I am an Associate Research Scholar in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University and a Lecturer in Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. Before arriving at Princeton, I spent two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at Harvard University. In award-winning academic and public-facing publications, I make connections between urban inequality, climate change, and the political challenges for democracy that confront societies across the globe.
My first book, Urban Power, is under contract with Princeton University Press. I begin by asking, “Why are some cities more effective than others at reducing inequality?” To answer this question, I compare the divergent politics of distributing urban public goods — housing, sanitation, and transportation — in two mega-cities after transitions to democracy: Johannesburg, South Africa, and São Paulo, Brazil. This work takes readers inside the political and professional conflicts within and between movements, bureaucratic agencies, private corporations, and political parties. The book chronicles how these conflicts have changed over the past three decades in the governance of these goods and why they have mattered for how ordinary people experience life in the most excluded parts of two of the world’s most unequal cities.
An article from the larger project and the dissertation version of this work have been selected for awards by the American Sociological Association’s sections on Comparative Historical Sociology and Collective Behavior & Social Movements, and the Latin American Studies Association’s Brazil Section. Research for this book was supported by external grants from the National Science Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright Program, and the Brazilian Studies Association.
In 2023, I am also beginning a new large project on just industrial transitions in the Global South, which is supported by an external grant from the Climate Social Science Network.
Research articles have been published in Social Forces, Theory & Society, City & Community, Journal of Urban Economics, International Journal of Urban & Regional Research, International Development Planning Review, and Environment & Urbanization. I am a public scholar and regularly write essays for public-facing outlets including Foreign Affairs, Boston Review, Bloomberg’s CityLab, the Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage (2x), The Conversation (4x), the Atlantic Council, Africa Is A Country (2x), and Eurozine, as well as letters in the Financial Times (8x), The Economist, and the New Yorker. My research has gained the interest of international news media and I have been interviewed by newspaper, TV, radio, and podcast outlets such as the Financial Times, The Guardian, CGTN, PowerFM, CapeTalk, Future Cities Africa, and Aufhebunga Bunga: The Global Politics Podcast at the End of History.
I have taught courses on cities, climate change, poverty, and development. In 2022, I received a Certificate of Teaching Excellence from Harvard University’s Office of Undergraduate Education.
I am trained as both a sociologist and city planner, and hold a PhD in Sociology from Brown University (2020), a Masters in City Planning from MIT (2013), and a BA in History (with high honors) from Swarthmore College (2008).