Dr. Alauna Safarpour is a postdoctoral fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, a postdoctoral fellow at Northeastern University’s Network Science Institute, and an affiliate with Northeastern University’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks.
Her research areas of interest include race and ethnic politics, public opinion, participation and gender politics. Specifically, her research focuses on reducing prejudice and increasing civic participation. Her research has been published by Political Behavior, the Journal of Experimental Political Science, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation,The Conversation and The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open. She is also a collaborator on the multi-university, multi-disciplinary Covid States Project.
Alauna's dissertation entitled "Taking Perspective: Prejudice Reduction and Political Attitudes" develops a theory of how to reduce anti-Black prejudice and the impact of doing so on American political attitudes. Using experimental methods, the project evaluates the efficacy of original interventions to reduce anti-Black prejudice and the consequences on policy preferences and evaluations of candidates, among other outcomes. The method of prejudice reduction draws on research from psychology and cognitive neuroscience and is deployed entirely online. Her dissertation has been funded by several competitive grants including an American Political Science Association/ National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant.
Alauna was the 2020 public opinion fellow at The Washington Post where she assisted in polling the general public on the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 Presidential Election. She also worked as an election night analyst for The Washington Post examining exit polling and election returns following the 2020 Presidential Election and the 2022 midterm elections. Alauna also worked as a survey statistician for the Kaiser Family Foundation conducting public opinion research concerning the COVID-19 vaccine with a particular focus on the attitudes of racial and ethnic minorities.
Alauna Safarpour earned her Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland in 2021, her B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2013, a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Duke University in 2014, a Masters in Political Science from American University in 2015, and a Masters in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland in 2019. Alauna was a 2019 participant in the Zürich Summer School for Women in Political Methodology at the University of Zürich, Switzerland (UZH).