PhD Job Candidates

Maria Angélica Bautista
Curriculum Vitae
Maria Angélica Bautista earned her PhD in May 2014. She is from Bogota, Colombia. She has a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Economics from Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá. Her sub-fields are comparative politics and political economy. In her dissertation project she investigates the political, social and economic consequences of state-led repression for the case of the Chilean military dictatorship (1973-1990). To achieve this she collected a unique micro dataset in Chile in 2012 where she surveyed subjects who experienced repression and built a matching group of subjects with very similar socio-economic characteristics that did not experience repression. She also surveyed one of the children of the repressed and non-repressed subjects in order to look at the intergenerational effects of repression. She is also engaged in a parallel research project (joint with Juan Galán and James Robinson at Harvard University) where they use the experience of the Colombian paramilitary groups as a natural experiment of state formation. Some of the questions they are looking at are: why did states develop in one place and not another? Why do some states provide much more public goods than others? When are states able to establish a legitimate monopoly of violence? More details can be found at:

Yelena Biberman
Curriculum Vitae
Yelena Biberman earned her PhD in May 2014. She is from Albany, NY – originally from Babruysk, Belarus. She is specializing in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Yelena is currently a US-Pakistan Exchange Fellow at the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center and a visiting assistant professor at Skidmore College. She earned an M.A. in Regional Studies at Harvard University in 2006, and a B.A. magna cum laude with Honors in International Relations at Wellesley College. Her authored research has appeared in Political Science Quarterly and Problems of Post-Communism, for which she was awarded the 2011 Millar Prize. Her work was also featured in the Washington Post and Foreign Policy. Her previous awards include the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar Fellowship, American Institute of Pakistan Studies Junior Fellowship, Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship, Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy Research Grant (Special Recognition - John L. Stanley Award), FLAS grant for intensive study of Urdu language, Fulbright Fellowship, and the National Science Foundation Award for the Integration of Research and Education. She is currently completing a book manuscript based on her dissertation, which examines the creation and use of militias in Pakistan and India, as well as in Russia and Turkey. 

Jennifer Cassidy
Curriculum Vitae
Jennifer Caitlin Cassidy defended her dissertation in October 2014 and will receive her doctorate  in May 2015. She is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has a B.A. in Political Science and Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in Political Science from Brown University. Jenn’s research resides primarily in the field of women in American politics with relevant intersections to political theory. Her dissertation focuses on gender theories of representation with special focus on the position of women within the American bureaucracy (including both appointments and the Civil Service), policy and public opinion. Additionally, Jenn has broader interests in education policy, quantitative methodology, critical elections, political parties, and theories of deliberative democracy. Her most recent project, co-authored with Domingo Morel (Brown University), is titled “Do Weak Local Institutions Invite Federal Attention? Prospects for Education Reform” (2011, forthcoming).

Jennie Ikuta
Jennie Ikuta received her PhD in May 2014. She specializes in political theory. Originally from San Diego, California and raised in Yokohama, Japan, she comes to Brown by way of the University of Chicago, where she received her B.A. in political science. Broadly speaking, she is interested in the relationship between politics and ethics, or the relationship between our collective commitments and conceptions of what it means to be fully human. She is currently writing a dissertation that employs the political and philosophical thought of John Stuart Mill and Friedrich Nietzsche as interpretive lenses by which to investigate how our democratic commitments inform and complicate our conceptions of human flourishing. Other research interests include religion and politics, agency, virtue, Aristotle, Augustine, and Arendt.

Minh Ly
Curriculum Vitae
Minh Ly received his PhD with distinction in May 2014. He is currently the Values and Public Policy Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University, with a joint appointment in the Center for Human Values and the Woodrow Wilson School. His research in political theory focuses on democratic theory, global justice, ethics and public policy, human rights, and the justice of international finance. He is turning his dissertation into a book manuscript, Global Deliberation: A Human Right to Deliberative Democracy. The manuscript develops intrinsic and instrumental arguments for a human right to deliberative democracy, and applies that right to the state's relation to its citizens, to its impact on non-citizens, and to international organizations. Two chapters have been accepted as panel papers at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. As part of his work on global governance institutions and international political economy, Ly has published an article, "Special Drawing Rights, the Dollar, and the Institutionalist Approach to Reserve Currency Status" in the Review of International Political Economy, and a chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Global Economic Governance. Before coming to Brown, Ly earned his A.B. in social studies from Harvard University, and worked at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

Domingo Morel
Curriculum Vitae
Domingo Morel received his PhD in May 2014. He is from Providence, RI. His research interests are in the fields of American politics and political theory with a focus on race and ethnic, urban and education politics. His dissertation, “The (Dis)Empowering State: State Intervention and Its Effect on Black and Latino Political Empowerment”  examines how state involvement helps or impedes the process of political empowerment among racial minorities. Domingo is co-founder and co-chair of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University and previously served as an adjunct faculty member in the Africana Studies Department at the University of Rhode Island. He received his B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Rhode Island College.

Kaitlin Sidorsky
Curriculum Vitae
Kaitlin Sidorsky is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate from Rocky Point, NY. She received her B.A. in Politics and Law from Bryant University and a M.A. from Brown University. Her primary field is American politics with her dissertation focusing on women in appointed and elected positions at the state level. She is particularly interested in the political choices women face when considering whether or not to enter into politics. Her other research interests include the intersections of gender with other identities, and the opinions of women who identify with the Republican Party. 

Jazmin Sierra
Curriculum Vitae
Jazmin Sierra is a Ph.D. candidate with specializations in comparative and international political economy and a regional focus in Latin America. Her research interests include the political economy of global production and innovation, state-business relations, rising economic powers and Brazilian politics. Her dissertation, which explores the role of the state in the emergence of developing country multinational corporations, has received funding from the Social Science Research Council (IDRF-SSRC). She is currently a co-managing editor at Studies for Comparative International Development. She earned her M.A. in Political Science from Brown University and a B.A. in International Studies from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. For further information, you may visit her website: