academic articles and policy reports.