Welcome! I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am a Visiting Fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University in 2023-2024 (with generous support from the George L. Mosse Program in History). Previously, I was a George L. Mosse Graduate Exchange Fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2022-2023).
My research focuses on the political economy of development, public administration and governance, social policy, and redistribution, with an empirical focus on post-communist Eurasia. I employ archival research, immersive fieldworks, policy-embedded surveys and observations, large household panel surveys, and content analysis in addition to experimental research designs. My most recent CV is here.
My book-length dissertation project, titled Communist Colonialism and Development: Extractive Labor Origins of the Progressive Public Goods in Eurasia, 1920-2020, contributes novel theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence to help explain (1) how some of the signature authoritarian social outcomes that outlived regime collapses were established through forced labor extraction and political repression and (2) why authoritarian progress in social policy is short lived. My primary research interests in forced labor were informed by my immediate family members’ work in cotton fields (along with the millions of other victims) and my own experiences with the state-sponsored political violence.
Service with publicly scalable impact has been my passion since my first job. I am a pro bono Member of the Public Advisory Council at the Ministry of Labor and Poverty Reduction's Agency for Mahallabay Working and Entrepreneurship Development - Uzbekistan's governmental agency established to reduce poverty and improve local economic outcomes. Before that, I was a non-resident Research Associate (unpaid, independent) at the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan (2021-2023, mostly on international ratings and evidence-based policymaking). I am helping the New Uzbekistan University to build the country’s first Western-style, research intensive university.
In addition to my academic conferences, events, and review work, I aim to bring world class research with local partnerships to Central Asia. I co-founded and am a co-principal investigator at two long-term and externally funded collaborative research projects: Local Economic and Administrative Performance (LEAP) in Central Asia and Interdisciplinary Central Asia Politics, History and Economics (ICAPHE) Research Group. Both projects proudly employ and train junior Central Asian scholars. Beginning 2024, I am a member of the Governance at the Central Eurasian Studies Society, a leading scholarly community for interdisciplinary social scientists and humanities' scholars studying the region, contributing to two committees.
I published policy commentary at East Asia Forum and Bourse and Bazaar Foundation (Central Asia and Middle East-focused think tank), hosted expert talks, and spoke and actively participated at several high-level policy events on the benefits of greater accountability, participation, and evidence-based decision-making, most recently at the Uzbekistan Economic Forum and International Ratings Forum in Tashkent, both in 2022.