Cornell flag in New York City


The Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University is the only academically based institute of politics and global affairs located in the New York metropolitan area.



Today, politics is more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous than ever before, yet we continue applying the salve of soundbites.

Our mission is to raise the discourse and deepen people’s understanding of both domestic and international affairs.

The institute hosts world-class programs—in New York City, Ithaca, Washington, and international locales—with leaders from the United States and abroad. These programs provide opportunities for enriched understanding of political content in our contemporary societies.

The institute actively strives to build connections among Cornell University faculty, students, alumni, and policymakers while simultaneously engaging supporters, partners, and the general public.


Message from the Director

Steve Israel
Steve Israel
Director, Institute of Politics and Global Affairs
Member of Congress (2001-2017)

In Congress, one of the lessons I learned was that nothing seems to matter until the military gives it an acronym. The U.S. Army War College has described the state of the world, the nation, our communities and politics as “VUCA”—volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Today, politics is more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous than it has been, yet we continue applying the salve of soundbites.

The mission of the Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University is to raise the discourse and deepen people’s understanding of both domestic and international affairs

The institute hosts world-class programs—in New York City, Ithaca, Washington, and international locales—with nonpartisan leaders from the United States and abroad. These programs provide opportunities for enriched understanding of political content in our contemporary societies and create opportunities for our members to meet with foreign leaders abroad.

The institute seeks to engage several core constituencies in its activities: Cornell students, faculty and alumni; institute supporters and members; and the general public.

We look forward to your participation in our efforts.


Message from the Faculty Director

Headshot of Doug Kriner
Douglas Kriner
Faculty Director, Institute of Politics and Global Affairs
Clinton Rossiter Professor in American Institutions,  College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University

The most urgent challenges facing contemporary politics transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries.  For example, global climate change, increasingly intense competition over finite resources, and mass migration are inextricably linked. Collectively, these forces threaten political stability in myriad ways, and they continue to place considerable stress on democratic institutions in the United States and around the world. Such complex problems defy a simple political or scientific solution.

Given its unique institutional structure as a private and land-grant university with vibrant urban and rural campuses, Cornell is uniquely positioned to lead the quest for answers to these vexing challenges.  However, success will require collaboration and coordination across the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields. Just as critically, it requires bridging the gap between the academy and policymaking communities.

The Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University is committed to fostering these connections and bringing together researchers, students, and policymakers to engage pressing political and policy problems. While the institute sponsors a range of programming on key policy issues, current areas of emphasis include: confronting challenges threatening democratic institutions around the world, facilitating dialogue at the intersection of science and policymaking, and combating emerging threats to global security.

We warmly invite faculty, students, alumni, and the general public to participate in our programs and engage these crucial questions with us.


Our Team

Steve Israel

Steve Israel, Director

Israel, U.S. Congressman 2001–2017, directs the nonpartisan Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University. He has published two critically acclaimed satires of Washington: The Global War on Morris (2014) and Big Guns (2018). As a member of Congress, Israel served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (2011–2015).

Israel is a regular political commentator on MSNBC, and his insights appear regularly in the New York Times, The Atlantic magazine, the Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. He was profiled on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and has appeared on CBS’s Sixty Minutes.


Doug Kriner

Douglas Kriner, Faculty Director

Kriner is the Clinton Rossiter Professor in American Institutions, Department of Government, College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University. His research and teaching interests focus on the U.S. presidency, the U.S. Congress, and the separation of powers.

Kriner is the author of five books, including most recently Investigating the President: Congressional Checks on Presidential Power (with Eric Schickler), winner of the 2017 Richard E. Neustadt Award and Richard F. Fenno Jr. Prize, and The Particularistic President: Executive Branch Politics and Political Inequality (with Andrew Reeves), winner of the 2016 Richard E. Neustadt Award. His forthcoming book The Myth of the Imperial Presidency: How Public Opinion Checks the Unilateral Executive (with Dino Christenson) explores the scope of the executive’s unilateral powers and the informal political checks that guard against an imperial presidency.


Natalie Ryan headshot

Natalie Ryan, Senior Associate Director of Operations

Natalie Ryan is responsible for the oversight of all Institute functions and programs. Prior to this role, she was the Chief of Staff for Former Congressman Steve Israel at the Global Institute at Long Island University.

Ryan received her bachelor’s degree from Fordham University (2014), with a double major in political science and theology. The following year, she received her master’s degree in elections and campaign management, also from Fordham. Following graduation, she worked in campaigns on Long Island, before she went to work for then Congressman Steve Israel in the U.S House of Representatives.


Emily Anderson headshotEmily Anderson, Administrative and Communications Coordinator

Emily is responsible for both communications and programming at the institute, serving as both the external press point-of-contact and the programmatic and logistical lead on planning and executing events with strategic vision and tactical creativity.

Previously, Anderson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Business Administration from High Point University. Prior to joining the Institute, Emily obtained a diverse background in both media and politics. In 2017, she was a Content Writer for the day time talk show “The Wendy Williams Show.” The following year, she pursued politics and worked at the office of Congressman Tom Suozzi, rising from Staff Assistant to Immigration Caseworker, and finally to Finance Director.


Jake Stolzenberg headshotJake Stolzenberg, Program Associate

Jake Stolzenberg graduated from State University of New York College at Buffalo in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in legal studies, where he learned how to conduct and comprehend political and legal research.

From 2014 to 2017, Jake worked for three non-federal campaigns as a field organizer and staging location director in Erie and Nassau counties. In late 2016–2017 he worked as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and as an intern for the U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer in Buffalo, New York. In December 2017 he joined former Congressman Steve Israel and the Global Institute at Long Island University as a research assistant.


Jessica Ames headshotJessica Ames, Program Coordinator, Ithaca Campus

Jessica Ames is responsible for the Institute’s academic programming and functions on Cornell University’s main campus in Ithaca, NY. Prior to this role, she was the Communications and Outreach Manager and Program Manager at the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition (2014-2019).

Ames received her Masters of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She also earned a Bachelors of Science in Zoology/Biomedical Sciences and Bachelors of Arts in International Studies from the University of Oklahoma. For national service, Jessica joined the Peace Corps for two years, working to promote rural health and foment cultural exchange and friendship between the United States and Peru. She has dedicated her career to non-profits and higher education.


Faculty Fellows

Dina Bishara, Assistant Professor, International and Comparative Labor (The ILR School)

Ariel Avgar, Associate Professor, Labor Relations, Law, and History and Associate Director for Research and Student Engagement with the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution (The ILR School)

Alexandra “Ali” Cirone, Assistant Professor, Department of Government (Arts & Sciences)

Sabrina Karim, Hardis Family Assistant Professor for Teaching Excellence, Department of Government (Arts & Sciences)

Sarah Kreps, Professor of Government and Adjunct Professor of Law and Faculty Fellow in the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity (Arts & Sciences)

Jillian Goldfarb, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering (CALS)

Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Professor and Chair, Department of Development Sociology and Associate Director, Cornell Population Center (CALS)

Laura Tach, Associate Professor of Policy Analysis and Management and Sociology (by courtesy) and co-Director of Cornell Project 2Gen, an initiative of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (Human Ecology)

John Cawley, Professor, Department of Policy Analysis and Management (PAM) and the Department of Economics, and co-Director of Cornell’s Institute on Health Economics, Health Behaviors and Disparities (Human Ecology)


Board of Founders

  • Richard Ravitch, chairman
  • Wendy Abrams
  • Michael L. Ashner
  • Bethpage Federal Credit Union
  • CANA Foundation
  • Frederic R. Coudert Foundation
  • Howard Milstein
  • Marcia Riklis
  • Henry Schein
  • Martin and Laurie Scheinman
  • Bernard Schwartz


Founding Members

  • Stuart Appelbaum
  • Rao Anumolu
  • Kathleen Walsh Bernstein and Gene Bernstein
  • Jeffrey and Robert H. Bluestein
  • Lisa and Charles Gatto
  • Jeff Gural
  • Frank Lalezarian
  • Craig Newmark Philanthropies
  • John Picone
  • Parag Saxena
  • Eugene Schneur
  • T.M. Bier and Associate
  • Robin Wilpon Wachtler and Philip Wachtler


Supporting Members

  • Paul Berkman
  • Arnie Herz
  • Susan and Fred Rubinstein
  • Marc Sussman