Jim Shyne, who joined the Institute for Global Leadership as a Teaching Assistant for the EPIIC 2007-08 year on Global Poverty and Inequality, passed away on February 3, 2017.
Jim was a PhD student at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy when we met him, concentrating on international economic development and working on his dissertation on violence and pacification policies in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Jim had seventeen years of professional and academic experience including nine years in residence in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. He began his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching EFL and volunteering for the Liga Guineense dos Direitos Humanos, a human rights and civic education NGO in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa of which he was a lifelong, honorific member. Since then he had designed and led dozens of field research projects ranging from large surveys to rapid rural appraisals to value chain assessments in Angola, Benin, Brazil, Guinea, Haiti, Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique and the Horn of Africa (Somaliland). Jim served for two years as a visiting researcher at ISER, a leading human rights NGO in Rio, and was also an affiliate of the Laborotório da Análise de Violência (LAV) at Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ). He served as Chief of Party to USAID-funded Democracy & Governance and Land Tenure Reform projects in Angola and Guinea, respectively. His post-doctoral research plans included a USAID-funded study of trans-national organized crime (TOC) between Latin America and West Africa; the local impact of cocaine transshipments through Guinea-Bissau; and a comparative study of recent efforts by USAID, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, and African governments to prevent land- and resource-based conflict and the financing of TOC in Liberia, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Central African Republic (CAR). Jim earned his A.B. in history from Cornell University, his M.A.L.D. in development economics from The Fletcher School at Tufts, and conducted his dissertation fieldwork as a J. William Fulbright Fellow in Brazil. Most recently, Jim was He was married to Anna Carolina Berto Shyne of Rio de Janeiro.
As a member of the IGL community, Jim was always available to past and current students as a resource and mentor. As an EPIIC TA, he was highly regarded by the IGL staff and the students for his intellect, warmth and humor.