2130 Fulton Street, Politics Department, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

612-300-9908 / /




University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (September 2018-)

Assistant Professor of Politics (Term)


Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT (Sept 2017-May 2018)

Visiting Assistant Professor


Buffett Institute for Global Studies, Northwestern University (2015-2017)

Postdoctoral Fellow


Robert S. Strauss Center for International Law and Security, University of Texas-Austin (2014-2015)

Security Studies Pre-doctoral Fellow




Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Political Science, June 2015

        Fields: Comparative politics, international relations

        Dissertation: Claiming Land: Institutions, Narratives, and Political Violence in Kenya

       Committee: Scott Straus (chair), Michael Schatzberg, Erica Simmons, Aili Tripp, David Weimer


M.A., Political Science, May 2009


Smith College, Northampton, MA

A.B., in Government (High Honors), 2007

Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), Puebla, Mexico, 2005


Political violence and post-conflict politics, land and property rights, African politics, elections, forced migration, human rights, field research methods.



Political Violence in Kenya: Land, Elections, and Claim-Making  (Cambridge University Press, May 2020)


  • “Can Politicians Exploit Ethnic Grievances? An Experimental Study of Land Appeals in Kenya,” with Jeremy Horowitz (2018) Political Behavior,


  • “Defending the City, Defending Votes: Campaign Strategies in Urban Ghana,” with Jeffrey Paller. Journal of Modern African Studies (2017), 55(4): 681-708.


  • “Contentious Land Narratives and the Nonescalation of Election Violence: Evidence from Kenya’s Coast Region.” 2017. African Studies Review, 60(2): 51-72. [Winner of the African Studies Association Graduate Student Paper Prize]. 


  •  “Land Grievances and the Mobilization of Electoral Violence: Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya,” Journal of Peace Research (2015), 52(2): 622-635, with Matthew Mitchell.


Article-length works in progress


  • "‘If You are Bitten by a Snake, you will Fear a Piece of Rope:’Individual-Level Effects of Electoral Violence in Kenya​"(Under review).

  • “Closing the Gap: the Politics of Land Formalization in Kenya,” with Mai Hassan.

  • "Demanding Recognition: Citizen Perspectives on Clientelism in Africa" with Jeffrey Paller &  Martha Wilfahrt. (Under review).


  • ​“Altruistic Hosts? Refugee Settlement and the Politics of Land in Uganda” (data collection in process).

  • Explaining the gender gap: Women and land titling in Kenya. With Mai Hassan.



  • Manuscript Revision Conference Award, Buffett Institute for Global Studies (2017)

  • Best Field Research Award, APSA Comparative Democratization Section (2016)

  • APCG-Lynne Rienner Best Dissertation in African Politics in 2015, Honorable Mention (2016)

  • African Studies Association, Graduate Student Paper Prize (2015)

  • American Political Science Association Africa Workshop Fellow, Nairobi (July 2015)

  • Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (2014-2015)

  • Security Studies Pre-doctoral Fellowship, Robert S. Strauss Center, UT-Austin (2014-2015)

  • Mellon-Wisconsin Summer Fellowship (2014)

  • United States Institute of Peace, Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar Dissertation  Fellowship (2013-2014)

  • Social Science Research Council, International Dissertation Research Fellowship (2012-2013)

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (2011-2012)

  • Vilas Research Travel Grant, UW-Madison (2011)

  • International Field Research Award, Division of International Studies, UW-Madison (2010)                     

  • Honored Instructor Award, UW-Madison Housing (2010)

  • FLAS Academic Year Fellowship for Swahili (2010-2011)

  • Summer Initiative, Department of Political Science, UW-Madison (2010; 2012)

  • FLAS Summer Fellowship for Swahili (2009)

  • Fulbright Fellowship (Malawi), Institute for International Education (2007-2008)

  • Fox Boornstein International Internship Fellowship, Smith College, MA (2006)


2019     Cornell University, Institute for African Development (October)

2018     UC Berkley, Africa Colloquium (March)

2017     University of Iowa, African Studies Program (March)

2017     University of Florida, Baraza Lecture Series (February)

2016     Northwestern University, Comparative Politics Workshop, December

2016     Midwest Working Group in African Political Economy (MGAPE), October

2016     “Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota (Oct)

2015     Buffet Institute for Global Studies, Northwestern University

2015     Land Tenure Center, Nelson Institute, UW-Madison

2015     Strengthening Institutions and Governance Workshop, IFPRI

2013     Kenya at Fifty,” SAIS-John Hopkins University

2013     Social Science Research Council Fellows Workshop, Philadelphia

2013     Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi

2012     Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Accra, Ghana




  • American Political Science Association Annual Meeting (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013)

  • African Studies Association Annual Meeting (2019, 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2009)

  • International Studies Association Annual Convention (2018, 2019)

  • Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference (2017, 2016, 2010)



  • Book review: Violence in African Elections: Between Democracy and Big Man Politics, by Mimmi Soderberg Kovas and Jesper Bjarnesen (eds) in Africa (2020), 90(20): 424-425. DOI:

  • What do shifting grass-roots dynamics tell us about the Zimbabwe election?” The Monkey Cage (Washington Post), 8/30/2018.


  • “Côte d'Ivoire’s 2015 elections: Local Interests and Prospects for Peace,” APSA Africa Workshop Newsletter, November 2015

  • “Can an economic boom ensure peaceful elections in Côte d’Ivoire?” The Monkey Cage (Washington Post), 10/20/15

  • Book review of Blessings Chinsinga’s Democracy, Decentralization and Poverty Reduction in Malawi. Rudiger Koppe.Verlag: Koln, 2007. Reviewed in African Studies Review. 52 (1): 201-202.



Kenya: July-Aug 2017; July-Aug, 2015; May 2012-May 2013; May-August, 2010.

Uganda: July-Aug, 2019.

Ghana: September 2011-May 2012.

Malawi: September 2007-July 2008.



University of San Francisco

  • Politics Lab (Spring 2020).

  • Political Economy of Development (Spring 2020).

  • ​African Politics and Development (Fall '19)

  • Security and Terrorism (Fall '19)

  • Human Rights & Global Justice (Fall '19)

  • Politics of War & Peace (Spring 2019; Spring '20)

  • Land & Human Rights (Spring 2019)

  • International Law & Organizations (Fall 2018)

  • Research Methods (Fall 2018; Spring 2019)

Wesleyan University

  • Democracy and Dictatorship: Politics in the Contemporary World (Fall 2017; Spring 2018)

  • Land Rights and Conflict (Fall 2017)

  • African Politics (Spring 2018)


Northwestern University: Land Rights and Conflict in a Global Perspective (Spring 2016, Spring 2017)



Research Associate, University of Nairobi, Institute for Development Studies (2012-2013)

American Political Science Association, African Studies Association, African Politics Conference Group, International Studies Association


American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Peace Research, African Studies Review, Political Geography, Perspectives on Politics




  • Spanish (proficient), Swahili (proficient), Chichewa (basic)

  • Stata, ArcGIS



Rachel Beatty Riedl

Director, Einaudi Center for International Studies

Professor, Government Department

Cornell University


Scott Straus                                                                                        

Professor of Political Science and International Studies   

University of Wisconsin-Madison                                                                                                         

Michael Schatzberg

Professor of Political Science

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Aili Tripp     

Professor of Political Science     

University of Wisconsin-Madison

David Weimer

Edwin E. Witte Professor of Political Economy

University of Wisconsin-Madison