Safa al-Saeedi is a PhD candidate in political science at Northwestern University. Her dissertation focuses on media changes and ideological conflict in authoritarian politics. Namely, it examines how the Internet has affected the power balance among ideological elites in Saudi Arabia. It is based on primarily original large-scale data from traditional as well as digital media, using a range of methods including text-as-data and machine learning. Her research has been supported by the National Foundation of Science, the American Political Science Association, the Institute for Humane Studies, and the Northwestern Graduate School, among others. She received her BA, with distinction, from Duke University and her MA from Northwestern University’s Political Science Department.



Nejla Asimovic is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics at New York University. She studies group dynamics within areas of deep societal divisions, with a particular focus on the role digital technologies and social media play in negotiating identities and shaping group relations. In her dissertation, Asimovic strives to move away from social media determinism by both identifying the conditions under which exposure to social media reduces or heightens affective polarization between groups in ethnically- divided societies, and developing scalable strategies that would facilitate positive interethnic contact online. By applying insights from political psychology of identity and conflict to the social media sphere, Asimovic also provides an analytical framework for evaluating the potential of online contact to shape interethnic views. Taking place in two empirically understudied contexts (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus) during periods of varying salience of ethnic identities, e.g. conflict commemoration days, this research is intending to shed light on the key mechanisms and conditions that may allow for digital technologies and social media to bridge rather than widen cleavages even within areas in which divisions reign. From Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nejla received her undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where she studied World Politics and Mathematics.




Mariana Carvalho is a PhD candidate in Political Science at University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on political economy and violence. Her dissertation investigates the causes and consequences of assassinations of local politicians, with a central focus on Brazil. She draws from models of contest and war to explain why assassinations happen as a consequence of disputes for spoils from the government. Her project contributes to our understanding of criminal politics and political violence by emphasizing the relationship between corruption and violence against politicians. She employs a mixed-method approach to answer questions about the targets, perpetrators, causes, and consequences of political killings. Original data on political assassinations provide evidence on the characteristics of local politicians and the political and economic factors that explain spatial and geographical variation in executions. Her other projects investigate the electoral cycle of violence, how the legacies of authoritarian regimes impact violence over time, and how to identify and deter corruption in the health sector. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mariana obtained her undergraduate degree from Fundação Getulio Vargas, where she also obtained a Masters in Public Administration.



Kiela Crabtree is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the impact of violence -- specifically racially-targeted violence -- on American political participation and public opinion. Her dissertation, Forged in the Fire: Racially-Targeted Violence and Implications for Political Behavior in the United States, uses archival data collection, local-level observational data, and a series of survey experiments to investigate where racially-targeted violence has occurred, how the targeted respond, and why those responses are observed. Other research of hers also considers the political legacies of conflict in the United States, with emphasis on dynamics of social identity and racial hierarchy. Kiela has been a visiting researcher at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO) and her work has also been supported by the Center for Political Studies. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Kiela received her B.A. in Politics from Sewanee: The University of the South.



Nandini Dey is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University. Previously, she earned her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Science from the University of Delhi, India, and a Master of Science in History from the University of Edinburgh, UK. She also has experience in academic publishing, having worked as an editor for history, religion, and philosophy books at Oxford University Press in New Delhi, India. Nandini was a member of the first class of the APSA Public Scholarship Program in 2019. At Johns Hopkins, Nandini has been involved with multiple research projects on topics that range from colonial state formation to the American women’s suffrage movement to research ethics in conflict zones. She enjoys teaching and is planning to teach a course on citizenship regimes in South Asia for the academic year 2021–2022. Her own PhD research investigates the links between colonial-era institutions and postcolonial citizenship regimes and takes India as its primary case. Her project aims to illustrate the foundational ways in which colonial legacies constitute citizenship regimes after independence and how group claims, rather than individual rights, are critical to this project.



Seo Nyeong Holly Jo is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her subfields are Comparative Politics and American Politics. Her research focuses on judges’ decision-making behavior in the civil law judiciary. Her dissertation, “Gender Matters in the Judiciary: Adjudicating Sexual Assault in Korea,” explores whether or not the presence of women on the bench makes a difference in rape cases. Taking into account the influence of deeply rooted hierarchical culture among judges based on their age and seniority, she investigates if and how a judge’s gender and position interact to create unequal voices among three judges on the panel during the deliberation process and consequently affect the outcome of rape cases, gender-based violence. The dissertation contributes new theoretical perspectives on gender and judging in civil law judiciaries (i.e. no juries) by generating empirical findings that have a potential policy implication--to increase the presence of women judges on the multi-judge panel that tries gendered issues in particular. Seo Nyeong received her M.A. in political science and international relations from Korea University, Seoul in 2015, and her B.A. in political science from Macalester College, St. Paul, MN in 2011.



Devin Judge-Lord is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research addresses bureaucratic policymaking, congressional oversight and representation, and environmental policy.  His dissertation "Public Pressure Campaigns and Bureaucratic Policymaking" examines the effects of civic engagement on agency rulemaking, a technocratic policy process where “public participation” is usually limited to sophisticated lobbying but occasionally includes millions of people mobilized by public pressure campaigns. Chapters address (1) how and why advocacy groups mobilize ordinary people to engage in rulemaking; (2) how public pressure draws the attention of elected officials; (3) how public pressure shapes policy outcomes; and (4) how the environmental justice movement has used opportunities to participate in rulemaking to affect policy. His work employs a range of quantitative and qualitative methods, with contributions mostly in the field of text analysis. Additionally, Devin has major collaborative projects on congressional behavior, interest- group lobbying, and private environmental governance. He manages two political science research labs and has taught Public Policy and Computational Social Science.



Daegyeong (“D.G.”) Kim is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, American public opinion, and International Relations. Bringing together theories of American racial hierarchy, elite-public interactions, and foreign policy, his dissertation examines the political causes and consequences of contemporary anti-Asian racism in the United States. Utilizing public opinion surveys, survey experiments, and text analyses, he probes the long-term underlying factors behind the rise of anti-Asian sentiments across the United States, focusing on demographic changes, the China trade shock, and anti-China political rhetoric. He also examines the role anti-Asian sentiments played in the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and the relationship between the racial attitude and the American public’s response to the rise of China. In so doing, he develops a new scientific measure of anti-Asian American sentiment, the Asian American Resentment (AAR) scale. Additionally, his current projects investigate the rise of anti-Asian racism in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic and the geopolitical repercussions of the pandemic, particularly concerning U.S.-China relations. D.G. received his undergraduate from Cornell University.



Nicholas Kuipers is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, studying comparative politics. Most of his research is interested in identifying whether and when certain political institutions worsen group-based antagonisms. He has a particular regional interest in Southeast Asia. Nicholas’ research has been supported by the Institute for International Studies, the Southeast Asia Research Group (SEAREG), and the Weiss Family Fund. He is also a research associate at the Center on the Politics of Development. A graduate of Oberlin College, he worked in Jakarta before graduate school at Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting, a political consultancy specializing in public opinion surveys. Nicholas also received a Fulbright grant to Indonesia in 2014-2015.



Rithika Kumar is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research lies at the intersection of urbanization, gender and politics with a regional specialization in India. Her dissertation project focuses on the political consequences of circular internal male migration on women in sending regions. Using a mixed methods approach, she looks at how the absence of men shapes women’s everyday interactions with the state and their role in local politics in these regions. Her research is generously supported by the APSA Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, Judith Rodin Fellowship, Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) and Fox Leadership Institute. Prior to starting at Penn, Rithika was a Research Associate at IDFC Institute, a think-tank in Mumbai, India where she worked on political economy issues related to state capacity and electoral politics. She has additional experience with conducting fieldwork in Bihar, Orissa and Rajasthan. She holds a Master’s in Economics from Mumbai University and a Bachelor’s in Economics and Statistics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.



Zeren Li is a PhD Candidate of Political Science at Duke University. His research focuses on business-state relations, bureaucracy, good governance, and authoritarian politics with a regional interest in China. Before joining Duke, he obtained a MPhil from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, and a LLB from Fudan University. His dissertation, Institutionalized Rent-Seeking: The Political-Business Revolving Door in China, proposes a theoretical framework for understanding the emergence of revolving-door officials in authoritarian regimes and tests the theory through rigorous inquiry into firms in China. Methodologically, he is interested in the "Big Data" analysis of state-business relations. For his dissertation and other research projects, he develops automated methods for collecting and matching extensive administrative data and creates two original databases: the Chinese Revolving-Door Officials Database and the Chinese Public-Private Partnership Database. His research has been funded by institutions including Google Cloud Platform, the Chiang Ching- Kuo Foundation, and other research grants.



Andrew Marshall is a comparative government PhD candidate in Georgetown University’s Department of Government. His research focuses on the politics of state language policies, ethnic and national identification, and understandings of the nation and nationalism. His dissertation Language Policy and the Nation in East Africa examines Kenyan and Tanzanian policies regulating language use in education, legislative debates, broadcast media, and political campaigns and their influence on how Kenyans and Tanzanians understand and identify with their nations. In the dissertation project, he uses semi-structured interviews, ethnographic observation, and archival research complemented by a DDRIG-funded multilingual phone survey experiment in a qualitatively driven, integrated multi-method research design. His study finds that language policy, including state-recognized multilingualism that challenges the “one nation, one language” approach, remains a potent tool of nation-building. Andrew has earned multiple competitive research and training grants, including the U.S. Education Department’s Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship and the U.S. State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship for advanced Kiswahili study. Hailing from Phillips, Wisconsin, he received a BA in international affairs and history from Marquette University and an MA in international affairs from American University and served as a Jesuit Volunteer in Tanzania. More information on his work is available on his website.



Cesar B. Martinez-Alvarez is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles; he specializes in comparative environmental politics, with a regional focus on Latin America. His dissertation studies the governance of common- pool resources in Mexico, in particular the relationship between communal institutions and broad political and economic transformations, such as ambitious reforms to provide property rights or local indigenous autonomy, as well as policies that promote rural development. His work employs a multi-methods approach that relies on high-resolution satellite imagery, fine-grained administrative records, and archival research. His other work explores cross-national variation in the implementation of climate change mitigation policies and the relationship between environmental phenomena and democratic accountability at the subnational level. Before UCLA, he completed a masters in International Policy Studies at Stanford University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and a BA in International Relations at El Colegio de Mexico. His professional experience includes the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change of Mexico as well as external consultancy work for USAID and the United Nations Development Program in Mexico.



Adaugo Pamela Nwakanma is a PhD candidate in the Department of Government with a secondary field in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Amongst other things, she researches and teaches on the political economy of gender and development in various emerging economies with particular emphasis on the African context. Her dissertation investigates the intersection of women's empowerment in business and politics. More specifically, she examines the role of social networks in moderating the relationship between economic power and political power amongst female entrepreneurs in diverse sectors of the Nigerian economy.  She has published work on “Women, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development in Africa” as part of the Palgrave Handbook of African Women’s Studies (2020) and has a forthcoming publication on multicultural identities and decolonizing academia, titled “On Scholarship and the Hyphenated African Identity” with Routledge. Prior to her doctoral studies, Nwakanma worked as an Urban Education Fellow and Vice-HBO Translator in New York City. She received her B.A in International Studies-Economics with a secondary field in Linguistics from the University of California, San Diego in 2014.



Andra Pascu-Lindner is a PhD candidate in Political Science at Rice University in Houston, Texas.  Her research interests include voting behavior, gender and politics, and cabinet formation in Western democracies. She is particularly interested in strategic voting and its intersection with gender at both the voter and candidate level.  Her doctoral dissertation studies the extent to which gender and gender stereotypes impact the ways in which voters navigate complex political environments. This broader question is investigated in the context of Western European democracies where coalition governments tend to form, using a combination of observational data and original cross-country survey experiments. Her dissertation research is generously supported by the APSA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, as well as funding from the Social Sciences Research Institute and the Doerr Institute at Rice University.  Originally from Romania, Andra received her BA degree in International Politics and Economics, with a Spanish minor, from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. She studied abroad at Sciences Po Paris, in the French-language political science program. Outside of academia, she has worked as a policy analyst for the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as a consular assistant to the Romanian Honorary Consulate to Houston.



Estefania Castañeda Pérez is doctoral candidate at the UCLA Department of Political Science. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, her research primarily focuses on mental health, gender, race and ethnicity, the conceptualization and consequences of violence, and border politics. Castañeda Pérez’ educational aspirations and research projects have been motivated by her lifelong experiences commuting daily from Tijuana to San Diego as a transborder student for a borderless pursuit of education. Her research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Castañeda Pérez has a master’s degree in political science from UCLA, and a bachelor’s degree in political science with an honors minor in interdisciplinary studies from San Diego State University. Currently, she serves as the Chief Development Editor at the UCLA Chicanx-Latinx Law Review and is a fellow at the Immigration Initiative at Harvard. In addition to her scholarly work, she has volunteered with immigrant rights organizations in Tijuana to support asylum seekers, advocated for transborder youth, and writes public pieces on state violence at the Mexico-U.S. border.


Andrew Podob is a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University with concentrations in political psychology and American politics. He has research experience in applied social psychology, research design, surveys and experiments, and translational data analytics. His research interests include how emotion regulates political attitudes and the downstream effects on civic and political participation; how moral political disgust is distinct from pathogen disgust; and the persistence of wicked political problems as the antecedents of negative emotions. His co-authored work on networks of electoral collaboration among congressional campaigns is published in the American Journal of Political Science.   His dissertation examines the role marginalization on racial and socio-economic lines plays in the relationship between anxiety and politics. He has taught extensively at Ohio State on the public policy process and the politics behind public policy making. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland in 2015. His degree was received cum laude and he was selected by his department to be the graduation student speaker. Outside of the behavioral and social sciences he enjoys athletic games like tennis and racquetball, going for happy hour, adventuring to new and/or cool places, and cooking and baking.


Alauna Safarpour is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. Her research areas of interest include race and ethnic politics, public opinion, and participation. Alauna is currently a public opinion polling fellow at The Washington Post. Alauna obtained her B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2013. She obtained a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Duke University in 2014, a Masters in Political Science from American University in 2015, and a Masters in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland in 2019. Alauna was also a 2019 participant in the Zürich Summer School for Women in Political Methodology at the University of Zürich, Switzerland (UZH).



Christine Marie Slaughter is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles and will defend her dissertation in June 2021. Her dissertation, “No Strangers to Hardship”: African Americans, Inequality, and the Politics of Resilience, develops theory and measurement of “racial resilience” which is defined as disposition of triumph over collective adversity, such as the experience of intergenerational poverty. Racial resilience fills a void in the group identity, resilience, and political behavior literature by providing a mechanism explanatory of high-cost engagement among African Americans, where there are remarkably low benefits associated with doing so. This work highlights the complexity of African American political psychology and behavior. Christine will utilize funds from the APSA DDRIG to support the collection of additional data, including post- election research, a survey experiment, and qualitative interviews. A second stream of research specifically focuses on Black women voters and intersectionality. Her co-authored research with Christopher Ojeda has appeared in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law. Prior to UCLA, she graduated with a BA in Political Science and Comparative Women's Studies from Spelman College, a historically Black women’s college in Atlanta, Georgia.



Romelia M. Solano is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Notre Dame, a Joseph L. Gaia Distinguished Fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies, and a 2015 Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Fellow. Her research focuses on political behavior, political psychology, and intergroup relations. Her work on race, mobilization, and vote choice in the 2016 Presidential election has been published in the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. She has also contributed to public commentary on immigration detention with the National Immigrant Justice Center. In addition to her doctoral studies, Romelia teaches at a prison in Northern Indiana and files Office of Inspector General and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties complaints on behalf of detained immigrants. She holds a B.A. in political science and Latino Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



Yu-Hsien Sung is a PhD student in political science and a master’s student in applied statistics at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on law and politics. Her dissertation, Prosecutorial Policies: District Attorneys, Public Opinion, and Localized Rule of Law, focuses on discretionary decisions and variations in local legal practices. Specifically, the dissertation examines how US prosecutors exercise policy-oriented discretion to generate support from political elites and voters in ways that vary across prosecutorial selection methods. Using data from a conjoint experiment and observational data from policy statements on government websites, she explains why criminal-justice policies range so dynamically from the punitive (e.g., long sentences) to the corrective (e.g., drug treatment and diversion). Her findings clarify how and under what conditions prosecutorial behavior is constrained by political, ideological, and institutional factors. Additionally, Yu-Hsien Sung has researched constitutional courts throughout East Asia. In this regard, Ms. Sung recently traced the political foundations of Asia’s first same-sex marriage decision, which was made by the Constitutional Court in Taiwan, her native country. Other research that she has conducted makes use of survey experiments and clarifies how the backgrounds of the Grand Justices on Taiwan’s Constitutional Court have influenced the Taiwanese public’s perceptions of court rulings.



John Ternovski is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Yale University. His research is broadly focused on causal inference and persuasion, especially in the context of large- scale social networks. His dissertation investigates how new technologies causally impact political behavior and sentiments—particularly, how do new modes of information-dissemination and persuasion affect ordinary people? His research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Political Behavior, Electoral Studies, and Social Networks. Previously, he was a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School at the Student Social Support R&D Lab, a lab specializing in large-scale field experiments in education. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Analytics at the Analyst Institute, a company that designed, implemented, and analyzed large-scale field experiments for a variety of major non-profits and campaigns. He has also worked as a freelance data and analytics consultant. He holds an MA in Statistics from Yale, an MSc in Social Science of the Internet from Oxford University, and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.



Thuy Anh Tran is completing her PhD at CUNY Graduate Center. Her research focuses on political repression, social movements, and political violence. Her published essays have explored the secret police as well as the strategic use of violence in rebel governance, with a forthcoming study on feminist resistance among Orthodox Jewish women artists. Thuy Anh received an award for excellence in teaching at Baruch College and earned institutional support for developing open pedagogy courses. In Seattle, she organized grassroots electoral campaigns and helped lead the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. In New York City, she was a union leader at CUNY and organized adjunct professors fighting for job security and a living wage. She has been interviewed by multiple independent news outlets for her activism. Thuy Anh is currently active with Science for the People and continues to support movements for social justice and liberation.