I grew up in Bethel, Alaska, where I exercised an interest in politics by serving as a student representative on the local school board. I later interned in the DC offices of Senator Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young. Prior to UC Berkeley, I attended Reed College, where I majored in political science and economics.
Research Summary: My research uses game theory and history to study political institutions. In particular, I am interested in causes of durable shifts in the distribution of power over long stretches of time. My dissertation uses formal models to analyze different facets of legal authority, with historical cases drawn from 18th century American state formation. In my dissertation, I investigate questions such as: How do institutions gain or lose authority over time? Why do political actors adhere to formal boundaries of authority? How do centralized or decentralized legal structures affect politics? I am also engaged in research on public policy, specifically housing and policing, as well as ideological development in the United States.
Major(s): PHD Candidate