Sophal Ear is a survivor of the Cambodian genocide, a development economist, and a political scientist with a special focus on Southeast Asia. When he was an infant, his mother escaped the brutal Khmer Rouge and fled to Vietnam with her five children. They moved to France in 1978, and then to the United States. Ear was placed in the seventh grade at age ten and entered UC Berkeley at age 16; he continued his education at Princeton and received his master’s degree. In 1997, he became a consultant for the World Bank, where he examined welfare policy in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. From 2002 to 2003, he served as assistant resident representative for the United Nations Development Programme in East Timor. His experience provided the foundation for his dissertation exploring aid dependence and governance while earning a Ph.D. from Berkeley. Ear is an assistant professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the ;U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.