I am an Associate Professor of Law, Political Science, and Public Policy at USC Gould School of Law. I teach Administrative Law, Money in Politics, and Analytical Methods for Lawyers. My research centers around our efforts to improve public governance via information provision. The public can extract information from all branches of government, though we usually think of transparency as affecting the executive branch most severely. My current projects center on the transparency of campaign financing for elected officials in the legislature.
I am fascinated by many aspects of campaign finance transparency. What are the benefits of knowing who funds our political candidates? Does knowledge about who funds our candidates help us make more "informed" votes? Does it tell us about legislators' performance once in office, either on policy or more management or compliance-oriented dimensions? Should we be worried about a "chilling" effect from disclosure (the court definitely is)? Does disclosure actually attract people to give to candidates? How do voters feel about undisclosed contributions (dark money)? How much are voters willing to trade off, in terms of their preferred policies, to elect more transparent candidates? All of these questions fascinate me. Campaign finance disclosure is highly political in "the real world", but many of the arguments we hear about it aren't based in empirical facts, because we have done so little research in this area. I'm trying to do my part to help inform the debate.
My latest research appears in Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Election Law Journal, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and several law reviews. It has been featured by Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
I hold a Ph.D. from the Travers Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, a J.D. from Harvard and a M.A.L.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
This website explains more about my research and teaching. Students, if you would like to schedule an office hour or need a letter, please see the Teaching link.