Jen Ziemke, (Ph.D., Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison), is Co-Founder & Co-Director of the International Network of Crisis Mappers, Co-Curator of the International Conference on Crisis Mapping (ICCM) series & Associate Professor of International Relations at John Carroll University (JCU). She was a 2013 recipient of the University of Michigan’s LSA Humanitarian Service Award, presented annually by the Dean to 3 living alumni in recognition of their work.
Jen has a deep and almost unexplainable interest in conflicts, wars, patterns, and whether the analysis of these kinds of data can tell us something (however small) about war. She carried out a comprehensive data-driven study of the Angolan civil war. For this project, she coded and geo-referenced some 10,000 battle and massacre events spanning all 41 years of this war using hundreds of sources and a detailed exhumation of Portuguese-language newspaper archives. Here’s a link to the full version of her 2008 dissertation: , From Battles to Massacres and an article on this work, “Turn and Burn: Loss Dynamics & Civilian Targeting in the Angolan War,” is available through the Journal of Economics & Politics 20(1). Akron, OH: December 2012. The definitive version is available at http://www.oaeps.org/. This article received the Young Scholar Award for publications in 2012. In the end, Jen is still not sure whether reasonable inferences can be made from all of this event data, but is happy to be on the journey, seeing it as an adventure and an experiment. She is currently eagerly learning more about complex systems from online courses at the Sante Fe Institute, and hopes that somewhere within this body of research a paradigm and a new approach toward understanding wars and crises as complex systems, will help us rhyme the impossible riddle.
Jen Ziemke serves as Co-Founder & Co-Director of the International Network of Crisis Mappers, the world’s largest and most active international community of experts, practitioners, policymakers, technologists, researchers, journalists, scholars, hackers and skilled volunteers engaged at the intersection between humanitarian crises, technology and rapid mapping. Reuters AlertNet named Crisis Mapping one of its Top 20 Big Ideas in 2011. Together with Patrick Meier, Jen helps catalyze innovation by bringing people together at the annual international conference event, the ICCM, held in Manila (2016), New York (2014), Nairobi (2013), the World Bank (2012), Geneva (2011), Harvard (2010), and Cleveland (2009).
Jen received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Political Science) and undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She also served as a Crisis Mapping and Early Warning Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and was a Peace Corps volunteer on the Namibian side of the Angolan border from 1997-1999. She has hitchhiked 20,000 miles in over a dozen African countries.