Michael J. Cole is a PhD student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. Michael worked as a graduate assistant as he completed his MA in Political Science with a concentration in comparative politics. In 2013, Michael defended his master degree thesis on the distributional impacts of sanctions on the Iranian political and social landscape: arguing when economic sanctions are used as an instrument to influence the calculations of regime elites, they often create unintended consequences that disproportionately impact marginalized and vulnerable groups. Common themes of Michael’s research interests include the impact of asymmetrical power dynamics; state-society relations under authoritarian regimes; inequality and occupation in places like the West Bank and Egypt; and forms of social mobilization during the Green Movement in Iran and the Arab Spring. He has worked as a teaching fellow at the Harvard University Summer School in courses on international relations and the global politics of resources. As a research assistant at the University of New Hampshire, he researched riparian conflicts along the Nile River, human rights issues in extractive industries, and the water-energy-resource nexus. As a PhD student and IGERT Coasts and Communities Fellow, Michael is eager to explore the linkages between population, health and the environment in the dynamic and complex geopolitical and governance contexts in which today’s challenges arise and from which tomorrow’s solutions can be discovered.