Paul Franz

Paul Franz

Special Adviser, Data Visualisation

Crisis Group Role

As special adviser, Paul leads the organisation’s satellite imagery investigations, mapping, and data visualisation efforts with the communications team. He works closely in partnership with Crisis Group experts to augment our policy outreach. Paul joined Crisis Group in August 2023.

Professional Background

Prior to joining Crisis Group, Paul worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) for eight years in Washington, D.C., where he was a director of technology, held an endowed chair in innovation, and helped create an internal department - the Ideas Lab - dedicated to developing innovative foreign policy research products in partnership with experts.

There he worked on issues involving contested maritime claims in the South China Sea and devised new technology to create map briefings in video. He is a non-resident senior associate at CSIS and is a product adviser for geospatial software companies like Mapbox.

Prior to CSIS, Paul was an education reporter for Education Week (2011-2012) and a Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting grantee (2009-2010). He received an MA in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Miami, Florida in 2010.

Areas of Expertise

  • Cartography
  • Satellite imagery and geospatial intelligence 
  • Data visualisation 
  • Confluent media design 
  • Animation and 3D modeling 
  • Software and web development

Select Publications

  • Kardon, Isaac B. China's Law of the Sea: The New Rules of Maritime Order. Yale UP, 2023. Data Visualisation by Paul Franz.
  • Poling, Gregory P. On Dangerous Ground: America’s Century in the South China Sea. New York: Oxford University Press, 2022. Data Visualisation by Paul Franz.
  • "Opening Intelligence on Global Secrets." Presented by Paul Franz. Hosted by Mapbox. Apr 2017. Washington, D.C.
  • The New Barbarianism. 2017. Directed by J. Stephen Morrison, Creative Director Paul Franz. Washington, D.C.: CSIS.
  • "Haiti's Lost Children". Published by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, January 2011.

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