Welcome! I am a political scientist and legal scholar conducting empirical research on armed conflict, political violence, and human security. My research and teaching interests are in the areas of criminal law and procedure, international law, human rights, transitional justice, and military justice. Currently, I am the National Security Law Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center.
I hold a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University, where my dissertation examined civilian experiences with the Islamic State’s systems of governance, social control, and punishment in Iraq and Syria. I have conducted fieldwork in Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, and Oman using qualitative and quantitative research methods including door-to-door household surveys, interviews, and building original event datasets based on newspapers and social media posts.
I also work with international and humanitarian organizations on the development of evidence-based strategies to strengthen rule of law and state legitimacy, support peaceful reconciliation after conflict, and mitigate the root causes of political violence and extremism. I have served as the lead researcher on Iraq and Syria for United Nations University, the research wing of the United Nations system, for projects on the recruitment of children by armed groups and prospects for transitional justice after the Islamic State. I have also conducted research with the International Organization for Migration on perceptions of police in Iraq and with the United Nations Development Programme on pathways for return and reintegration of families perceived as affiliated with the Islamic State. My work has been published or is forthcoming in The Journal of Politics, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, The Journal of Global Security Studies,World Development, The Harvard National Security Journal, The Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Foreign Affairs, and The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law. My research has been funded by the U.S. Institute of Peace, Innovations for Poverty Action, United Nations University, The Program on Governance and Local Development, The American Political Science Association, and The Project on Middle East Political Science, among others.
Before entering academia, I was a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Middle East Program), a Critical Language Scholar in Jordan, and a Fulbright Fellow in Oman. I hold a B.A. in Political Science and Arabic from Swarthmore College.