I am a PhD candidate in Political Science at Stanford University specializing in American and comparative politics. My research focuses on state and local politics, elections, and the evolution of institutions over time. I am currently serving as the Thomas D. Dee II Graduate Fellow at the Bill Lane Center for the American West.
In my book-style dissertation I address the puzzle of American electoral exceptionalism: why does the U.S. fill so many government offices by direct election? Drawing upon a novel dataset of state and county elected offices from 1776 to 1900, I show that the nation did not begin with expansive local democracy, but evolved over time to elect more and more public officials. The primary driver of this evolution, I argue, was suffrage expansion at the state-level that threatened the incumbent elites' monopoly on power.
My other research projects focus on representation, separation of powers, and the impact of elections on public policy.
I hold an M.A. in Political Science from Stanford, and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from The Ohio State University. My research has been supported by the Tobin Project, the Hoover Institution, and the Bill Lane Center for the American West.