Thomas Leo Scherer


Phone: 607-351-9424



        Deputy Director, Center for Peace and Security Studies, UC San Diego        Feb 2019 - present

                Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Diego.                         Dec 2017 - Feb 2019

        Program Officer (GS-12), United States Institute of Peace.                        Oct 2015 - Nov 2017

         Senior Program Specialist (GS-11), United States Institute of Peace.                Aug 2014 - Oct 2015


        Doctor of Philosophy, Princeton University                                         Oct 2015

                Dissertation: Peace for Keeps: United Nations Peacekeeping and Government Power

        Master of Arts, Princeton University                                                 June 2010

                Subfields: International Relations (IR) · Formal/Quant Methods · Comparative Politics

        Bachelor of Arts, Cornell University                                                June 2007

                Majors: Government · Chemistry        Concentrations: IR · Latin American Studies


        Peer-Reviewed Articles

The Data Science of COVID-19 Spread: Some Troubling Current and Future Trends” (with Rex Douglass and Erik Gartzke). 2020. Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 26(3). (link)

Nuclear ambiguity, no-first-use, and crisis s­tability in asymmetric crises” (with Alexander Lanoszka). 2018. The Nonproliferation Review,  24(3-4): 343-355. (link)

        Policy Papers and Blog Posts

                        “Foreign Policy Should Be Evidence-Based” (with Dan Spokojny). July 2021. War on the Rocks. (link)

Insecurity and Industrial Organization: Evidence from Afghanistan” (with Joshua Blumenstock, Tarek Ghani, Sylvan Herskowitz, Ethan B. Kapstein, and Ott Toomet). January 2018. World Bank, Policy Research Working Paper. (link)

Economics and Peacebuilding: A Crucial Connection.” With Ethan Kapstein. June 2015. USIP Insights. (link)

The OECD’s fragility index is surprisingly fragile…” 2015. Washington Post. (link)

 “Is Ebola the New Powder Keg?” 2015. Foreign Policy. (link)

 “Why the Afghanistan Election Still Isn’t Over” 2014. Washington Post. (link)

Grants and Contracts


                Hewlett Foundation, 2020. “The Cyber Escalation Lab and Emerging Scholars”.

                U.S. Dept. of Defense, Office of Naval Research (Minerva), 2019. “Forecasting Crisis Dynamics with                         Machine Coded Data to Model the Effects of Power Projection, Influence and Escalation.”


                Junior Researcher, US Institute of Peace, PVE Toolbox Evidence Review, 2021.

                External Expert Reviewer, US Institute of Peace, 2022 Peace Scholar Fellowship Competition, 2021.

Professional Experience

        Journal Reviewer

                 International Studies Quarterly · Conflict Management and Peace Science · Terrorism and Political Violence


                 “Statistics for Social Science,” Princeton University. Teaching Assistant. Spring 2013. (WWS200)

                “Causes of War,” Princeton University. Teaching Assistant. Fall 2011. (POL388)

                “Violent Politics,” Princeton University. Teaching Assistant. Spring 2011. (POL386)

        Professional Talks and Presentations

                 AI, peace, and security 2019, The Alan Turing Institute, “Peacekeeping”

                ISA 2019, “Diplomacy Actions in International Crisis” (co-author)

                ISA 2018, “The Power of Peacemaking: External and Internal Sources of Leverage” (panel discussant)

                HCRI workshop 2017, “How do we get reliable data without putting informants at risk?”

                MPSA 2013, “Rebels Without a War: The Post-Conflict Political Prospects of Former Insurgents"

                 ISA 2013, “Peacekeeping Consent and Civil War Outcomes”

                Peace Sciences Society 2012, “Peacekeeping Consent and Civil War Outcomes” (poster)

                 APSA 2012, “The Strategic Implications of a No First Use Nuclear Policy: A Formal Analysis"

                 MPSA 2012, “The Role of Government Consent in International Peacekeeping during Civil Wars"          

                 APSA 2011, “The Women’s Wave: Gendered Strategies in Electoral Politics" (co-author)                  

        Fellowships and Awards

                Bradley Research Program Fellowship, 2012, 2013

                Dean’s Fund for Scholarly Travel, 2011

                APSA Travel Grant, 2011

                William S. Carpenter Fund Fellowship, 2008

        Research Assistant        

Keren Yarhi-Milo, Princeton University, 2010 - 2011

Jacob Shapiro, Princeton University, 2009 - 2013

Dustin Tingley, Princeton University, 2009

Jeff Colgan, Princeton University, 2008 - 2009

Peter Katzenstein, Cornell University, 2007 - 2008

Walter Mebane, Cornell University, 2007

Nic Van de Walle, Cornell University, 2007 - 2008

                Einaudi Center for International Relations, Cornell University, 2007 - 2008

        Professional Service

                Cyber Postdoc Search Committee, Chair, UCSD, 2021

                International Relations Postdoc Search Committee, UCSD, 2021

                International Relations Postdoc Search Committee, UCSD, 2019

                Center for International Security Studies: Seminar Series, Crisis Simulations, Staff Rides, 2010 - 2013


Academic Council on the United Nations System

Peace Science Society

American Political Science Association

International Studies Association
 Skills and Experience

        Computer Languages

                R: Packages UCDPtools, GDELTtools (co-author)

        Human Languages

                Spanish - Intermediate;         French - Beginner

        Emergency Response, Firefighter and EMT                                        

                 Lieutenant, Training Officer, Engine Operator                                        Oct 2009 - May 2014