Laurie Trautman, Ph.D., Director
Dr. Laurie Trautman engages in a range of research activities focused on the U.S. – Canada border, particularly in the Washington – British Columbia region. Topics include trade, transportation, security, and human mobility. In addition to working with faculty and students, she collaborates with the private sector and government agencies to advance policy solutions that balance cross-border flows with the need for efficiency and security. Laurie participates in working groups that are actively engaged in the U.S. – Canada relationship, including the International Mobility and Trade Corridor Program and the Canada – U.S. Transportation Border Working Group. She co-chairs the Border Issues working group of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region and was recently appointed to the steering committee for the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. Laurie is currently a Global Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Oregon, a MSc. from Montana State University, and a BA from Western Washington University in Environmental Economics.
Jennifer Bettis, Research & Program Manager
Jennifer Bettis' research background is in political science and public policy. She has worked in various roles in academia including teaching environmental law & policy and American government at California State University, Chico and managing administrative services in the Department of Journalism here at WWU.
Jennifer heads BPRI research efforts including: fieldwork projects, data & policy analysis, and pursuing new research trajectories. She manages the portfolio of BPRI's research initiatives and grant funded projects; facilitates the publication of BPRI reports and briefs; conducts media outreach & manages social media; and plays a critical role in both maintaining and furthering regional understandings of the importance of the international border in the BC – WA context. She holds a Master's degree in Political Science, and a BA in Social Science - both from CSU Chico.
Dr. Andréanne Bissonnette, Post-Doctoral Fellow
Dr. Andréanne Bissonnette’s research focuses on reproductive health access in the United States, with a focus on the intersections of ethnicity, immigration status and geographical position. More broadly, she engages in research on the US-Canada and US-Mexico border dynamics, with a focus on health. Her research interests include health policies, US politics, international migrations and contemporary geopolitical issues. She currently serves on the board of the Association for Borderlands Studies and is book review editors for the Journal of Borderlands Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Quebec in Montreal.
Dr. Bissonnette is part of the binational research team focused on the equity of Canada – US border measures during the pandemic. This collaboration with Simon Fraser University’s Pandemics & Border project is supported by the New Frontiers in Research Fund administered by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Dr. Salta Zhumatova, BPRI Research Fellow
Salta Zhumatova is BPRI's 2024 Research Fellow and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University
Salta’s research focuses on comparative public policy, immigration and citizenship, immigrant integration, and quantitative methods. Salta has a PhD in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and an MA in European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies from the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.
She is part of the binational research team focused on the equity of Canada – US border measures during the pandemic. This collaboration with Simon Fraser University’s Pandemics & Border project is supported by the New Frontiers in Research Fund administered by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Don Alper, Ph.D., Research Fellow
Don is a Professor Emeritus who retired after 43 years of teaching in the Political Science department at WWU. Don established the BPRI in 2005 and served as the longtime director of both BPRI and the Center for Canadian – American Studies. A native of California, he holds a Ph.D. in political science from The University of British Columbia. Don’s research interests focus on Canadian politics and British Columbia-U.S. transboundary issues. He continues to be involved with the BPRI.