Nearly 30 years ago, James Acker left a thriving law practice in North Carolina to pursue a Ph.D. and a career in academia at the University at Albany.Read More
Solving Global Crises through Information Sharing
University at Albany doctoral student Fawzi Mulki is an international problem solver. He believes that cross-nation information sharing through technology is critical in responding to epidemics, catastrophic events and global crises. That philosophy is the subject of his research at UAlbany's Center for Technology in Government.
"The amount of data governments deal with is tremendous, and technology can assist with information sharing, retrieval and, ultimately, decision-making," said Mulki, who is completing his doctorate in Informatics at the UAlbany's College of Computing and Information.
Mulki's dissertation focuses on the effects of leadership and authority on cross-boundary information sharing in response to public health crises. He is comparing Jordan's technological and communication processes during a 2007 water pollution epidemic to the U.S. response to the West Nile outbreak.
"Is it OK to generalize, saying this process works in the U.S. in this situation, so it should work in Jordan? Or have different variables affected the outcomes?" said Mulki. "This kind of information could be crucial in the ability for one country to help another country in crisis."
He is analyzing information sharing between agencies, as well as social aspects within organizations, including trust, authority and leadership skills. Mulki is closely examining their methodologies, including how they shared information, facilitated information sharing, as well as what forms of leadership and authority were visible and how the agencies were able to resolve the conflict.
Mulki's passion for government is woven through the bloodlines of a strong and prominent family history. His paternal grandfather was the first prime minister in Jordan under King Hussein I. His father was a foreign minister and serves as Jordan's ambassador to Cairo under King Abdullah II. Mulki is a dual citizen of Jordan and the U.S., his mother's native country, providing him a unique, bicultural perspective.
Last year, Mulki attended CTG's iGov Research Institute in Manchester, United Kingdom, designed to show students from around the globe how government interacts with technology. Mulki saw the chance to see first-hand how public officials deal with real-world problems and crises.
"During this experience, the classroom is the world," said Mulki. "It brings your research to life by showing how it can be applied in a practical sense."