I research various topics in environmental politics, including climate adaptation and resilience, rural electrification, solar geoengineering, and climate equity using game-theoretic models, experiments, surveys, and randomized controlled trials. Recently, my research has explored how different dimensions of climate equity (historical responsibility, vulnerability, and capacity) affect bargaining during climate negotiations; public opinion toward solar geoengineering, geostrategic responses to counter-geoengineering, and the role of institutions in constraining their possible future deployment; the effects of electrification and lighting on household behavior in rural India; and the effect of supermajority rules on the diversity of stable policies. Previously, I worked at IFF, a Community Development Financial Institution in Chicago; and at PricewaterhouseCoopers' Global Transfer Pricing division in New York. I graduated from Princeton University in 2009 where I concentrated in politics and earned certificates in finance and political economy. For more information, please see my CV.
How do Municipalities Adapt to Climate Change? Evidence from Massachusetts's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program
Climate change presents communities with hazards that are unprecedented in their frequency, intensity, and severity: flooding, extreme temperatures, severe storms, drought, among others. How, if at all, will they respond to these changes? My dissertation explores this question in the context of Massachusetts’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant program, the US's first state-wide integrated adaptation initiative and a model for similar programs being developed in Rhode Island, Maine, and North Carolina. Interviews with state and local public officials and quasi-public and private program facilitators suggest that public adaptation differs from traditional municipal governance in some respects. Because US states are only starting to adapt, there is limited awareness among residents and local elected officials about possible solutions and their consequences. Accordingly, local decisions are frequently shaped by unelected public officials and representatives from local civic, social service, and environmental groups. Due to the actors' uncertainty about the efficacy of responses, an absence of established rules governing their interactions, and shared beliefs about a community's immediate vulnerabilities, decisions about how to adapt are less the product of representation than of local capital, bureaucratic, and land constraints. To examine the role of these constraints, I combine geospatial and municipal personnel and financial data obtained from the State of Massachusetts with original datasets of adaptation projects listed in municipal funding applications and planning reports and lists of attendees at local adaptation planning meetings.