I received my BA in psychology from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in beautiful Geneva, NY. During this time, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Denmark, where I was exposed to the field of international affairs and security. I then pursued an MA in public policy and international affairs at the American University of Paris, where I spent two and a half years in Paris. Here I focused on issues of governance and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. I published a few small related articles in graduate publications, and wrote my thesis on the causes of economic underdevelopment in Nigeria from 1970-2000.
After completing my degree, I moved to Washington, DC, where I began managing USAID-funded international development programs. I also worked with other donors (State Department, DFID, etc.), but the bulk of my work was with USAID. I specialized in French African democracy and governance programs, and helped manage a post-conflict stabilization program in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an extractive-industries transparency program in Chad, and an assortment of other smaller projects.
I then began managing programs in East Africa, where I worked in Tanzania and Kenya to coordinate regional policies and governance programs. During this time, I also began working on a rule of law strengthening program in Afghanistan. I credit these experiences with helping me to better contextualize my research interests in corruption and conflict.
In 2013, I began my PhD studies at the University of Maryland, College Park in the department of Government and Politics. I work with Mark Lichbach as my primary adviser, and am developing my dissertation on the intersection of corruption and collective action. I specialize in Sub-Saharan Africa, with particular focus on Middle Africa. I use a multi-method approach to social inquiry, and truly believe that the question should drive the method, and not the other way around. Because of this, I use a combination of geospatial statistics, quantitative analysis, and field experiments.
Outside of my academic work, I am an avid alpine skiier and a horrendous soccer player. I am passionate about coffee, fitness, and technology.