I am a Lecturer on Government and Social Studies at Harvard University. My research focuses on interest groups and policy change in education. I am teaching two undergraduate seminars in the fall, "Democracy and Education in America" and "From Annenberg to Zuckerberg: The New Philanthropy and the Politics of Education." I am also a thesis advisor and live with undergraduates as a resident tutor at the Dudley Coop.
I defended my dissertation, titled "Group Power and Policy Change in Education" in June 2017. Using the case of education reform, it examines how controversial policy changes occur when opposed by powerful groups with a stake in the status quo. Across four papers, it uses several novel datasets and qualitative interview data collected during a year of fieldwork to examine how foundations, education reform groups and teachers' unions influence education reform policy passage across the American states.
This spring, my office hours are from 10 to 12pm on Thursdays. Sign up for my office hours at https://lesliekfinger-officehours.wikispaces.com/Office+Hours.