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Alumni - Get Involved!

Please fill out this contact form if you are interested in becoming part of the Alumni-in-Residence program.


The Alumni-in-Residence (AiR) program was developed to provide students, postdocs and alumni an opportunity to connect. Our alumni here in SSD are thought leaders in a variety of sectors including research and higher education, government, private industry, and self-employed. Beginning in Winter 2021, our alumni have been engaged in not only having one-one conversations with students but also doing workshops and other sessions to offer their expertise.

The alumni’s impressively varied pursuits and experiences offer broad frameworks and models for current graduate students considering their own career aspirations. The year kicked off with Networking Skills You May Not Know with AiR Rochdi Younsi and Brian Portnoy. Both alumni spoke about their use of networking to further their careers and tips for students and alums to build relationships necessary to progress their own careers. Following this event was What I Wish I Knew in Graduate School with AiR Neil Roberts (with guests Jasmin DeJesus and Antonio Sotomayor), Pursuing Careers Outside the Academy with AiR David Bholat and Finding Your Comparative Advantage with AiR Wendy Edelberg, and Networking with Purpose with AiR Rochdi Younsi. All together, the events were attended by over 100 students and alumni!

The alumni are happy to have one-on-one conversations with current students, postdocs, and alumni. Please contact Chaevia Clendinen, Assistant Dean for Student Advancement and Diversity, at to schedule a meeting!


Headshot of David Bholat, PhD AnthropologyDavid Bholat, PhD’12 Anthropology

Senior Manager in Advanced Analytics, Bank of England


David Bholat, PhD is Director of the Transform the Bank Practice, and Head of Data Science and Advanced Analytics at Barclays UK. In this role, he drives the use of data science within Barclays to facilitate greater connectedness to its customers. Prior to joining Barclays, he spent a decade working at the Bank of England, where he helped establish the Advanced Analytics division, its center of expertise in machine learning. In this capacity, he helped the UK’s central bank harness advances in data and analytics to promote the public good. A former Fulbright fellow and Coca-Cola Scholar, Dr. Bholat holds degrees from London Business School, the University of Chicago, London School of Economics and Georgetown University. He has published research in the Journal of Monetary Economics, the Journal of Banking Regulation and the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, among others. He is a member of the British Library’s Advisory Council and the Social Science Division’s Private Sector Fellowship Advisory Committee.

Headshot of Wendy Edelberg MBA'97, PhD'03 EconomicsWendy Edelberg, MBA’97, PhD’03 Economics

Director, The Hamilton Project and Senior Fellow in Economic Studies, Brookings Institution


Wendy Edelberg, PhD, MBA is the Director of The Hamilton Project and a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Edelberg joined Brookings in 2020, after more than fifteen years in the public sector. Most recently, she was Chief Economist at the Congressional Budget Office. Prior to working at CBO, Dr. Edelberg was the Executive Director of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which released its report on the causes of the financial crisis in January 2011. Previously, she worked on issues related to macroeconomics, housing, and consumer spending at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers during two administrations. Before that, she worked on those same issues at the Federal Reserve Board. 

Dr. Edelberg is a macroeconomist whose research has spanned a wide range of topics, from household spending and saving decisions, to the economic effects of fiscal policy, to systemic risks in the financial system. In addition, at CBO and the Federal Reserve Board, she worked on forecasting the macroeconomy. Since 2019, she has served as a member of the Australian Treasury Expert Panel, providing input to the Australian Treasury on forecasting issues. Dr. Edelberg received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from Columbia University.


Alicia MenanteauAlicia Menanteau, PhD’99 Sociology

President/Moderator & Strategist, Insights360


Founder and president of Insights360, Dr. Menanteau applies her doctoral training in sociology to uncover context and motivations in human behavior. From her fieldwork days studying the AIDS pandemic in Latin America to in person and online research, her classical training as a sociologist and ethnographer informs the approach her firm takes to the entirety of a project – from research design and project management; to skillful moderation of focus groups, in-depth interviews, usability studies, and ethnographies; as well as impactful analysis and reporting of results.

Dr. Menanteau is celebrating her 15th year as founder and president of Insights360, first as solopreneur and now leading a team of associates. Her research firm is certified as a Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBNEC) and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE). Prior to launching Insights360, she worked for global research leader Ipsos, and served as Director of Market Research at two multicultural ad agencies: ImagesUSA in Atlanta (African American) and Lopez Negrete in Houston (Hispanic). Her favorite projects have been those where she’s tapped to do global studies. What’s not to love about research in Singapore, China, Germany, Chile, and Brazil!?

But don’t let the PhD scare you. Alicia is a lover of languages (she’s studied 7 so far) and adventure travel is her favorite way to practice them (recently Arabic and Italian). Called the “Dora the Explorer” of research by her colleagues, Alicia is an enthusiastic pursuer of adventures of all types – cycling in the south of France, a lead role in Mamma Mia!, conducting “Research for Good” for social justice initiatives, success coaching executives and youths, and co-teaching Qualitative Research Methods to graduate students. No matter what the season, Alicia is always actively engaged in learning and sharing knowledge!


Pamela Paresky, PhD’05 Psychology and Human Development

Senior Visiting Research Associate, Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge and Senior Scholar, Network Contagion Research Institute


Pamela Paresky, PhD is Senior Visiting Research Associate at the University of Chicago’s Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge (SIFK) and Senior Scholar at the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI). She is a frequent contributor to Psychology Today online and is Director of the Aspen Center for Human Development, a small, nonresidential center for advanced study that facilitates collaboration between thinkers from diverse fields. Dr. Paresky served as Senior Scholar in Human Development and Psychology at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) where she was the primary researcher and in-house editor of the best selling book, The Coddling of The American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt. She has contributed to an ideologically diverse set of media publications and platforms, including RealClearPolicy, The Brookings Institution, The American Mind, The Guardian, and The New York Times (among others).

Before joining FIRE, Dr. Paresky served as a civilian Adjunct and Research Professor at the US Air Force Academy in the Center for Character and Leadership Development where she taught leadership. In addition to her PhD from the Committee on Human Development, Dr. Paresky holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology.

Headshot of Brian Portnoy, PhD Political ScienceBrian Portnoy, PhD’00 Political Science

Founder, Shaping Wealth


Brian Portnoy, PhD, CFA, is founder of Shaping Wealth, an educational technology platform, and best-selling author of two books in the field of behavioral finance, The Geometry of Wealth and The Investors Paradox. He has served as keynote speaker, seminar leader, and coach to thousands of investors on topics ranging from portfolio strategy to the connection between money and happiness. Dr. Portnoy has held senior investment and education roles throughout the hedge fund and mutual fund industries. Dr. Portnoy holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and earned his doctorate at the University of Chicago. He lives on the north side of Chicago with his wife and three teenage children.

Headshot of Clay Risen, MA MAPSSClay Risen, MA’01 MAPSS

Reporter, The New York Times


Clay Risen is a reporter at The New York Times and the best-selling author of five books, including, most recently, The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders and the Dawn of the American Century and The Impossible Collection of Whiskey. He worked for ten years on the Op-Ed desk, including four years as deputy editor, and as a senior editor on the Politics desk, where he helped oversee coverage of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Prior to NYT, Mr. Risen was the founding managing editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and an assistant editor at The New Republic.

Along with The Crowded Hour, which was named one of 50 notable nonfiction books of 2019 by The New York Times, he is the author of two other works on American history, A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination and The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act, which was a finalist for a 2014 NAACP Image Award. 

Mr. Risen is also a highly regarded expert on whiskey. Besides The Impossible Collection, he has written Single Malt: A Guide to the Whiskies of Scotland and American Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye: A Guide to the Nation’s Favorite Spirit, which has sold more than 100,000 copies across two editions.

Mr. Risen received a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Affairs from Georgetown University in 1999 and a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago in 2001.

Headshot of Neil Roberts, PhD Political ScienceNeil Roberts, PhD’07 Political Science

Chair and Professor of Africana studies, political theory, and the philosophy of religion, Williams College


Neil Roberts, PhD is a political theorist who studies the interactions and intersections of Caribbean, Continental, and North American concepts of freedom. He maintains familial and social connections in both the United States and the Caribbean, giving him a personal and intellectual connection to his topics of study. Roberts received his BA from Brown University in 1998 and PhD at the University of Chicago in 2007 with a specialization in political theory. Currently, Professor Roberts is chair and professor of Africana studies, political theory, and the philosophy of religion at Williams College, where he also directs the institution’s W. Ford Schumann ’50 program in democratic studies. He has previously chaired the Williams religion department and Faculty Lecture Series committee.

Professor Roberts received his PhD in political science from The University of Chicago, and he wrote the dissertation Freedom as Marronage: The Dialectic of Slavery and Freedom in Arendt, Pettit, Rousseau, Douglass, and the Haitian Revolution. Since then, he has published several books, articles, and essays and lectured at institutions across the world.

See his personal website for more information: He is excited to reconnect with you all through the Alumni-in-Residence program.

Headshot of Shali Wu, PhD PsychologyShali Wu, PhD’07 Psychology

Professor of Business, Kyung Hee University


Shali Wu, PhD, is Professor of Business at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea. Prior to this, she was appointed Associate Professor of Psychology and Assistant Professor of Marketing at Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China. She received her MS in Statistics (2005) and PhD in Psychology (2007) from UChicago, with ABD from the Booth School of Business.

Professor Wu has taught at the University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, UIBE, and City University of Hong Kong. She also has served as a faculty mentor to students in Tsinghua’s Schwarzman Scholars program. Dr.Wu’s research focuses on cross-cultural judgment and decision making, using methods from statistics, psychology, and business. Her work has been featured in Science, one of the world’s leading journals of original scientific research, and she is the author of a popular Harvard Business School case study addressing issues of consumer satisfaction and trust.

Headshot Photo of Rochdi Younsi, '03 PhD HistoryRochdi Younsi, PhD’03 History

Senior Director of Middle East and North Africa, International Government Relations, Exxon Mobil Corporation


Rochdi Younsi, PhD is Senior Director of Middle East and North Africa, International Government Relations, for Exxon Mobil Corporation in Washington, D.C. He joined the company in 2009. In his capacity, he assesses political risk for ExxonMobil business units; contributes to the company’s investment and government relations strategy in the Middle East and North Africa; and manages the company’s relationships with MENA diplomatic representations in Washington, D.C., as well as the U.S. Department of State. Dr. Younsi represents the company on several business councils including the US-Qatar Business Council, the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, the U.S.-Egypt Business Council, the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council. Prior to joining ExxonMobil, Dr. Younsi worked for Eurasia Group, a global political risk consulting firm, where he served as the Director of the Middle East and Africa Practice. He received a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Algiers in 1993, a master’s degree in international relations from the University of San Diego in 1996, a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Chicago in 1998, and a PhD in History from the University of Chicago in 2003.