opaloI am an Assistant Professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where I am a faculty member of the African Studies Program and an affiliate of the Georgetown University Initiative on Innovation, Development, and Evaluation (Gui2de).

My research interests include institutions and the politics of development, natural resource management, and elections and democratic consolidation. Most of my research focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa.

I am currently working on a book manuscript in which I seek to answer two simple questions: (i) what explains variation in legislative strength under autocracy? and (ii) under what conditions does the transition to democracy result in the strengthening of legislatures? This book project speaks to the wider comparative political economy literature on autocratic institutions and the origins of limited democratic government. The main goal of the book is to trace, through quantitative and qualitative means, the autocratic origins of democratic institutions.

I received my PhD in Political Science from Stanford University (2015) and a BA from Yale University (2009). I am a proud alum of Mang’u High School. Go Wazimba!!!