I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I study and teach on Islam, political violence, human rights, economic development, and research methods. My first book, Deadly Clerics (2017, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics series), explores why some Muslim clerics adopt the ideology of militant Jihad while most do not. I am now writing a second book on how the Internet is changing the nature of Islamic authority. Some of my other research is published or forthcoming in The American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, Political Analysis, and Sociological Methods and Research. I am the developer of free software tools for Arabic text analysis, causal inference, and qualitative case selection.

At MIT, I am affiliated with the Center for International Studies (CIS), the Security Studies Program (SSP), the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), and the Political Methodology Lab. With a number of other faculty, I help run the Poverty, Violence, and Development Working Group and the IPE speaker series.

I hold a PhD in Government (2013) and an AM in Statistics (2010) from Harvard University, and a BA in Political Science (2007) from Brigham Young University.

I am on sabbatical for the 2020-2021 academic year.

CV (.pdf)