I am a Ph.D. candidate in Harvard University’s Department of Government, where I specialize in comparative politics. My research focuses on party politics and party-building in sub-Saharan Africa, the political economy of development, and accountability and democratization in the developing world. My dissertation, entitled "Party-Building in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes: Senegal's Party Proliferation in Comparative Perspective," theorizes the formation, coalition-building strategies, and durability of political parties in Africa's competitive authoritarian regimes. My work has appeared in the Journal of Democracy and on the blogs of the Council of Foreign Relations and the Social Science Research Council.
Fluent in French and advanced in Wolof, I am a two-time recipient of the US government’s Foreign Language and Area Studies grant, which helped to support 15 months of dissertation fieldwork in Senegal. I also have field experience in Belgium, France, and Ghana. At Harvard, I am a Graduate Student Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the Center for European Studies. I have also received Harvard's Certificate for Distinction in Teaching.
Beyond Harvard, I have worked in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs; at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (as a consultant on African civil society for the International Budget Partnership); and for the African Legislatures Project (as a research associate in Senegal’s National Assembly).
I earned an M.A. at Harvard in 2010 and a Post-Graduate Certificate in International Politics, with a specialization in “Europe, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding” in 2007 at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where I studied as a Fulbright Scholar. During my Fulbright year, I published an article on Belgium’s role in shaping European Union peacebuilding interventions in its former colony, the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2006, I received a B.A. summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis.