Blake Wood
Publish Date

Sibel Oktay, University of Illinois Springfield associate professor and director of the School of Politics and International Affairs, has been named a Jefferson Science Fellow by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

The 2022-2023 class of Jefferson Science Fellows is the 19th class of Fellows selected since the program was established in 2003 as an initiative of the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State. The Jefferson Science Fellows Program is designed to further build capacity for science, technology and engineering expertise within the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

As a Jefferson Science Fellow, Oktay will spend a year in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research as a research specialist on public opinion.

“I am proud and privileged to have received this appointment,” she said. “I look forward to supporting our government’s diplomatic efforts around the world as well as getting a practitioner’s view on foreign affairs. This experience will no doubt enrich my courses on international politics.”

Oktay is a nonresident senior fellow of public opinion and foreign policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and holds a doctorate in political science from Syracuse University.

Oktay is a scholar of foreign policy analysis with regional interests in Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. Her work investigates how domestic politics impact foreign policy, the effect of foreign policy on public opinion and voting behavior and how leaders influence these relationships.

Her research has been published in the Journal of European Public Policy, European Journal of Political Research and European Security, among other outlets. She is the author of the book “Governing Abroad: Coalition Politics and Foreign Policy in Europe” (University of Michigan Press, 2022). A frequent media contributor, Oktay's commentary and analysis have been featured in The New York Times, The Hill, War On The Rocks and the BBC's Turkey service as well as among other international news outlets in Turkey, Lebanon, Canada, the Netherlands and Brazil.

She serves on the editorial board of the journal International Studies Perspectives. She is 2021-2022 president of the Foreign Policy Analysis section of the International Studies Association and 2023 program co-chair in the Foreign Policy section of the American Political Science Association.