Scholars join faculty for 2020-21; new chairs announced

Five tenure-track faculty members have joined the Maxwell School for the 2020-21 academic year. In addition, three current faculty members have been named chairs of their academic departments.

Chairs appointed include:

Susan BransonSusan Branson, History. Branson’s training is in the social history of early America. She is the author of two books: These Fiery Frenchified Damese: Women, Politics, and Culture in Early National Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001); and Dangerous to Know: Women, Class and Crime in the Early Republic (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). She came to Syracuse University in 2005 and joined the Maxwell faculty in 2010.  

Gadarian,-ShanaShana Gadarian, Political Science. Gadarian researches American politics, political psychology, political communication, and public opinion, and is co-author of Anxious Politics: Democratic Citizenship in a Threatening World (Cambridge University Press, 2015). She joined the Maxwell faculty in 2011, and previously served as director of undergraduate education.


Janet WilmothJanet Wilmoth, Sociology. Wilmoth studies the sociology of aging and the life course, demography, and health. She will continue, also, as director of Syracuse University’s Aging Studies Institute. She is the co-editor of four major surveys related to gerontology and the life course. She joined the faculty in 2002.


New tenure-track faculty members include:

Ethan CoffelEthan Coffel, Assistant Professor, Geography. Coffel comes to Maxwell from Dartmouth College, where he was a Neukom Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. His research focuses on how climate change will affect the extreme weather events that, in turn, impact agriculture, energy systems, and transportation. His work has been supported by Dartmouth’s Neukom Institute for Computational Science and an NSF graduate research fellowship. He holds a PhD in earth and environmental science from Columbia University (2018).

Maraam DwidarMaraam Dwidar, Assistant Professor, Political Science. Dwidar’s research focuses on American national institutions and public policy, with emphases on minority representation, organized interests, and bureaucratic politics. She has published in the Journal of Black Studies and in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, and she was supported by a 2014-2016 Minority Fellowship from the American Political Science Association and a 2014-2018 Malcolm Macdonald Recruitment Fellowship from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a PhD in government (2019).

June LiJ
un Li, Assistant Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs. Li studies the U.S. health care system, with an emphasis on the consequences of Medicare payment incentives — for example, how Medicare’s performance-based contracts with hospitals and home health care providers affect their behavior. Her research has been supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Additionally, she has won the Rackham Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and the Walter J. McNerney Award. She earned a PhD in health services organization and policy from the University of Michigan (2020). 

Michael WilliamsMichael John Williams, Associate Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs.
Williams comes to Maxwell from New York University, where he was clinical professor and director of International Relations. He researched international security, with a concentration in 20th-century Europe, and has published on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and issues of war and technology. He is the author of Science, Law and Liberalism in the American Way of War: The Quest for Humanity in Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Williams has been associated with numerous policy institutes, including the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C., the German Ministry of Defense, Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute, and the Bundeswehr Center for Social Science in Potsdam. He is a fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States and co-editor-in-chief of the journal International Politics. His PhD is from the London School of Economics & Political Science (2006).

Yael ZeiraYael Zeira, Associate Professor, Political Science. Zeira was previously an assistant professor of political science and international studies at the University of Mississippi. She examines the causes and consequences of public opinion and political behavior in authoritarian and conflict settings, with a regional focus on the Middle East. She wrote The Revolution Within: State Institutions and Unarmed Resistance in Palestine (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and has published in journals that include Comparative Political Studies and the Journal of Conflict Resolution. Her work has been supported by the Project on Middle East Political Science, New York University, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, among others. She earned a PhD in politics from New York University (2012).