My research interests lie at the intersection of inequality, public policy, and institutions. This intellectual commitment is motivated by my desire to offer analyses and prescriptions, based on empirically- and conceptually-rich research, that address the real-world issues that limit human potential. How do government and non-profit institutions address (or fail to address) the needs of those facing economic hardship? How do women financially and socially cope with living with HIV/AIDS, and how does this affect their abilities to take care of themselves and their families? What will rising income inequality mean for the ability of individuals to move up the economic ladder?

Whether the focus is on how intersections of race, gender, class, and health shape one’s experiences in the labor market, the opportunities and constraints facing bureaucracies that target those on the bottom of the economic ladder, or the dilemmas challenging upward mobility in an age of rising income inequality, I investigate how individuals negotiate key questions of survival and mobility in a context of racial and gender hierarchies and economic constraints. My scholarship therefore speaks directly to current policy debates.

AREAS OF RESEARCH