I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University (Ph.D., New York University Wilf Family Department of Politics). In 2017, I was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow (2 years, extended to a third year). I am a member of Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP). I have been a Visiting Fellow at the Kellogg Institute as well as the Varieties of Democracy Institute.
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 reduce intergroup inequalities 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. For many projects, I partner with NGOs and donors 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. This work has been awarded over $1.5 million in research funding. You can view my Research Statement to find out more about my scholarly profile.
Before attending graduate school, I trotted the globe, calling Freiburg, Germany my home base. I worked stints in democratization and development (Carter Center, NDI, and the Bundeszentral fuer Politische Bildung), enrolled in classes at Uni Freiburg, and taught ESL.
In my free time, you'll find me in nature --- I enjoy any and all outdoor activities!