I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. I spent August 2014 – December 2015 on sabbatical in Mali as an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow.
My research interests include African elections, comparative democratization, political Islam in West Africa, Mali, and education and citizenship. My work has appeared in the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Modern African Studies, African Affairs, Comparative Political Studies, Stability, and Democratization. My research has been financed by the United States Agency for International Development, the National Science Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.
My book, Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali, analyzes how different educational experiences, public/private and secular/Islamic, affect citizenship in Mali in the context of expanded access to schooling. I draw on unique data from a year of fieldwork including 1000 surveys, exit polls during the 2009 municipal elections, interviews with 200 university students, politicians’ educational profiles, government schooling data, as well as interviews with Malian educators and government officials.
I received my MA and PhD from Cornell University and my BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Before graduate school, I worked for Winrock International on USAID’s Africa Education Initiative Ambassadors Girls Scholarship Program in Central and Southern Africa. I have worked as a consultant for Freedom House, Winrock International, CARE, and the World Bank.