Patrick Meier

Doctoral Research Fellow, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Harvard University


Fields of Study
  • International Environment & Resource Policy
  • International Negotiation and Diplomacy
  • International Security Studies

PhD Dissertation (working title)
  • "The Impact of the Information Revolution on Authoritarian Rule and Social Resistance"

Faculty Advisor(s)
Carolyn Gideon
Daniel Drezner
Peter Walker

Teaching Experience
  • Managing Complex Systems: From Dynamic Networks to Tipping Points (Graduate Seminar DHP 213m, Fall 2007) Co-organized with Professor William Moomaw
  • From Theory to Practice: Disaster and Conflict Early Warning/Response E-seminar for United Nations (Professional Seminar, Fall 2007) Co-organized with Professor Patrick Webb
  • Preventing Catastrophes: From Disaster to Conflict Early Warning/Response E-seminar for United Nations (Professional Seminar, Fall 2006)
  • Disaster and Conflict Early Warning Systems (Undergraduate course EXP 112, Fall 2006)
  • An Introduction to Disaster and Conflict Early Warning (Osher Institute Professional Seminar, Spring 2006)

Research Interests
  • North, East and West Africa
  • Southeast Asia
  • Middle East

Additional Information

I hold a B.A. (Hons) in Political Science, Economics and Philosophy from the Universities of York (UK) and California at Berkeley. I graduated with an M.A. in International Affairs and Conflict Prevention from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and I am an alumnus of the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). My current dissertation research at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) focuses on the changing role of information communication technology (ICT) in conflict early warning, crisis mapping and humanitarian response. For example, what is the impact of decentralized, distributed and mobile technologies on repressive regimes? Can the State really win the information race against open and decentralized networks? How is the combination of high-resolution satellite imagery, dynamic mapping tools (e.g., Google Earth), micro GPS units and SMS changing humanitarian response? Prior to Harvard, I held research positions at The Fletcher School, the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR). As a professional consultant, I have worked on numerous conflict prevention and early warning projects with multiple offices/agencies of United Nations including OCHA, UNDP, UNICEF, UNEP and the UN Millennium Secretariat. I have also worked on early warning projects with the Organization for Cooperation and Security In Europe (OSCE), International Crisis Group (ICG), International Alert (IA) and Swisspeace FAST. I had the opportunity to play an instrumental role in launching West Africa’s regional conflict early warning network (WARN) and was a lead consultant on the Horn of Africa’s Conflict Early Warning and Response Network (CEWARN). More recently, I have worked as a consultant on a community-based conflict early warning/response project in East Timor. Hobbies include: theatre, tennis and jazz guitar.