I am a Senior Researcher in Governance at Mercy Corps and a Research Fellow with the Innovation Field Lab- New York Project at Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center.
My teaching, research, and policy engagements are focused on using mixed methods to design and evaluate programs focused on empowering citizens and building effective, accountable states.
From 2009-2018 I was an Assistant/Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. I received my PhD in Political Science from Yale University.I have worked with a variety of organizations to design and evaluate innovative governance and service delivery programs, including Innovations for Poverty Action, UNICEF, and the World Bank Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) Initiative. I am also the co-founder of the SAFI Project, a nonprofit organization that coordinates waste management and recycling activities in northern Kenya. As part of these policy analysis engagements, I have conducted quantitative and qualitative research in both Kenya and Sierra Leone, including randomized evaluations, surveys, and extensive archival, interview, and ethnographic fieldwork.
At Harvard, I taught two courses on policy analysis in international development. Institutions and Development (DPI-401m) is a core course in the Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) curriculum. The Policy Analysis Concentration Seminar in Political and Economic Development (DEV) is the required capstone course for Master in Public Policy (MPP) students. In this course, students complete their Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE), a piece of research that uses qualitative and quantitative methods to help a real-world client organization solve a development policy problem.
Based on my nine years of experience of teaching both of these courses and my own policy consulting work, I have written a book manuscript, Institutions and Policy Analysis in International Development. This book presents a practical framework for how practitioners can draw on the insights of institutional theory when conducting development policy analysis.
My research has been supported by the International Livestock Research Institute, the Institute for Social and Policy Studies, the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence, the Weatherhead Center for International and Area Studies, Harvard Medical School's Milton Fund, and the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.