Three Elliott School Faculty Members Receive Prestigious Fellowship

David Shambaugh, Moses Kansanga and Joanna Spear selected for Woodrow Wilson Center Fellowships for the 2023-2024 academic year.

April 13, 2023

Woodrow Wilson Fellows from ESIA

From left, David Shambaugh, Moses Kansanga and Joanna Spear.

Three faculty members from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs have been selected by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C., in their highly competitive fellowship program for the 2023-2024 academic year. In this year’s rigorous international competition, approximately one in 15 applicants were selected.

David Shambaugh earned the distinction of Distinguished Fellow, while Moses Kansanga and Joanna Spear were selected as Fellows.  

“I am so thrilled that the Wilson Center has recognized three of our faculty members—Professors Shambaugh, Kansanga and Spear—with these highly competitive fellowship awards,” Elliott School Dean Alyssa Ayres said. “Their selection underscores the outstanding caliber of our faculty, and, notably, how our scholars’ research connects to policy issues, an essential element of the Elliott School’s mission.”

Fellows conduct research and write in their areas of expertise, while interacting with policymakers in Washington, Wilson Center staff and other scholars in residence. The Wilson Center is a “key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actional ideas for the policy communities.”

Shambaugh, the Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science and International Affairs and the founding director of the Elliott School's China Policy Program, is internationally recognized for his scholarly work involving contemporary China and international relations of Asia. He was also a fellow of the Wilson Center from 2002-2003 and served acting director of its Asia Program from 1987-1988.

“For me professionally, I am deeply honored to have been selected as a Distinguished Fellow in the 2023-2024 class of Fellows at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, but I am also personally pleased because it will be my third time at the center,” Shambaugh said. “So, this will be a real homecoming for me, and I have deep respect for all that the Wilson Center has contributed to the intellectual, scholarly and cultural life of our nation."

Shambaugh, a prolific and award-winning author, will work on his next book project entitled Disillusionment & Disengagement: How China Lost America.

Kansanga, an assistant professor of geography and international affairs, will focus his fellowship research on post-harvest food loss in Africa. “Specifically, my work will explore the multi-scalar drivers of postharvest food loss of vegetables in smallholder farming communities, with emphasis on the gender dynamics that underpin women smallholder farmers’ disproportionate burden of [postharvest loss],” Kansanga said. “My work will also use participatory techniques to explore contextually relevant solutions to postharvest food loss.”

Spear, director of the FAO Regional Skill Sustainment Initiative and an Elliott School research professor, will be immersing herself in the world of biopharma and how it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, she will explore the independent domestic strategies and foreign policies of biopharmaceutical firms such as Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson in the development of the messenger RNA vaccines that have been vital in suppressing the COVID-19 virus.

“The roles of pharma and biotech firms in developing COVID-19 vaccines and getting them to market is a story that has not yet been independently or fully recounted, nor has the role of these firms and their relationships with states and the models of cooperation developed been critically assessed,” Spear said. “I hope to rectify this.”