News: Nunn School Welcomes Abigail Vaughn

Abigail Vaughn

Posted September 30, 2020

Abigail Vaughn joined the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs this fall as an assistant professor with a research focus on the role of international financial governance. 

Vaughn completed her postdoctoral research fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University, where she is currently a research affiliate. She also received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, San Diego. 

She was recently featured in the “Twelve New Faculty Join Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts” article but we wanted to follow-up and learn more about her research interests, why she pursued a career in academia, and what she is looking forward to most in joining the Nunn School. 

Read her response below:

“I have always been fascinated by economic issues. I was an undergraduate majoring in both Economics and Political Science when the Great Financial Crisis occurred, and the impacts of the crisis were substantial for both my family members and my work interests. After graduation, I worked for several years as a federal paralegal on financial cases. The experience increased my curiosity about the politics of financial policy and motivated me to develop a deeper, analytic understanding of these issues. As a result, I applied to graduate school at UC San Diego and earned a Ph.D. in Political Science, with particular specialization in international political economy.

My research interests focus on geopolitics, emerging market economies, and international financial governance. In particular, I am interested in how geopolitics can influence how countries respond to financial crises and how they obtain access to global financial safety nets. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, I worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University’s Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, where I continued work on my book manuscript. In some of my previously published work, I examined the United States’ use of financial incentives and coercive threats to induce cooperation from other countries on counternarcotics and counterinsurgency policies.

I was attracted to a career in academia because it granted me the freedom and creativity to explore important policy-relevant questions. Within academia our primary objective is the pursuit of knowledge using rigorous methods of evaluation. One of the factors that attracted me to the Nunn School in particular was that faculty do not shy away from asking the big, policy-relevant questions of our day. This is an exciting environment; my colleagues are experts in their fields and are researching questions at the forefront of policy. Finally, one of the most enjoyable aspects of an academic career is the opportunity to interact with smart and thought-provoking students. I have only been here for a short while, but I am already deeply impressed with the Georgia Tech students. Their curiosity and desire to learn makes me a better researcher and motivates me to help them succeed. In short, I am very excited to join the Nunn School and to make Atlanta my new home.”

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Sam Nunn School of International Affairs