It is with heavy hearts that we convey the news that Ambassador Robert S. Strauss has passed away.

Bob Strauss was an innovator and leader in his field, but more importantly, he was a remarkable man. He touched the lives of many and led a life guided by wisdom, insight, kindness, and integrity. In both his personal and professional life, he exemplified the model of giving back to one's community and garnered a deep level of respect from everyone who

As part of the Washington and Jefferson College Energy Lecture Series, University of Texas Professor and Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar Michael Webber gave a talk on energy production, water management, and the challenges inherent in finding a balance between the two. His talk, entitled Thirst for Power: The Nexus of Energy & Water, focused on hydraulic fracturing, and discussed the potential tradeoffs between increased production and protection of the environment.

In the latest edition of "Where Are They Now?," the Strauss Center hears from Hamid Poorsafar, a 2011-2012 Next Generation Scholar paired with current Strauss Center Director Bobby Chesney. Poorsafar graduated from UT in 2013 after majoring in Economics, Finance, and Government. He is currently studying Mandarin and Chinese energy security on a National Security Education Program scholarship in Hong Kong. Below, he describes in more detail what he's been up to since graduation, and how his time with the Strauss Center encouraged him to pursue energy policy.

The Armed Conflict Location & Event Dataset (ACLED) and the Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD) teams recently released new versions of their datasets. In January, the ACLED team released Version 4 of its dataset, which covers political violence in Africa from January 1997 – February 2014, while the SCAD team released a version of its dataset covering African conflicts through December 2012.

Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program researchers, in collaboration with the Government of Malawi, Development Gateway, and AidData, led a first-of-its-kind effort to map nearly all official development aid (ODA) activities in Malawi at the subnational level. Open Aid Map, a new working paper published this week by the World Bank and authored by researchers at CCAPS and Development Gateway, delves into the methodology used to collect and geocode information on nearly 800 aid projects and 2,900 activities from 31 ODA donors in Malawi.

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