I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Government in the School of Public Affairs at American University. I study comparative politics, specializing in the political economy of development, political behavior, and intergroup relations.
My research focuses on three broad and related questions. How do different sources of revenue—whether taxes, natural resource windfalls, or foreign aid—affect political and social behavior? What are the causes of conflict and drivers of post-conflict social reintegration? And, more broadly, what are the causes of, consequences of, and strategies for mitigating group-based divisions in society? I generally undertake large-scale field research projects that employ experimental and quasi-experimental methods for causal inference and that involve the collection of extensive original survey and behavioral data. I have conducted research in a diverse group of countries, including Indonesia, Colombia, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, and the United States.
I am also Co-Director of the Democratic Erosion Consortium (DEC), which brings researchers, students, practitioners, and policymakers together to evaluate threats to democracy both at home and abroad and develop evidence-based strategies for combatting them. Additionally, I am a member of the Evidence in Governance and Politics network (EGAP) and a co-convener of the Northeast Workshop in Empirical Political Science. I received my Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.