Photo: My research assistant Hillary Ahomugisha with me at the source of the Nile in Uganda. If you're looking for an outstanding RA, translator, or fixer in Uganda or Bosnia, contact me and I'll put you in touch!

Research Goals & Bio

My reason for becoming a political scientist is to figure out how to prevent genocide and mass atrocities. Over the course of my career, I aim to produce policy-relevant research on what actually prevents such violence and persuade governments and organizations to put it to use. Because people, states, and armed groups everywhere are embedded in networks of rivalries and alliances, friendships and patronage, I have chosen to specialize in using network analysis to better understand conflict. As a mixed-methods researcher, I seek to develop:

  1. Approaches to qualitative fieldwork in conflict areas that respect the dignity and well-being of respondents and empower local staff 

  2. Statistical techniques and experiments to causally identify network spillover effects

  3. Improved network survey designs and questions

  4. Approaches to authorship that elevate the voices of researchers from the places I work

A native of Washington, DC, I earned my B.A. in math with a concentration in international studies at Williams College where I ran on the cross country and track & field teams. I also studied in Mongolia for a semester through the School for International Training. Prior to graduate school, I taught high school math and social studies for seven years, interned at the Search of Common Ground, and spent eight summers as a camp counselor and sports director at Seeds of Peace, bringing together teenagers from Palestine & Israel, Pakistan & India, and other countries, as well as immigrant, refugee, and U.S.-born teens.

Incidentally, I happened to win a marathon during my fieldwork in Sarajevo...

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Credit: Drażen Filopović, trcanje.net

Credit: Admir Kuborivić, Radio Sarajevo