I am an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University (Ph.D., New York University Wilf Family Department of Politics). My work stands at the intersection of politics and development in sub-Saharan Africa, where I am most passionate about discovering catalysts that improve the quality of democratic processes and the pace of socioeconomic development at both the citizen and politician levels. Much of my work couples experimental methodology with surveys and collection of behavioral data in challenging field environments. Recent projects partner with NGOs to investigate policy programming through randomized controlled trials (field experiments). Such research demonstrates my two major goals as a scholar: to advance our knowledge of social science by testing theoretically-driven hypotheses and to learn which policy programs are most effective in improving the well-being of citizens.
I was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and completed my undergraduate degree at Emory University. Before attending graduate school, I worked in democratization and development at the Carter Center, NDI, and the Bundeszentral fuer Politische Bildung and traveled widely for three years. During 2012-2013, I was a Visiting Fellow at the Kellogg Institute.