Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
I am a behavioral scientist, a Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Director of the Student Social Support R&D Lab. My research generates novel insights about human behavior and harnesses these and existing behavioral science insights to address critical issues of public policy. It is part of the emerging field of behavioral policy, in which the design of policy is tightly linked with behavioral science insights and methods.
There are two core features to my research. First, I ask and answer novel questions at the heart of behavioral decision research, judgment and decision making, and social psychology. And second, I use these insights to generate interventions for improving social welfare using the methods of behavioral science, and implement them at scale.
My research falls into three categories.
1. How to make democracy work better.
2. Understanding behavior over time.
3. Understanding and mobilizing social support networks.
As an overarching goal, I am committed to ensuring that behavioral policy research (my own and that of others) is implemented widely and with fidelity. This has led to my co-founding two social enterprises: the Analyst Institute (focused on citizen engagement) and In Class Today (focused on student engagement). Prior to joining the faculty at HKS, I was founding Executive Director of the Analyst Institute, LLC, which uses randomized field experiments and behavioral science insights to understand and improve voter communication program. I am a Senior Researcher with the think tank ideas42. I received my Ph.D. jointly from Harvard’s department of Psychology and Harvard Business School, and received my B.A. from Williams College where I majored in Religion and Psychology.