I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of North Texas. My research focuses on interest groups, power and the politics of education.
I was a lecturer at Harvard University from 2017 to 2020, where I taught courses on public policy, the politics of education, and the politics of the nonprofit sector. I received my Ph.D. from the Harvard Department of Government in 2017. My dissertation, titled "Group Power and Policy Change in Education" uses the case of education reform to examine 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. I was awarded the Senator Charles Sumner Dissertation Prize in 2018 for the project.
My office hours for Spring 2021 are Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 to 11:40am CT. Please sign up for a slot if you would like to meet: https://calendly.com/leslie-finger/office-hours