Nathan Lee, Founder and Managing Director

Nathan Lee is a PhD candidate in political science at Stanford University.  His research focuses on how citizens and policymakers form their factual beliefs about public policy and, in particular, their views about the appropriate role of professionalized expertise in different policy domains. You can find more information about his academic research on his website. Prior to his academic career, Nathan worked as a policy analyst at the White House National Economic Council and the Department of Energy.

Jonathan Chu, Director of Operations

Jonathan Chu is a political scientist who researches public opinion on foreign policy and democracy. He is also an expert on survey and experimental methodology. His research has been supported by a variety of private and public institutions such as Qualtrics and the U.S. National Science Foundation. He completed his Ph.D. at Stanford University and B.A. at UC San Diego. He is currently a Global Order Postdoctoral Fellow at Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania.

Joy Li, Co-founder

Joy Li has more than eight years of full-time administrative experience working in the non-profit sector, specifically at higher education institutions. She also has marketing experience from working for Bucci Industries, a public limited company (S.p.A.) in Italy. Joy has a B.A. in Film Studies and English from UC Davis and a Masters in Marketing, Communication and New Media from the University of Bologna. She worked as CivicPulse's Director of Administration from March 2018-October 2019.

Michael Hotard, Co-founder and Director of Analytics

Michael Hotard has worked in the non-profit and government sectors for the past ten years. His key interest is in how the social sector can use data to improve its policies and programs. He received a Masters in Applied Economics from the Stevenson Center at Illinois State University and then served as Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan. Afterwards, he worked for four years overseeing grants and workforce development projects at the US Department of Labor. He currently works as a Program Manager at the Immigration Policy Lab at Stanford, managing their portfolio of projects related to unauthorized immigration and public health.

Daniel Butler, Professor at UC San Diego

Daniel Butler is a Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.  His surveys state and local politicians to learn about representation. He is author of Representing the Advantaged (2014, Cambridge University Press). His work has also been published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and other journals.  He received his PhD from Stanford in 2007.

Megan Mullin, Associate Professor at Duke University

Megan Mullin is Associate Professor of Environmental Politics at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, with secondary faculty appointments in the Department of Political Science and the Sanford School of Public Policy. She is a scholar of American political institutions and behavior, focusing on the ways that political systems respond to local environmental conditions. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Nick Carnes, Associate Professor at Duke University

Nick Carnes is the Creed C. Black Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University. From 2012 to the present, Carnes has co-organized national surveys of state and local officeholders as a part of his research on why so few working-class Americans (people employed in manual labor, service industry, and clerical jobs) go on to become politicians and how their virtual absence from our political institutions affects public policy.

Jessica Trounstine, Professor at UC Merced

Jessica Trounstine is Professor of Political Science at University of California, Merced. Trounstine studies local politics in the United States in both historical and contemporary contexts. Trounstine’s work is focused on understanding the process and quality of representation, inequality, elections, and public services. She is the author of Segregation by Design: Local Politics and Inequality in American Cities (Cambridge University Press) and Political Monopolies in American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers (Chicago University Press) as well as numerous articles.  Website:

Alejandra Aldridge, Affiliated Researcher

Alejandra Aldridge is a PhD candidate in the department of Political Science at Stanford University. Her research interests include female paths to candidacy, preference formation among voters, survey research methods, and experimental methods. She holds a B.A. in political science from Brigham Young University.

Emily Katz, Research Associate

Emily Katz is a senior undergraduate at Stanford University majoring in Political Science and minoring in African Studies. She studies the intersection of gender and international security, and her current honors thesis project involves identifying the key economic and social factors that drive gender voting gaps globally. She has worked research positions at NGOs in South Africa and Burma, and hopes to attend law school in the future to advocate for international human rights.

Michelangelo Landgrave, Affiliated Researcher

Michelangelo Landgrave is a political science PhD student at the University of California, Riverside. He studies local politics and policy. He is a fellow with the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology. He holds graduate degrees in Political Science and Economics.

Bernie Lee, Co-founder

Bernie Lee strives to enable responsible political decision making, localize politics, and advance medical research. He brings a wide breadth of business experience including project, personnel, and change management expertise, maintaining business relations with many national and international partners, and generating sales and marketing value for a biomedical data management technology company. Bernie holds a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and a MS in Physiology from the University of Oklahoma HSC.

Will Marble, Co-founder and Affiliated Researcher

Will Marble is a PhD candidate in political science at Stanford University. His research spans several broad topics related to the interaction of political, economic, and social forces. One line of research investigates the institutional and social factors that lead people to run for office. Other research focuses on how non-political social networks affect the development of government, with a particular focus on social insurance and welfare policy. Finally, he is also interested in the application of statistical methods for understanding how the public perceives politics. You can find more on his research on his website. Before coming to Stanford, he received a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Brendan Nyhan, Affiliated Researcher

Brendan Nyhan is a Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. He is an ongoing contributor of the Upshot at The New York Times and is also an active political blogger and tweeter (@Brendan Nyhan). His research interests include public perceptions of politics, the intersection of media and politics, and health care. His academic articles have been covered in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Washington Post, and Scientific American. He holds a Ph.D. from Duke University.

Doug Rivers, Strategic Adviser

Doug Rivers is one of the world’s leading experts on survey research and a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He has taught at Harvard University, Caltech, UCLA, and, most recently, Stanford University, where he is Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Doug has founded two successful technology companies, Preview Systems and Knowledge Networks. He is also a CBS News consultant and has published academic papers in numerous journals including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science and the American Economics Review, to name a few. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

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