The Center for Global Development and Sustainability


Laurence Simon, Professor and Director, Center for Global Development and Sustainability

Laurence R. Simon, PhD

Professor and Director, Center for Global Development and Sustainability

Laurence Simon is Professor of International Development and Director of the Center for Global Development and Sustainability. He was the Founding Director of the Graduate Programs in Sustainable International Development from 1993 to 2014 and served as the Associate Dean for Academic Planning at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management from 2003 until September 2009. Simon’s research and teaching center on critical issues of social exclusion and emancipatory development. His current research focuses on psychological and cultural barriers to poverty reduction and on the role of social movements in development. In 2007, he took a leave from Brandeis to serve as the senior adviser on global poverty to the executive director of the Google Foundation. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Laurence can be reached at

Joseph K. Assan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Political Economy of Sustainable Development

Joseph K. Assan, PhD

Associate Director for Political Economy of Sustainable International Development and Director, MA Program in Sustainable International Development

Joseph Kweku Assan, Lead Investigator, is a political economist who researches the interaction between sustainable livelihoods, environmental variability/climate change and household well-being within the context of poverty reduction. Joseph has research expertise in the field of political economy of international development with an interest in the interaction between development theory, policy and practice in Africa and Asia. Joseph can be reached at

Rajesh Sampath, PhD

Associate Professor of the Philosophy of Justice, Rights, and Social Change

Rajesh Sampath, Lead Investigator, is a philosopher and ethicist with research interests and disciplinary expertise in twentieth century Anglo-American and European moral and political philosophy, theories of modernization and social-historical change, epistemology and the sociology of knowledge in comparative religious studies, and comparisons of Western philosophy and traditional African, Indian and Chinese philosophy. Raj’s research also compares the Anglo-American, European and Global South traditions of philosophical ethics and theories of justice. Raj can be reached at