The American University in Cairo, Central European University, Cornell University, New York University, United Nations University – MERIT, University of Michigan

Are Proud to Sponsor the 2021 NASPAA-Batten Competition on

February 27th

The NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition is a day-long event that allows graduate students in public policy and related fields to test their skills on real-world data. Each year, the Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming develops an original participatory simulation specifically tailored for students of public policy and administration. The simulations give participants a chance to employ their knowledge in a realistic situation, as well as an opportunity hone skills in leadership, negotiation, and critical thinking.

This year’s rather timely topic is on Pandemic 2.0, a continuation of the first pandemic simulation deployed in March 2018.

Please make sure you have Google Chrome installed as a browser. This is the ONLY browser compatible with the game. Additionally, only laptops and desktop computers are compatible. The simulation will not function properly on a tablet or smartphone.


The assorted professionals and academics who will come together to judge the competition on round taking place on February 27th are as follows:

Thilo Bodenstein – Central European University’s School of Public Policy

Thilo Bodenstein is Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and director of the MA programme. Before he came to Budapest he was a senior researcher at the Center for Development Studies in Bonn, a Jean Monnet Chair at Freie Universität Berlin and a Visiting Scholar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. His research interests include public policy, international political economy, development and transition studies and research methods. He is author of Wege zum Weltmarkt: Die Politik der außenwirtschaftlichen Öffnung in den Transformationsstaaten. Some of his most recent work appeared in European Journal of Political Research and European Union Politics.

Jonathan Engel – Marxe School of Public and International Affairs

Jonathan Engel is a professor in the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs Baruch College, CUNY, and the author of Unaffordable: American Healthcare from Johnson to Trump and The Epidemic: A History of AIDS.

Lorraine Francis – Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine

Lorraine Francis is a public health professional with extensive knowledge of Caribbean health systems from over eighteen years of regional experience in several public health areas including epidemiology, surveillance, emergency and outbreak response, laboratory systems, environmental health and research.  In her current role as Lecturer with the Master in Public Health Program at Cornell, she brings her interest in Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Environmental Health research given the challenges with climate change especially on Small Island Developing States.

John Gershman – New York University’s Robert F Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

John Gershman is a Clinical Professor of Public Service at NYU’s Robert F Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. His research and teaching, focuses on issues of food security, U.S. foreign policy in East and Southeast Asia, the politics of international financial institutions and multilateralism, and the political economy of development and democracy. He is a co-founder of the New York Southeast Asia Network.

Dana Michael Harsell – University of North Dakota’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration

Dana Harsell is an associate professor who teaches courses in state and local government, public administration, and the intersection of business and government. He helps lead NASPAA’s Simulation Network, and is passionate about simulation-based learning. Dana has utilized both Pandemic and Migration simulations, developed by CLSG, in campus-based and online classes. Recent research contributions include an exploration of how and when small, rural governments utilize alternative service delivery methods to meet service demands (Journal of Rural Studies) and how local government leaders engage deliberative framing strategies when pursuing climate change mitigation and adaption policies within their jurisdictions (Journal of Environmental Planning and Policy).

Peter Linquiti – George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

Peter Linquiti is the Director of the George Washington University’s Environmental Resource Policy Graduate Program and an Associate Professor on the faculty of  GW’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. He has served as a judge at several of NASPAA’s previous simulation competitions.

Laurel McFarlandExecutive Director at NASPAA

Laurel McFarland has served as Executive Director of NASPAA since 2005. She brings a wide portfolio of previous experience: management of accreditation and quality assurance; professional experience in the economics of higher education and the strategic positioning of institutions in higher education; academic work in economic policy history; and active involvement in local government and nonprofit ventures.

Ambassador Melvyn Levitsky – University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Ambassador Melvyn Levitsky is a professor of international policy and practice at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Prior to joining the University of Michigan in the fall of 2006, Ambassador Levitsky taught for eight years as professor of practice in public administration and international relations at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and he has also taught at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Mariana Pereira-LópezUniversidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México’s Department of Economics

Mariana Pereira-López is an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics of Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México.  Starting in August 2019, she has been the Coordinator of the Master in Public Policy. During the last six years, she has been a Consultant for the Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank Group. During this period, she has participated in the design of the National Survey on Productivity and Competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ENAPROCE), and she has co-authored background papers for the World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends, “The Innovation Paradox: Developing-Country Capabilities and the Unrealized Promise of Technological Catch-Up” flagship report, and a regional study on “Digital technology adoption, skills, productivity and jobs in Latin America.” She is currently collaborating in a World Bank Flagship Report on Mexico’s Productivity and leading a project funded by the IDB analyzing “Monopsony power and labor income inequality in Mexico.” Her main research interests are firm-level productivity, management practices, technologies, innovation, impact evaluations, industrial location, development economics, and economic growth. Her research has been published in top peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Development Economics and the World Bank Economic Review. Before her Ph.D., she worked for the Ministry of Economy as Chief of Staff and as an adviser for the Trade Negotiations area.  She holds a Ph.D. and an MA in Economics from El Colegio de México.

Andrew Weathers – US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Andrew Weathers is a 20 year veteran in the field of Public Health. After graduating from the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University in 2000, he was selected to participate in the Presidential Management Fellows Program. Choosing a position at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he began working very early on in both international health and emergency response to public health crises. After spending 3 months in the Emergency Operations Center during the 9/11 and Anthrax attacks, Andrew moved full time into the international health arena as a Public Health Advisor establishing and managing Field Epidemiology Training Programs in East Africa, Central Africa, Central America, Central Asia, Haiti and Brazil. His last international deployment occurred in 2015 when he participated in the Ebola response in Sierra Leone. In 2012, Andrew left his position in the Center for Global Health to take on his current role as the Contracts Management Unit Chief for the World Trade Center Health Program; a $600 million a year program that provides health care to 110,000 first responders and local area residents, students and workers who suffer from conditions brought on by their 9/11 experience.

Florian Weiler – Central European University’s School of Public Policy

Florian joined CEU’s School of Public Policy as Assistant Professor at the beginning of September. Before coming to CEU he was Assistant Professor for Political Economy at the University of Groningen, Campus Fryslan. Florian holds a PhD from ETH Zurich, where he worked on the global political economy of climate change to earn his dissertation, which he defended in 2013. Since finishing his dissertation, he held academic positions at the University of Bamberg (Post-doc), the University of Kent (Lecturer), and the University of Basel (Senior Researcher). His recent academic work focuses on environmental issues on the one hand, particularly on adaptation and adaptation aid, and on stakeholder strategies to influence policy processes on the other.

Additional Judges To Be Announced


The site will include contestants from the following schools:

  • Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest
  • American University School of Public Affairs
  • Georgetown University
  • Baruch College Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
  • Binghamton University
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Central European University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Doha Institute For Gradate Studies
  • Fundação Getulio Vargas
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Georgia State University
  • Ghent University
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Indian School of Public Policy
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Louisiana State University
  • Marist College
  • Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Nazarbayev University
  • New York University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Oakland University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Pepperdine University School of Public Policy
  • Regent University
  • Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
  • San Diego State University
  • San Francisco State University
  • Southern Utah University
  • SUNY, Binghamton
  • S P Jain School of Global Management
  • San Diego State University
  • Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas State University
  • The American University in Cairo
  • The Ohio State University
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • The University of Connecticut
  • The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
  • The University of Texas at Arlington
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • The University of Texas at Dallas
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • United Nations University – EHS
  • United Nations University – MERIT
  • Universidad de los Andes
  • Universidad del Rosario
  • Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico
  • University at Albany, SUNY
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Colorado – Denver
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Houston
  • University of La Verne
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Montana
  • University of Nebraska Omaha
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Villanova University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Wayne State University
  • Western Carolina University
  • Western Michigan University


Prizes: Three teams will come out on top by the end of the February 27 competition. These teams will move on to the global “All Star” round, where they will compete against top teams from the March 6 competition. NASPAA will award winning teams with generous cash prizes.

There will three separate “Site Zoom Rooms” on competition day. Please note which Zoom Room you have been assigned to below.

You will be emailed your team assignments and background materials several weeks in advance. In addition, we will provide you with MIRO accounts to help make collaboration with your teammates easier.



You have received your specific competition information via email. You will receive zoom links and game codes prior to the competition.

9:00 AM – 2:30 PM EST: Site Competition Hosted by American University in Cairo & United Nations University – MERIT

10:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST: Site Competition Hosted by Central European University and New York University

12:00 PM – 5:30 PM EST: Site Competition Hosted by University of Michigan and Cornell University