Visiting Scholars and Research Affiliates

Julien Lafortune

PPIC Research Affiliate

Julien Lafortune is a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where he specializes in K–12 education. His primary areas of focus include education finance, school capital funding policy, and educational tracking and stratification. He has published research on the impacts of school finance reforms on student achievement in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Daniel Payares-Montoya

PPIC Research Affiliate

Daniel Payares-Montoya is a research associate at the PPIC Higher Education Center. His research focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on California’s community colleges, English as a second language, and the relation between labor markets and higher education in California. Before joining PPIC, he worked as a consultant for the World Bank, concentrating on green growth and green finance in developing countries, and as a researcher at the Center for Latin American Studies, University of California Berkeley, focusing on the socio-economic and political impact of globalization and...

Caitlin Peterson

PPIC Research Affiliate
Public Policy Institute of California

Caitlin Peterson is associate director and research fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center. She is an agroecologist whose research spans climate-smart agriculture, soil health, diversified cropping systems, agroecosystem resilience, and multi-benefit agricultural landscapes. In her previous work, she explored irrigation and soil ecosystem functions in California almond and tomato systems, crop-livestock integration in Brazilian soybean-beef systems, and small farmer adaptation to climate change in Colombia, Tanzania, and Ghana. As a consulting agroecologist, she led programs linking...

Visiting Scholars and Research Affiliates

IGS welcomes visiting scholars who wish to conduct independent research at UC Berkeley. Scholars from political science, sociology, business administration, history, journalism, and public health are among the researchers affiliated with our multidisciplinary institute. Please see the Visiting Scholars Program page for details on how to apply.

Sarah Bohn

PPIC Research Affiliate
Public Policy Institute of California

Sarah Bohn is vice president and John and Louise Bryson chair in policy research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. She is also a member of the PPIC Higher Education Center. As vice president and chair in policy research, she works with PPIC staff to bring high-quality, nonpartisan research to important policy issues in California. Her own research focuses on the role of social safety net policy and education policy in alleviating poverty and enhancing economic mobility. Her other areas of expertise include immigration policy, the workforce skills gap, and...

Patricia Malagon

PPIC Research Affiliate

Patricia Malagon is a research associate at the Public Policy Institute of California, where she focuses on social safety net programs. Before joining PPIC, she worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, where she analyzed racial disparities in program access and employment outcomes for CalWORKs participants. She holds a BA in political economy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Heather Harris

PPIC Research Affiliate
Public Policy Institute of California

Heather Harris is a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where she examines criminal justice programs, practices, and policies. She has published research on the impact of cellmate relationships on reoffending and on the effects of domestic violence arrests on mortality in Criminology and the Journal of Experimental Criminology, respectively. Prior to joining PPIC, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, where her work focused on young men undergoing the transition to adulthood after prison. She and David J. Harding coauthored a...

Deepak Premkumar

PPIC Research Affiliate
Public Policy Institute of California

Deepak Premkumar is a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where he specializes in the intersection of race, criminal justice, and health. Through the lens and tools of an economist, his recent work examines the broader effects of police use-of-force and social costs of policing. He aims to provide an empirical guide to understand the determinants of disparities in the legal and health systems, while investigating policies to alleviate them. He has published a book chapter, co-written with Justin McCrary, in The Cambridge Handbook of Policing in the United States....

Eric McGhee

PPIC Research Affiliate
Public Policy Institute of California

Eric McGhee is a senior fellow at PPIC, where he focuses on elections, legislative behavior, political reform, and surveys and polling. His research on elections and electoral reform has appeared in numerous academic journals, and his work has been profiled on National Public Radio, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Economist. He is the creator of the “efficiency gap”—a widely used measure of gerrymandering—and coauthor of a legal test based on the measure that has been presented before the US Supreme Court in recent high-profile litigation. He is an occasional contributor...

Paulette Cha

PPIC Research Affiliate
Public Policy Institute of California

Paulette Cha is a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Her research focuses on the health of underserved populations, especially children and immigrants, and her recent projects address the effects of public insurance expansions for these groups. She has also evaluated programs for low-income individuals at MDRC and Innovations for Poverty Action. She completed a joint postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA and the University of Southern California, and she holds a PhD in health policy/health economics from the University of California, Berkeley.