Our People

Dr. Monty G. Marshall, Director


Dr. Marshall left the university system in 2010 after holding a position as both a  Research Professor and Director of Research for the Center for Global Policy at George Mason University. He is now president of a private research enterprise: Societal-Systems Research, Inc. This private initiative will continue to produce the high quality information resources that form the foundation of the Center for Systemic Peace. Since 1998, he has been the director of the Polity IV project, which provides annual assessments of autocracy, democracy and regime transitions, and the Armed Conflict and Intervention (ACI) project, which monitors all forms of armed conflict and international influence structures. Also since 1998, Dr. Marshall has served as a senior consultant with the US Government's Political Instability Task Force (PITF; formerly known as the State Failure Task Force). He has consulted frequently with the United Nations, US Agency for International Development, UK Department for International Development, the National Geographic Society, and many other national agencies and international organizations. Before taking his most recent academic posting at GMU, he was a Senior Research Associate at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM), University of Maryland, where he directed the Integrated Network for Societal Conflict Research (INSCR) program from 1998-2005. He is a co-founder and was principle author, editor and researcher for CIDCM's Peace and Conflict series. He also co-authored the original Minorities at Risk data series (with Ted Gurr) and was a Co-Director of that project.


Dr. Marshall's current research focuses on systems analyses of societal conflict processes and the impact of global influence networks on local conflict dynamics. His theory and evidence detailing the problem of political violence within the context of societal and systemic development processes and the diffusion of insecurity in protracted conflict regions are reported in Third World War: System, Process and Conflict Dynamics. Other recent publications include the Global Report annual series (2007-present) and Peace and Conflict biennial series (2001-2005); other recent publications are available here. Dr. Marshall holds degrees in political science from the University of Colorado, University of Maryland and the University of Iowa; he held a prestigious University of Iowa fellowship from 1990 to 1993. He began his professional career teaching courses full-time at the University of South Florida, 1994-1997.


Contact: mgmarshall@systemicpeace.org

Ph: 202.236.9298

Dr. Benjamin R. Cole, Research Associate


Dr. Cole formally joined CSP in 2011 but has worked on PITF-funded and CSP-managed projects since beginning doctoral studies in 2006. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Simmons College. He holds an MA in Political Science (2006) from the University of New Hampshire and a PhD in Public Policy (2011) from George Mason University. He taught comparative politics and international relations full-time at the University of New Hampshire from 2008 to 2011 and was selected as a UNH Dialogue Fellow for 2011-12. In September 2011, Dr. Cole began his appointment as Research Associate and Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Rockefeller Center, Dartmouth College. His research interests include the theoretical and empirical study of democratic transition dynamics, state fragility and political instability, factionalism and the social science applications of complexity theory. His doctoral research advocated a new conceptualization of democracy based on contributions from compleity theory and developed a unique cross-national measure of governance characteristics on that basis. He is co-author of CSP's Global Report series since 2008; in addition, he has published papers on US foreign policy, comparative manned space policy and comparative healthcare policy.


Contact: bcole@systemicpeace.org

Donna Ramsey Marshall, Research Associate


Donna Ramsey Marshall joined CSP in 1998. She is currently the Director of Administration at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. She has research interests in international humanitarian law, non-violent social movements and gender and conflict. Publications include Women in War and Peace: Grassroots Peace Building (USIP Press, 2000) and New Bridges to Peace: Enhancing National and International Security by Expanding Policy Dialogues Among Women (Women in International Security, 2001). She is a 1997-98 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and holds a Master of Arts with Distinction in International Conflict Analysis from the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK).



Contact: dfrmarshall@systemicpeace.org

Eliot Elzinga, Research Associate and Videographer


Eliot Elzinga joined CSP in 2011. He holds a Master of International Public Affairs from the LaFollette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin. His graduate studies focused on international development and security policy with regional expertise in Africa and the Middle East. In 2005, he served as part of the US Department of State Student Internship Program with the Political and Public Affairs sections at the American Embassy in Lilongwe, Malawi. Eliot has taken the lead in monitoring global armed conflicts and has been working on several CSP global data initiatives that are nearing completion, including the Electoral and Procedural Boycotts (EPB) and Executive and Party Structure (EPS) databases. Since June 2013, he has worked primarily as videographer in the production of a CSP serial lecture series and "conceptual visualization" scheme detailing the theoretical foundations of CSP's "complex societal system" analytic framework, titled "Managing Complexity in Modern Societal-Systems."


Contact: eelzinga@systemicpeace.org

Gabrielle Elzinga-Marshall, Research Assistant


Gabrielle Elzinga-Marshall joined CSP in 2011. She graduated with a BA in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is now doing her graduate studies in Public Affairs at the La Follette School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been conducting research for CSP on two major data initiatives: Electoral and Procedural Boycotts (EPB), 1946-present, and Executive and Party Structure (EPS), 1946-present; these new data collection projects will be integrated with the forthcoming Polity V data series that will upgrade and replace the current Polity IV data series in 2014. She has also been working on redesigning the CSP Web site and we expect to improve our look and Web presence in early 2014.



Contact: gelzingamarshall@systemicpeace.org

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