I entered academia relatively late in life after spending two decades working, first, as a community and labor organizer and, later, as an analyst and strategist for several national nonprofit organizations. After college, I worked for ACORN, the Teamsters (and campaign stints with other unions), Project Vote, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Food Research and Action Center. I have also consulted for two philanthropic organizations. Years ago, through a series of strange accidents, I also became involved with Haiti's pro-democracy movement, living there for a time and returning several more times over the years.
Teaching and Higher Education
Taught policy studies and political science for Grinnell College, Smith College, George Washington University, and Georgetown University.
Research & Teaching Interests
My current research interests are food security and voting rights, both in the US. Regarding the latter, I have been studying the implementation, enforcement, and outcomes of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) since 1994. I am one of the few national experts on this law. I have provided technical assistance to state and federal officials. I also worked with advocacy groups on litigation and remedial strategies for fair implementation of this critical civil rights law. I am currently working with several groups to compile data from NVRA litigation and study their enforcement interventions' impact. Other projects include a study of food access in neighborhoods using a survey from Housing and Urban Development and compiling a publicly available and historical database of state election policies. My other interests include engaged scholarship in political science and ways to incorporate policy analysis and, more broadly, public problem-solving in undergraduate curricula.