Graduate Policy Fellows, Class of 2013- 2014

Yousef AbuGharbieh is a J.D./MBA candidate at Yale Law School and the Yale School of Management. His research focuses on the relationship between public goods provision and innovation and how the ideas and methods of start-up culture can positively disrupt regulated industries and the public sector in fields like energy, education, and municipal finance. He previously worked as a Program Manager at the Tobin Project, an academic research group in Cambridge, MA that produces interdisciplinary social science research on regulation. In the summer of 2013 he will be working for Delphi Solutions, a CA-based company that makes transparency software for municipal governments. He holds a BA from Duke University.

Project: “Did Obamacare Make More Young People Entreprenuers?”

"Tech Companies, Not Consulting Firms, Should Build Government Websites," Jan. 29, 2014 

"Time for the Feds to Take Financial Transparency Seriously," Oct 8, 2013

Vivekinan L. Ashok is a Ph.D. student in the Political Science department. He is interested in political behavior, quantitative methods, and political economy—in particular, he studies attitudes surrounding questions of redistribution. Vivek has an A.B. in Economics from the University of Chicago and worked as an economic consultant prior to matriculating at Yale.

Project: “Are Demands for Redistribution Driven by Self-Interest of Aversion to Inequality?"

"Interpretation and Experimentation as Advocacy at the CFPB," Oct. 15, 2013 


Charles Decker is a graduate student in political science. His research focuses on American Political Development, specifically issues of federalism, policy venue shifting, and the changing relationship between national and state-level policymaking. He also researches criminal justice policy. He received his BA from Swarthmore College, and has worked as Field Director in local electoral campaigns in New York City and Pennsylvania.

Project: "We Wish to Instill Fear: Mandatory Sentencing, Gun Control and the Barley-Fox Law"

"Making State Sentencing Policy More Responsive to Crime Rates," Feb. 12, 2014
"Time to Reckon with Prison Labor," Oct. 1, 2013


Nicholas Downing is a medical student at Yale University School of Medicine. Nicholas’ current research aims to use the Food and Drug Administration as a lens for assessing the effectiveness of regulators in the United States today. His recent work, which compared the speed with which various drug regulators review new drug applications, has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. His other research interests include pharmaceutical policy and the effect of conflicts of interest on medical practice. He was named to the 2012 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science and Healthcare. Prior to starting at Yale, Nicholas was an Engagement Manager in McKinsey & Company’s New York Office. He graduated from Harvard College in 2007 magna cum laude with an A.B. in chemistry.

Project: “Promoting Innovation in Drug Development: Understanding the Current Regulatory Environment"

"Promoting Innovation in Drug Development," Feb 20, 2014
"Can Knowing What You Pay Bring Medical Costs Down?" Sept 24, 2013 

Michelle Grisé is a graduate student in the Department of History, studying international and Southeast Asian history. Her research at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies focuses on the development of Younger abstention doctrine in the 1970s and its impact on the ability of litigants to challenge state civil contempt laws. Michelle was previously a Fulbright fellow in Israel and a research fellow at the Center for Khmer Studies in Cambodia. She has also worked on international human rights law issues in Bangladesh and Washington, D.C. Michelle received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and her B.A. with honors in history from the University of Chicago.

Project: “Rethinking Opportunity: Younger Abstention, The Civil Rights Improvements Act, and a Way Forward for Civil Contempt"

"Can State-Level Legislative Reform Ensure Due Process Protections for Debtors?" March 25, 2014


Martin Hackmann is a PhD student in the Economics Department at Yale University. His research interests lie in the fields of industrial organization and health economics. Hackmann’s dissertation focuses on the effect of Medicaid reimbursement rates and consumer information on health care quality in the US nursing home industry. He also conducts research on the effect of Massachusetts health reform on welfare in the individual insurance market. He holds a 2008 Diplom (Master equivalent) in Economics from the University of Mannheim and a 2010 M.A. and a 2011 M.Phil. from Yale University.

Project: “The Welfare Effects on Provider Reimbursement Rates: Evidence from the Nursing Home Industry"

"Can Directed Research Bridge Opposing Views on Expanding Medicaid?" March 3, 2014
"The Individual Mandate and the Elusive Goal of Equal Access to Health Insurance," Dec. 16, 2013

Craig Lapriece Holloway is a doctoral candidate in sociology. His research is focused on the nexus of race and identity on the social life experiences and outcomes of African-American males. Craig is particularly interested in self-conceptualizations and lived experiences around fatherhood among this group in urban settings, with specific attention to interactions with race and educational and socioeconomic status. He received a B.A., cum laude, in psychology from the historic Tuskegee University and a Master’s degree in human development and psychology from Harvard.

Project: "Paternal Constructs and Social Life among Urban Black Men"

"Parental Participation in Public Inner-City Schools: An Unenforced Opportunity and Dilemma," Nov. 1, 2013 


Alison Kanosky is a graduate student in American Studies. Her research explores the lived experience of social and economic changes in U.S. communities. Alison’s dissertation focuses on a rural county that has been shaped by a military installation and by a newly constructed prison. She analyzes this site to trace the development of the national security state at the community level. In her work, Alison emphasizes the connections between rural and urban areas—the cultures that bind and divide them, the policies and economic markets that unite and bifurcate them, and the stream of people and money that flow between them. Alison received her BA from Northwestern University.

Project: “When the Government Leaves Town: Perceptions of Government Stability in the Wake of Military Downsizing and Prison Expansion"

"Rebuilding Communities after the Military Leaves Town," Feb 26, 2014
"Numbers Alone Won’t Shrink Prisons," Sept 10, 2013

Jamie Luguri is a graduate student studying social psychology. Her research focuses on how people’s attitudes, beliefs, and moral values are shaped by situational and motivational influences. More specifically, much of her research focuses on how construal level (abstract vs. concrete thinking) influences people’s intergroup attitudes, moral values, and political opinions. She is originally from Plattsburgh, New York and received a B.S. in psychology from Union College.

Project: “Construing Categories: Abstract (vs. Concrete) Thinking Leads to Greater Genetic Essentialism"

"How We Think Affects What We Think About Public Policies," April 17, 2014
"Can Knowing What You Pay Bring Medical Costs Down?" Sept. 17, 2013

Gabe Scheffler is a J.D. student at Yale Law School.  His primary interests are domestic health care policy and economic policy. Prior to studying at Yale, he was a research assistant at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for International Development, where he worked on various projects relating to public sector corruption in developing countries and US health care policy. He graduated from Harvard in 2009 with a degree in History and Literature.

Project: “The Labor Market Impacts of the Nurse Licensure Compact"

“The Costs of Complexity in Policy Design,” April 9, 2014
“Is the U.S. ‘Over-Licensed?’ The Case for Reforming America’s Professional Licensing Laws,” Nov. 11, 2013


Rachel Silbermann is a PhD candidate in political science. Her research, which focuses on gender and political psychology, considers the decision to run for office as a career choice and how information provided by men and women candidates affects voters’ perceptions. Prior to entering graduate school, she worked on political campaigns. She holds a BA in History from Brown University. Personal website:

Project: “Career Plans and Career Politicians: Gender, Work-Life Balance, and Political Ambition"

“Alaska’s Child-Care Center for Legislators Highlights Challenges of Working Parents,” April 23, 2014 
“Encouraging More Female Candidacies by Subsidizing Childcare,” Nov. 5, 2013