Dan is currently a PhD candidate in Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, graduating in May 2015. As of July 2015 he will be an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in International Development.
Dan is qualified in Political Economy (primary field) and Organizational and Bureaucratic Behavior (secondary field), and is a fellow in Harvard's Inequality and Social Policy program, an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and a graduate affiliate of Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Dan is one of the winners of the Next Horizons Essay Contest 2014 organized by the Global Development Network in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The contest invited original and innovative thinking to inform the ongoing discourse on development assistance.
Dan's dissertation focuses on the optimal level of autonomy in the delivery of foreign aid. Specifically he examines the relationship between staff autonomy, output measurement, and organizational performance in international development organizations and explore the way in which these effects are mediated by different developing country contexts. His central hypothesis is that organizations that are more independent and devolve more control to the field - that, as he puts it, navigate more by judgment and less by measurement - will be better able to leverage soft information, with increasing returns in more unpredictable and less measurable environments and task domains. Dan investigates this via quantitative (large-N statistical analysis and surveys) and qualitative (case study) methods.
Dan's held a variety of positions in international development, serving in a variety of capacities. Dan was the special assistant, then advisor, to successive Ministers of Finance (Liberia); ran a local nonprofit focused on helping post-conflict youth realize the power of their own ideas to better their lives and communities through agricultural entrepreneurship (East Timor); and have worked for a number of local and international NGOs (e.g. Ashoka in Thailand; Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development in Israel). More on his work can be found in his CV, linked in the menu above. A proud Detroiter, Dan holds an Honors BA from the University of Michigan and did MA coursework at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School.