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Summer Marion

PhD Alumna in Political Science

Graduated in 2022

Summer received her PhD from Northeastern University in 2022. Her research focuses on global governance, international organizations, the politics of health security, and philanthropy. She is a PhD candidate in the Political Science Department and a Research Fellow at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, where she contributes to Pandemics and Borders, a project examining cross-border measures states have taken in response to COVID-19 and prior disease outbreaks. In support of this work, she holds a Fall 2020 Experiential Fellowship from Northeastern’s College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Summer’s research and commentary have appeared in outlets including Global Health Governance, the Washington Post, and CNN International. She has taught extensively on topics related to International Relations, Public Policy, and Research Methods. Summer currently holds additional affiliations as a Research Associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland and Visiting Researcher at Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and held a Dean’s Graduate Fellowship in the Northeastern University Humanities Center during the 2019-2020 academic year. 

Related Schools & Departments

Research Interests

Summer’s primary research agenda focuses on the global politics of pandemics, specifically on how the private sector engages with international institutions during crises. Her dissertation, titled Governance in Crisis? Philanthropy and Policy Entrepreneurship During Global Health Emergencies, examines the mechanisms by which private foundations influence the global health policy process during widespread infectious disease outbreaks. In conducting this research, Summer built an original dataset documenting philanthropic engagement in pandemic response. Secondary research areas include U.S. foreign policy, and humanitarian response, and climate security.

Prior Work

Previously, Summer worked as an editor for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a researcher for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and managed curriculum development for online courses at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Department of Government. In this role, she led the design and development of the Kennedy School’s first even Massive Open Online Course and Small Private Online Course. Her professional background includes multiple research and teaching roles on topics related to international relations, public health, and social resilience to conflict and disaster.


Originally from North Carolina, Summer is a proud alumna of the College of William & Mary, where she received a BA in International Relations with a concentration in Economics. She has since lived and worked first in Washington, D.C., then in Boston, where she initially moved to complete a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and exploring the great outdoors.

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications & Work Under Review

Marion, S. “Beyond Great Power Politics: Conceptualizing Philanthropy’s Return to International Relations Through COVID-19.” Forthcoming in International Studies Review (2021). Online here.

Worsnop, C., A. Kamradt-Scott, K. Lee, K. Grépin, S. Marion, J. Piper, F. Rothery. “Legal compliance is not enough: crossborder travel and trade measures and COVID-19.” Forthcoming in International Studies Review (2021). Online here.

Grépin. K., T. Ho, Z. Liu, S. Marion, J. Piper, C. Worsnop, and K. Lee. “Evidence of the effectiveness of travel-related measures during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: a rapid systematic review.” BMJ Global Health 6, no. 3 (2021). Online here.

Marion, S. “Compartmentalized Crises? Understanding Relationships between Climate Change Discourse and Health Governance.” Global Health Governance 10, no. 1 (2020): 52-68. Online here.

Lee, K., K. Grépin, C. Worsnop, S. Marion, J. Piper, and M. Song. “Managing borders during public health emergencies of international concern: A proposed typology of cross-border measures.” Under Review (2021). Preprint online here.

Badruzzaman, A., S. Kushi, and S. Marion. “Co-opting the Climate? The Power of Issue Framing and Environmental Policy.” Under Review (2020).

Selected Policy Writing & Media Appearances

“The World Health Organization and Pandemics.” What’s New Podcast, hosted by Dan Cohen. October 13, 2020. Online here.

“How Funding the WHO Benefits US Foreign Policy,” Policy brief circulated on Capitol Hill by Georgetown University O’Neill Institute for Global Health Law. June 2, 2020. Online here.

“Withdrawing from the WHO would hurt global security – and global respect for the U.S.,” Washington Post.  May 20, 2020. Online here.

“What Money Can (and Can’t) Buy for the Global Coronavirus Response.” Duck of Minerva. February 28, 2020. Online here.

Expert Commentary on global health governance, US foreign policy, and the novel coronavirus, CNN International. February 2, 2020. Online here.

“High Ground: Disaster, Risk, and Resilience in the Philippines.” Editor. Case study and photo essay by Aubrey P. Graham and Kriszia Enriquez. DisasterNet Program on Resilient Communities, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. 2017. Online here.

“Book Review: The Power Behind Global Health.” Review of Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why? By Chelsea Clinton and Devi Sridhar (Oxford University Press 2017). With Michael R. Snyder. Global Observatory. 2017. Online here.

“International Engagement—and its Discontents?” Op-ed. The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs. 2012. Online here.

“Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Darfur, the LRA”. Interview and analysis for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting,co-published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 2010. Online here.

Journal Editor

Journal of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University (2011-2013)

The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Tufts University (2011-2012)

Selected Conference Presentations and Invited Talks

Paper Presenter (accepted). “‘Lobbying is a dirty word,’ Advocacy is Not: Philanthropy and Policy Entrepreneurship in Global Health Emergencies.” American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA Sept. 2020 (virtual due to COVID-19).

Discussant. International Relations and Comparative Politics Research Colloquium, Northeastern University. Boston, MA. April 2020. (Colloquium canceled due to COVID-19).

Paper Presenter (accepted). “‘Lobbying is a dirty word,’ Advocacy is Not: Philanthropy and Policy Entrepreneurship in Global Health Emergencies.” International Studies Association Annual Convention. Honolulu, HI. March 2020. (Conference canceled due to COVID-19).

Roundtable Participant (invited). “Global Implications of the Novel Coronavirus.” International Studies Association Annual Convention. Honolulu, HI. March 2020. (Conference canceled due to COVID-19).

Paper Presenter. “‘Lobbying is a dirty word,’ Advocacy is Not: Philanthropy and Policy Entrepreneurship in Global Health Emergencies.” Northeastern University College of Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty Works in Progress. Boston, MA. March 2020.

Paper Presenter. “Co-opting the Climate? The Power of Issue Framing and Environmental

Policy,” with Aeshna Badruzzaman and Sidita Kushi. Western Political Science Association

Annual Conference. San Diego, CA. April 2019.

Paper Presenter. “What Drives Donors? The Power of Issue Framing and Philanthropic Giving in

Global Health,” Eastern Sociological Society Annual Conference. Boston, MA. March 2019.

Keynote Speaker. “Global Governance and You: How to Think Critically About International Cooperation,” United Nations Association of Greater Boston Annual Middle School Model UN Conference Keynote Address. Boston, MA. November 2018.

Paper Presenter. “Purchasing Power? Global Health Crises, Non-State Funding, and WHO

Reform,” American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA. Sept. 2017.

Workshop Facilitator. “Blended Learning” HarvardX Faculty Academy Workshop Series, Cambridge, MA. July 2014 and January 2015. 

Keynote Speaker. “Civic Engagement through International Reporting” The College of William & Mary Developing World Gallery Keynote Address. Williamsburg, VA. April 2011.

Presenter. “From Information to Engagement: Connecting Your Students to Underreported Issues

Around the Globe,” National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference. Denver, CO. November 2010.

Degree Earned and Institutions

BA, International Relations, Economics concentration, College of William & Mary

MALD, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Research Interests

Global governance, international organizations, crisis politics, health security, philanthropy.

Contact Info


Twitter: @summermarion

Personal Website

Curriculum Vitae

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