I am a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. My research interests include ethnic conflict, forced migration, nationalism, mass atrocities and human rights. My dissertation, Disorderly & Inhumane: Explaining Government-Sponsored Mass Expulsion, 1900-2020, investigates why and how governments expel ethnic groups en masse. To answer these questions, my project uses a mix of cross-national quantitative analysis and qualitative in-depth paired-comparison case studies.

I have developed an original dataset of mass expulsion episodes around the world during 1900-2020. Using this data, I trace the evolution of mass expulsion and present a typology of government motives to expel. The data analysis is complemented with four paired-comparison case studies in which conditions and motivations were similar but where one government expels and the other refrains. My dissertation proposes four distinct causal pathways to mass expulsion, identifies the crucial factors that enable or constrain its implementation, and offers tangible policy recommendations for deterring its use. The evidence for this project comes from secondary historical sources and primary archival research conducted at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Committee of the Red Cross and the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

In addition to my academic credentials, I have over ten years of experience as a humanitarian and development practitioner and I continue to engage in annual consultancies (see the “humanitarian consulting” tab), most recently in Amman, Beirut and Mosul. I consider myself a scholar of both theory and practice that asks big questions and is interested in the longue durée but is grounded in the concrete realities of the world and the utility of my research for policy makers and practitioners. Geographically I specialize in cross-regional comparison with research and professional experience in Africa and the Middle East.

I am originally from Detroit, Michigan.