About

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Welcome to my website!  I am a fifth-year Ph.D. student in political science at Stanford University.  My research explores how incentives of politicians, industries, and individuals shape environmental politics.  I seek to integrate relevant techniques from political science, engineering, earth systems, computer science, and other disciplines to illuminate the problems of energy and the environment.  My works have appeared in the Journal of Cleaner Production and have won best paper/essay awards from the American Political Science Association, the Southern Political Science Association, and the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
My book-style dissertation theorizes and illuminates a critical, new determinant for environmental policy implementation: local political tenure cycles. I extend the political business cycle approach to delve into how career incentives of local political leaders influence their prioritization of multiple – some of which are complementary while others are contradictory – policy targets and implementation. Using remote sensing, observational data, and qualitative fieldwork, I find that political tenures of prefectural leaders in China during 2000 – 2010 foster what I call a “political pollution cycle,” where local political leaders time economic activities strategically so that the delivery of economic achievements bodes well for their career advancement, but at the same time contributes unintentionally to air pollution at considerable human costs. I scrutinize various measures to break such cycles across China and test the external validity of my theory with evidence from the United States and Mexico using textual analysis and other techniques.
My graduate research and studies have been very generously funded by the Department of Political Science, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford China Center, Stanford Center for International DevelopmentSchool of Humanities and Sciences, and Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, as well as by the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy (featured in Stanford News).
I hold an M.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering, with a concentration in atmosphere and energy, from Stanford University. Before coming to Stanford, I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College with concentrations in political science and environmental studies in 2012. In 2010, while interning at the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program, I helped organize the first U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Forum and the first U.S.-China Renewable Energy Forum.