Department of Political Science
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN 37203
Welcome! I am a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, and I will be starting as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Mississippi in August 2018.
I use text data to gain insight into the decision making of American political elites.
I utilize speech directed from political elites through public, targeted, and personal media. My published work and working papers draw from public speech such as the Congressional Record and U.S. Supreme Court opinions, targeted speech such as the emails sent by U.S. Presidents to their most ardent supporters, and personal speech such as text gleaned from open ended responses in elite surveys.
I am interested in understanding the psychology and decision making of elites. I apply supervised machine learning models trained on survey data to measure variations in elites' underlying psychological dispositions, which shape the utility they gain from many outcomes. I also use unsupervised methods trained on public and targeted communication to uncover and measure the action sets politicians define for themselves.
My publications and projects focus on political elites within the American system, primarily presidents and federal legislators, but I have extended my research at times to other actors.