I am a Reader in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. A native of Southern California, I received my BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and my PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining Essex, I was a member of the Department of International Politics in City, University of London, as well as the Department of Political Studies at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) in Mexico City. I have also been a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of São Paulo, Brazil and a visiting scholar in the Institute of Latin American Studies at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg, Germany.
My academic research covers topics in both international and comparative political economy. Within international political economy, I examine the impact of politics on financial markets, most recently how politicians' social media statements affect the value and volatility of asset prices. Within comparative political economy, I examine the impact of politics on government fiscal policy decisions, with my most recent work examining how politicians' national career aspirations affect the fiscal policy choices of subnational governments. Both lines of research have been enriched by my long time working as Latin American political risk analyst and long time researching, living, and working in the region.
I have deep regional expertise in Latin American political economy and politics. This regional expertise is the result of 18 years living and working in Mexico City, Mexico (2001-19), as well as numerous trips to and extended stays in other countries in the region (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela). Most recently, I spent my sabbatical year in São Paulo, Brazil (2018-19). My regional expertise is enhanced by my experience working as a political risk analyst in New York and Mexico City, where I assessed Latin American political and policy risk for financial institutions, multinational corporations, oil majors, credit ratings agencies, and governments.