Research Associates

 Resident RAs

IMG_8951Anustubh Agnihotri 

Anustubh is pursuing his Ph.D. in Political Science at UC Berkeley. His research interests include comparative politics, political economy, and research methods. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Anustubh worked as a research manager for Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) in Odisha, India. Anustubh holds Masters degrees in Global Policy Studies and Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He also holds a Bachelor’s in Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering from Pune University, India.


IMG_6855Anna Callis 

Anna joined the Center on the Politics of Development in August 2015. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at the UC Berkeley. Her research interests include comparative politics, political economy and research methods, with a particular focus on political parties, party systems, and multi-method research.

Anna holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from FLACSO, Ecuador and a B.A. in Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of Michigan. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., she worked at UFCW Local 876, a union that represents workers in the food retail and meat packing industries.


IMG_8745Chris Carter 

Chris joined the Center on the Politics of Development in August 2013. He is pursuing his Ph.D. in Political Science at UC Berkeley and his research interests include traditional institutions, political mobilization, the political economy of rural development, and methods for causal inference. His dissertation project will investigate the institutional foundations of rural political mobilization in Mexico and Peru.

Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Chris completed a Masters degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge, where he studied as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. He also holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he studied as a Morehead-Cain scholar.

http://www.christopherleecarter.com/


Choi_pictureDonghyun Danny Choi

Danny joined the Center on the Politics of Development in May 2014. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on comparative politics, political behavior, and political methodology. His research interests broadly include legislative development, clientelism, and voting behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Danny worked at the United Nations and served as a military interpreter for United States Forces Korea (USFK). He holds a M.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Economics from Korea University.

www.dhdannychoi.weebly.com


AnirvanAnirvan Chowdhury

Anirvan is a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s department of political science. His broad interests lie in political economy and development. Specifically, he is interested in public service delivery – how governments design and implement antipoverty programs, and about the motivations of intermediaries delivering and benefiting from these programs.

Prior to this, Anirvan worked at the International Food Policy Research Institute and the World Bank in Washington DC, and at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, India. He has studied economics and public policy at the Madras School of Economics and Georgetown University, respectively.

 


IMG_7109Justine Davis

Justine M. Davis is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on comparative politics and political behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is a Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow as well as an American Political Science Association Minority Fellow. She holds an M.A. in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution and Civil Society Development from the American University of Paris and the Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a B.A. in International Studies from Elon University. Prior to pursuing a PhD, Justine was a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellow in Côte d’Ivoire and worked at the OECD Sahel and West Africa Club in Paris.

http://www.justinedavis.org/


IMG_8947Natalia Garbiras Díaz

Natalia joined the Center on the Politics of Development in August 2014. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her main interests are in comparative politics and the political economy of development, with a particular focus on the efficiency of government spending, poverty and inequality.

Natalia holds an M.A. and a B.A in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Los Andes (Colombia). Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Natalia worked at the World Bank as Junior Professional Associate. She has also worked at the Observatory of Democracy, a research center in charge of conducting LAPOP surveys in Colombia, as well as at the National Planning Department, a governmental entity in Colombia.

http://nataliagarbirasdiaz.weebly.com/


Mathias PMathias Poertner

Mathias joined the Center on the Politics of Development in May 2014. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on comparative politics, political economy, and research methods. His research interests include political parties, class and ethnic cleavages, political economy of development, and multi-method research.

Mathias holds a M.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, a M.A. in International Affairs from the School of International Service at American University, and a B.A. in Political Science and Law from the University of Bremen (Germany).

www.mathiaspoertner.com


BhumiBhumi Purohit

Bhumi joined the Center on the Politics of Development in August 2016. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at the UC Berkeley, with a focus on comparative politics, political economy, and public policy. Her research interests broadly focus on clientelism, corruption, and institutional structures and their impact on public service delivery, with a regional focus on South Asia.

Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Bhumi worked as a policy consultant with the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) in Delhi, India. She has also worked as a Program Associate with One Acre Fund and served as a Clinton American-India Foundation Fellow in India. She holds an M.Sc. in Contemporary India Studies from the University of Oxford, and a B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University.


Catlan Reardon

Catlan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at UC Berkeley. Her research interests include comparative politics, the political economy of development, and research methods with a particular focus on local governance in contexts with weak institutions.

Before coming to Berkeley, Catlan spent several years implementing field experiments in Uganda and Kenya with Innovations for Poverty Action. She holds an M.A. in Political Science from Leiden University in the Netherlands and a B.A. in Political Science from Wake Forest University.


cschmidtpadilla.photoCarlos Schmidt Padilla

Carlos is a first year graduate student in UC Berkeley’s department of political science. From San Salvador, El Salvador, his research interests include the political economy of development, violence and politics, and institutional design, with a particular focus on countries in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to coming to Berkeley, Carlos earned a B.A. in Government from Harvard University.


Paul Thissen

Paul Thissen is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include governance in weakly-institutionalized states and civil conflict, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. His dissertation, based on extensive field research in Chad, investigates variation in the ability of non-state institutions to produce political order in weak states.

His research has received support from the United States Institute of Peace; the National Science Foundation; the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, San Diego; and the Institute of International Studies and Center for African Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a M.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in journalism and economics from Northwestern University.

http://www.paulthissen.org/


IMG_8890Guadalupe Tuñón 

Guadalupe is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at UC Berkeley, where she conducts research in comparative politics, political economy, and research methods. Her dissertation studies the links between religion and politics, with emphasis on understanding the policy influence of religious actors and the ways in which religious ideas shape political participation. She holds an M.A. in Political Science from Yale University and a B.A. in Political Science from Universidad de San Andrés in Argentina. During the 2016-2017 academic year she will be a Penn Pre-Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania.

www.guadalupetunon.com


Rahul Verma

Rahul joined the Center on the Politics of Development in August 2015. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on comparative politics and political behavior. His research includes voting behavior, party politics, political violence, bureaucracy, and democracy. His ongoing doctoral dissertation focuses on understanding the nature of elite power in rural India.

He is associated with Lokniti-CSDS in Delhi. He also writes regular columns on Indian politics for two Indian Newspapers – The Indian Express and The Hindu, and have published papers in Asian Survey, Economic and Political Weekly, and Studies in Indian Politics.

Prior to starting his Ph.D. at Berkeley, Rahul completed his M.Phil. in Political Science from Delhi University, M.A. in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai and a B.A. from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University.


Non-Resident RAs

IMG_8732

Natália Bueno

Natália joined the Center on the Politics of Development in January 2014. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science and an M.A. in International Development Economics at Yale University. Her research interests are comparative politics, political economy, and research methods.

Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Natália worked at the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP) in São Paulo as a permanent researcher and as a Pró-Redes Fellow at the Institute of Applied Economics (IPEA). She holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of São Paulo (USP) and a B.A. in Social Sciences from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).

www.nataliasbueno.com


GermanGermán Feierherd

A Doctor at Yale, Germán is a Postdoctoral Associate at Duke University. His research interest lies at the intersection of comparative politics and political economy, with a focus on political parties, distributive politics, economic development, and political behavior. He is also interested in methods for causal inference in observational and experimental studies. In his dissertation, The Left’s Dilemma: How Politics Shapes Labor Markets in Latin America, Germán explored the political causes and consequences of the rising informal economy, with a focus on labor markets. Using a variety of strong empirical methods and new data, his research shows that the informal economy is not solely the unintended consequence of bad policy-making but also a conscious government decision to cater divided labor constituencies.
Germán also holds an M.Phil. in Political Science from Yale University and a B.A. in Political Science from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Argentina.

Nikhar GaikwadIMG_8911

Nikhar joined the Center on the Politics of Development in 2014. He is currently a Fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University and a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Yale University.  Beginning in Fall 2017, he will join the Department of Political Science at Columbia University as an Assistant Professor. His research interests span international and comparative political economy, with a focus on the politics of economic policymaking, business-state relations, and identity.  In ongoing work, he explores the conditions under which economic incentives mitigate cultural divisions, identity linkages offset economic conflicts, and competition between economic agents impact economic policy outcomes. He has a regional specialization in India, which he studies in comparative perspective with Brazil and other democratic settings. Nikhar previously worked at Cornerstone Research, an economics research firm, and received his B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Williams College. His published work and working papers can be accessed at the website below.

www.nikhargaikwad.com


IMG_8799Lucas Novaes 

Lucas M. Novaes is a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST), France. His research focuses on political representation, accountability, gender inequality, and political institutions, and he employs a multi-method approach. In his book project, he conceptualizes a new type of political party that, despite being weak, allows hierarchical social structures to survive, and even thrive, under democratic regimes.

Before joining IAST, Lucas received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in Economics from the School of Economics of São Paulo – Fundação Getúlio Vargas, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of São Paulo.

www.lucasmnovaes.com


Pia Raffler

Pia is a visiting fellow at the Niehaus Center and the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University and a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Yale University. In the fall of 2017, she will join the Harvard Government Department as an Assistant Professor. Pia studies the political economy of local governance in settings with weak institutions and high information asymmetries, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her dissertation research focuses on political oversight of bureaucrats and implications for public service provision in local governments.

Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Pia spent several years implementing field experiments with Innovations for Poverty Action in Uganda. She holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

www.piaraffler.com


_0070777Steve Rosenzweig

Steve is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Yale University. He studies comparative politics and the political economy of development, with a particular focus on political violence, government accountability, distributive politics, and the politics of sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Steve worked on global health policy research at the Center for Global Development and in the microfinance sector in Tanzania. He has also served as a consultant for the Transparency and Accountability Initiative. Steve holds an M.Phil. and a B.A. in Political Science from Yale.

www.stevencrosenzweig.com


Schiumerini_picLuis Schiumerini

Luis Schiumerini is a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and a B.A. in Political Science from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. Luis is also a board member of the 2015 Argentine Panel Election Study and an affiliate of the Latin American Centre, at Saint Antony’s College in Oxford.

Luis’s research employs tools of causal inference – such as natural and survey experiments – to investigate the conditions under which citizens can effectively engage in electoral accountability, participate in mass protests, and form preferences for redistribution. He is currently completing a book manuscript that explores the sources of incumbency effects in South America, drawing experimental and qualitative evidence from Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Luis’s work is forthcoming at Perspectives on Politics and at the Journal of Conflict Resolution.