I am a Ph.D. Candidate and Raymond Vernon Fellow in the Department of Government at Harvard University. I study how states attempt to influence foreign publics through public diplomacy.
My book-length dissertation project focuses on U.S. and Chinese public diplomacy, comparing these two very different models of foreign audience engagement. In it, I offer a theory about the individual-level psychological and behavioral effects of public diplomacy. My original framework goes beyond framings of public diplomacy that consider it simply a means to boost a state's soft power, and shows that it can also be used to influence perceptions of other states, shape ideas about domestic policies, and impact certain political behaviors. Furthermore, I demonstrate that public diplomacy can sometimes work against a state.
I am a 2017 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow. My work has been supported by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, the Morris Abrams Award in International Relations, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School, and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. It has also been supported by several interdisciplinary centers at Harvard, including the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Center for American Political Studies, the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and the Harvard Experimental Working Group.
My academic work intersects with my contributions to global development and diplomacy. I am a member of the Board of Directors of Oxfam America. Before pursuing my Ph.D., I was a Pickering Fellow and a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State, where I worked in the public diplomacy cone. I was the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Alexandria, Egypt during the Arab Spring (2011-2013). I also served as a Consular Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou, China during the Obama administration's "Pivot to Asia" (2014-2015). I worked as an intern and an advance associate for the White House in 2010. I contributed to the first ever Forum for Young African Leaders hosted by President Obama, and I worked on subsequent U.S. government youth outreach programming in Africa and the Middle East.
My writing has been featured in various media outlets, including The Monkey Cage at the Washington Post, The Diplomat, The Root, Geopolitical Monitor, and Charged Affairs. I have been an invited panelist at the Future Strategy Forum at the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), the George H. W. Bush Conference on U.S.-China Relations, and the Aspen Strategy Group Summer Workshop. Moreover, I have presented my research as a participant in several academic conferences, including those hosted by the American Political Science Association, the International Studies Association, the Peace Science Society, and the Bridging the Gap project at American University.
I received a Bachelor’s degree (BA) in International Relations with honors from Stanford University. Moreover, I was a Belfer Center International and Global Affairs fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, where I graduated with a Master’s in Public Policy (MPP). I am proficient in Mandarin Chinese, and I also have an intermediate-level knowledge of Arabic.
You can contact me at or via the contact page of this website.