I am a PhD candidate (ABD) 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 focuses on representation, the politics of nonvoting members in legislatures, and the impact of state and local 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.