I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. My research focuses on executive-branch policymaking and intergovernmental politics.
My scholarly work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Perspectives on Politics, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Studies in American Political Development, Journal of Policy History, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Education and Urban Society, and The Forum.
My dissertation is about one source of the American presidency’s vast power: its ability to pursue policy and political objectives within state and local governing institutions. Scholars often portray federalism as a Congressional prerogative. My research suggests otherwise. Presidents are remarkably successful in using budgetary and administrative power in cities, counties, and states in pursuit of their own interests, and seek to do so even when they conflict with Congressional preferences. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, I document why and trace how presidents have leveraged subnational administrative power for partisan goals.
In addition to my dissertation, I am currently completing a book manuscript with Sidney Milkis on the transformation of the Democratic and Republican parties since the 1960s - the demise of America's "vital center." This work complements my more behaviorally-oriented scholarship, which seeks to better understand through experimental and survey-based methods how geography, place, and distance matter for political attitudes.
You can find working papers and an extended discussion of my current research under the "research" tab. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about my work or my classes.