I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Emory University.

My research focuses on the nexus of criminal violence and state-building. Criminal actors, often overlooked, pose critical security challenges for both contemporary and historical states. They not only influence the effectiveness and conduct of state institutions but are also influenced by them, profoundly impacting human security. Through innovative theoretical frameworks and empirical methods, I aim to to understand these interactions and their consequences for civilians.

My dissertation examines how criminal groups shape how institutions function and how they are impacted by institutional change. My first paper examines how local institutional change in Mexico effects criminal engagements in elections and democratic processes. My second paper examines how criminal violence and elite alignment in eighteenth century India influenced uneven colonial rule under the English East India Company. Finally, my third paper uses a survey experiment to examine how exposure to criminal violence changes voters’ preferences for aggressive policing policies.

I have regional expertise in Mexico, as well as in historical expertise on British rule in Northern Ireland and Northeastern India. I adopt a multi-method empirical approach that includes the training and use of deep-learning models (Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing), as well as design-based casual inference and qualitative process tracing.

In other current projects, I examine why states collaborate with certain pro-government militia groups and I formalize the influence of criminal groups on electoral outcomes. I also examine the effect of natural resource shocks on local infrastructure and illicit economies in Mozambique.

Prior to joining Emory University, I received my B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina Asheville in 2020, where I was awarded the 2020 Big South Christenberry Award and was nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year.”