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I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Northern Illinois University whose research and teaching focus on international security and contentious politics. Previously, I was a research fellow at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism at the University of Chicago and at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. I received my Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and my B.A. from Middlebury College. 

My research examines the range of subnational conflict dynamics from civil resistance to civil war. I am especially interested in the sociological underpinnings of conflicts as well as their transnational dimensions. My book manuscript, Between Gandhi and Mao: The Social Roots of Nonviolent Revolution, investigates how challengers to state power come to embrace or reject nonviolent civil resistance as a strategy in pursuit of regime change.  In another major project, I am working with a team of researchers to build a dataset of the ethnic composition of military forces around the world. My research has been published in the Journal of Global Security Studies, Conflict Management and Peace Science, and Small Wars and Insurgenciesand has been supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, Harvard University's Program on Negotiation, the Eisenhower Institute, and the Bradley Foundation. I have provided commentary for WNIJ radio, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "Big Ideas" radio program, and The Washington Post's "Monkey Cage" blog.

Prior to entering academia, I worked as a foreign and defense policy aide in the U.S. House of Representatives, a legislative assistant in the Vermont State Senate, and a public affairs intern at the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar. In my free time, I enjoy cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and hiking.