I am an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Boston University. I study comparative politics and the political economy of development, with a particular focus on political violence, electoral accountability, democratic erosion, and African politics. I also have an interest in causal inference and research methods. My research has been supported by the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, the Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy, and the Yale Council on African Studies. I completed my Ph.D. in the Department of Political Science at Yale University, where my dissertation was awarded the APCG-Lynne Rienner Best Dissertation in African Politics in 2017 by the African Politics Conference Group, a section of the American Political Science Association and African Studies Association.
My book project investigates the logic of violence in electoral competition, analyzing why politicians use violence as an electoral tactic and how it affects voting behavior. I have also studied how the partisanship of elected officials affects local ethnic violence, as well as the relationship between electoral competition and local public goods provision. Current projects include researching the effects of party primaries in developing democracies, the logic of ethnic voting, the validity of data from household surveys conducted in the developing world, and the effects of a program to strengthen American democracy through partisan depolarization.
I previously worked on global health policy research at the Center for Global Development and in the microfinance sector in Tanzania, and I've served as a consultant for the Transparency and Accountability Initiative and USAID-funded programming on violent extremism.