about me

I am a Lecturer/Advisor and Associate Director of Undergraduate Advising in the Economics Department at Harvard University, where I teach a course in development economics and a senior thesis research seminar.  My main area of research is in development economics, with particular interests in governance, decentralization, public goods provision, organizations of the poor, and the longer-term dynamics of development interventions.  As of Summer 2020, my husband and I are also Faculty Deans of Winthrop House.

I graduated from Vestal Senior High School in upstate New York and earned a BS in Economics from Binghamton University.  I received my MS and PhD in Applied Economics from Cornell University (now the Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management) in August 2008.  My dissertation looked at spatial and regional inequality in India and China, gender and public goods provision in India, and membership-based organizations of poor individuals--all joined by the common theme of decentralization, in the sense of moving power and decision making from central governments to sub-central levels.  I continue to work in these areas but have also developed a keen interest in understanding (and trying to measure) the longer-term impacts and general equilibrium effects of development interventions. 

I have previously worked as an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at Scripps College and as a College Fellow in Harvard's Economics Department.  In my current role as a Lecturer/Advisor, I have become interested in economics education, particularly on the role of academic advising, exposing undergraduates to research, the senior thesis experience, and general challenges for departments with large undergraduate programs.  I have enjoyed several opportunities to talk with departments at Harvard and at other universities about the unique design of our economics undergraduate program and how it can be applied elsewhere.  Jeffrey Miron and I have also co-authored a short paper about some of our thoughts and experiences.