I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. I joined the department in Fall of 2013 as a Pre/Post-doctoral research fellow. I completed my Ph.D. in Political Scienceat theUniversity of Florida in 2015. I earned a Master's Degree in African Studies at UCLA's African Studies Center and a Bachelor's in Political Science and Legal Studies at Northwestern University prior to beginning my PhD.
My research ties into three broad themes in political science: parties and party systems, legislatures and legislative candidacy, and electoral authoritarianism. At the core of these themes is my dissertation study on legislative candidacy in electoral authoritarian regimes in Africa and specifically, why individuals compete on opposition tickets given the little chance these parties have to win. I also work on voting behavior and women's representation in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to these substantive agendas, I have extensive experience with survey design and implementation, including research on survey techniques for eliciting sensitive political attitudes and behaviors in the low-income settings and mobile phone based approaches for collecting high frequency panel data in developing countries.
I have conducted extensive fieldwork in Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Ghana. I have spent more than three years of my life in Tanzania and am fluent in Swahili. I primarily implement large-N household and political elite surveys, which include experimental components, innovative networking measures, and various approaches for collecting geospatial data. For more on these projects, head over to my Research page.