SNF Agora Welcomes New Faculty and Visiting Fellows

Five faculty members and 11 visiting fellows will join the SNF Agora Institute this academic year.

The SNF Agora Institute today announced that it is welcoming five new faculty to the institute. The institute will also welcome a new cohort of SNF Agora Visiting Fellows, who will be on the Homewood campus at various points throughout the upcoming academic year, depending on their projects.

“We’re so excited by the growth of the institute over the past year,” says SNF Agora Inaugural Director Hahrie Han. “We are more than doubling the size of our faculty, adding five new faculty members who will engage and interact with one another and with colleagues in their respective academic departments, with graduate and undergraduate students, and with the public. Our 11 new fellows—who work in education, advocacy, movement organizing, journalism, civic innovation, research, and ministry—will bring a critical mass of practitioners and scholars into community with our growing faculty.”

New faculty members Consuelo Amat, Lilliana Mason, Andrew Perrin, Leah Wright Rigueur, and Dawn Teele are scholars of democracy from a range of academic disciplines, including sociology, history, and political science. In addition to being new to SNF Agora, they will also be new to Johns Hopkins University. Amat will join SNF Agora as an Assistant Professor, and Perrin will join as a Professor. Mason, Rigueur, and Teele will join the institute as Associate Research Professors. They will all begin on July 1.

The new fellows—Xavier Briggs, Rachel Donadio, Yordanos Eyoel, Musa al-Gharbi, Alexander Heffner, Kobi Little, Farida Nabourema, Sam Novey, Beatriz Rey, Shayna Strom, and Pablo Wolfe—join the institute as the newest cohort of the SNF Agora Visiting Fellows Program. While the institute has welcomed individual Visiting Fellows before, it launched its first cohort-based program this spring. The Visiting Fellows program enables the institute to expand the reach of its research, teaching, and other activities. (Read more on the Hub.)

“The Visiting Fellows program allows us to bring a range of practitioners and thinkers into the campus conversation, so that not just our faculty but Johns Hopkins students and the broader public will have the opportunity to engage with experts from a wide variety of backgrounds, professions, and perspectives,” says Han.

During their time at SNF Agora, they will take up important questions about social justice, voting patterns, secularism, civic engagement education, and more. A select number of fellows will teach undergraduate courses, while others focus their time on advancing their own scholarship and practices. The cohort will also participate in regular programming offered by the institute, while also convening their own symposia throughout the academic year.

“SNF Agora is thrilled to welcome our new faculty and our new cohort of visiting fellows. We look forward to the many ways in which they will expand the work of the institute and advance our mission through research, teaching, and dialogue,” says Han.

New SNF Agora Institute Faculty:

  • Consuelo Amat will join SNF Agora as the SNF Agora Institute Assistant Professor of Political Science. Her work focuses on political violence, state repression, armed and unarmed resistances, and the development of civil society in authoritarian regimes, concentrating in Latin America and Africa.
  • Lilliana Mason will hold the position of Associate Research Professor. Mason is a political psychologist whose research focuses on partisan identity, partisan bias, social sorting, and American polarization. Mason is the author of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity.
  • Andrew Perrin, a cultural and political sociologist whose work focuses on democratic citizenship in the U.S., deliberation, public opinion, and the role of higher education in democracy, will join the institute as the SNF Agora Institute Professor of Sociology. He is the author, co-author, or editor of numerous articles and five books, including American Democracy: From Tocqueville to Town Halls to Twitter.
  • Leah Wright Rigueur will hold the position of Associate Research Professor. Rigueur is a historian who specializes in 20th century political and social American history and 20th century African American history and politics. She is also the author of Morning in America: Black Men and Women in a White House and The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power.
  • Dawn Teele will join the institute as an Associate Research Professor. Her research focuses on women and politics specifically related to the causes and consequences of voting rights reform; candidate socialization, recruitment, and election; incumbency and gender; democratization and economic development; methodology and field experiments.

2021–2022 SNF Agora Visiting Fellows:

  • Xavier Briggs is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an expert on democratic governance, social change, pluralism and racial equity, economic opportunity and inclusive growth, and urban and regional development, both in the U.S. and abroad. An award-winning educator and researcher, he is also an experienced manager in philanthropy and government. (Joining fall 2021)
  • Rachel Donadio is a Paris-based writer and journalist, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, and a former Rome bureau chief and European culture correspondent for The New York Times. Based in Europe since 2008, she focuses on textured feature stories and profiles at the intersection of culture, politics, and religion, as well as literary reportage and criticism. (Joining fall 2021)
  • Originally from Ethiopia,Yordanos Eyoel is a managing partner at New Profit, a pioneering venture philanthropy organization, where she leads the early-stage investment portfolio and network of around 100 organizations. In 2019, Eyoel founded New Profit’s Civic Lab to invest in and grow innovative solutions building civic trust and an inclusive democracy in America. (Joining spring 2022)
  • Musa al-Gharbi is a Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in Sociology at Columbia University. His research explores how knowledge is produced, transmitted, and put to use (or not), how thought is shaped by people’s commitments and social contexts, and the extent to which narratives about social phenomena seem to correspond with apparent realities “on the ground.” (Joining fall 2021)
  • Alexander Heffner is host of The Open Mind weekly TV series on PBS and daily podcast. He has covered American politics, civic life, and society since the 2008 presidential campaign. Heffner is the co-author of best-selling A Documentary History of the United States (Tantor Media, 2020; Penguin, 2018). (Joining spring 2022)
  • The Reverend Kobi Little is dean of Justice Chapel, and serves as president of the Baltimore NAACP and vice president and political action chairman of the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP. Little is currently exploring the theory and praxis of the prophetic ministry tradition and their implications for democracy building, justice advocacy, and equity advancement. (Joining spring 2022)
  • Social activist and writer Farida Nabourema is a fearless advocate for democracy and human rights in Togo, denouncing corruption and dictatorship, and promoting a form of progressive Pan Africanism. She is author of “La Pression de oppression” (The Pressure of Oppression) and executive director of the Togolese Civil League, an NGO that promotes democracy and human rights in Togo through grassroots organizing, civic education, and advocacy. (Joining spring 2022)
  • Sam Novey is a Baltimore-based civic entrepreneur building diverse and long-lasting coalitions focused on expanding civic engagement at both the local and national level. He is co-founder of the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, the largest non-partisan network in the country dedicated to increasing student voter participation. He is also a co-founder of the Baltimore Votes Coalition, which convenes community-based organizations in Baltimore City to promote full participation in elections. (Joining fall 2021)
  • Beatriz Rey is a PhD candidate in political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her research focuses on political institutions, policymaking, and research methods, with a concentration in Latin America and the United States. She is also a research fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, and is a weekly columnist for the Brazil Report. (Joining fall 2021)
  • Shayna Strom is a social impact leader who has held senior leadership positions in government, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations. Recently, Strom was the chief deputy national political director at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she helped to build a new 75-person department that works on policy, issue campaigns, and grassroots organizing. She then served on the Biden-Harris transition team. Prior, she spent four years during the Obama administration in the White House Office of Management and Budget. (Joining fall 2021)
  • Pablo Wolfe is a Washington D.C.-area educator who promotes civic education as a means to improve student engagement, celebrate student identity, and empower the next generation of activists. He is the co-author of The Civically Engaged Classroom: Reading, Writing, and Speaking for Change, and founder of the Coalition of Civically Engaged Educators, a network of civic-minded educators that shares best practices for using civic knowledge, values, and behaviors to improve student outcomes and transform schools. (Joining fall 2021)