Biography

I am a behavioral scientist and Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. My work applies behavioral science insights and methods to understand important social challenges and to develop interventions to mitigate them. Specifically, I study how to help families effectively support student success (e.g. increasing attendance, homework completion, etc.), and how to improve democracy (e.g., increasing election participation, openness to opposing views, etc.).

My overarching goal is to ensure that behavioral policy research is implemented widely and with fidelity. This has led to co-founding two social enterprises: the Analyst Institute (focused improving voter communication programs) and InClass Today (focused on helping districts reduce student absenteeism).

At Harvard, I am the faculty director of the Behavioral Insights Group, the faculty chair of the executive education program on applying behavioral science to improve public policy, and director of the Student Social Support R&D Lab. I am also a Senior Scientist at ideas42 and Academic Advisor at the UK’s Behavioural Insights Team.

Prior to joining the faculty at HKS, I was founding Executive Director of the Analyst Institute (click here for a story in The New York Times Magazine profiling the organization, and the book based on that article, Victory Lab). I received a Ph.D. jointly from Harvard's department of Psychology and Harvard Business School, and received a B.A. from Williams College, majoring in both Religion and Psychology.