Welcome to my website. I am an assistant professor of public administration and international development in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. My research interests are in comparative politics and political economy with a geographical focus on Central and South Asia and the former Soviet Union. I received a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in in 1997, an M.A. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 2006, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 2009.
My first book, Informal Order and the State in Afghanistan, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. A second book manuscript, Land, the State, and War: Property Rights and Political Order in Afghanistan (with Ilia Murtazashvili) is under review. My research is based almost entirely on original evidence I have collected across Afghanistan and Central Asia. I have employed a wide range of tools to answer important policy questions ranging from ethnographic fieldwork, focus group discussions, public opinion surveys, as well as field experiments.
In addition to my academic endeavors, I have worked for a number of organizations. For three years, I served as a democracy and governance officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and for more than a year as a Senior Research Officer at the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit. I have served as a consultant for a number of organization including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Defense, the United Nations Development Program, and UNICEF. I frequently lecture for the Department of Defense’s Leadership Development Program for Sustained Peace to U.S. and foreign military officers deploying for missions overseas.