Graduate Policy Fellows, Class of 2014-2015

Tony Cheng is a graduate student in Sociology.  His primary research interest focuses on law enforcement strategies in response to urban violence.  Tony is currently conducting ethnographic research on a gang street outreach worker organization in Bridgeport, Connecticut and exploring the question why do interventions fail. Tony received his B.A. in Political Science and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration at Yale and previously worked in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.    

Project: “The Rhetoric of Readiness: Street Worker Decision-Making Inside a Gang Violence Intervention Program”

Why Prosecuting, Firing, or Re-Training Cops Doesn’t Work and What We Can Do About It, March 26, 2015

Do Alternatives to Police Militarization Exist? September.12, 2014

Digital Reporting as a Community Empowerment Tool, April 14, 2014

Aaron Goldzimer is a J.D. candidate at Yale Law School. He has spent the better part of the past decade at the Environmental Defense Fund. There, he developed and quarterbacked advocacy strategies related to international development, trade, finance, human rights, and the environment. Aaron was deeply involved in achieving the withdrawal of planned oil contracts from millions of acres of the Amazon; the adoption of the first international agreement on minimum environmental and transparency standards for one of the largest classes of official international finance; the overhaul of environmental systems at Latin America’s largest multilateral lender; strengthening the legislation that governs U.S. environmental oversight of development banks; and the advocacy that led to the establishment of Peru’s first Environment Ministry. Aaron has been published and quoted in both mainstream and specialized media and speaks widely on these topics.  His research currently focuses on political polarization, gridlock, and democratic reform.  He was the recipient of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and the Dean’s Fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was also a Spring Exercise winner and published in the Kennedy School Review.  He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

U.S. Political Dysfunction: Will It Help To Let Political Parties Collect More Cash, Sept. 3, 2015

Jenna Healey is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program for the History of Science and Medicine. Her research focuses on the history of reproductive technologies and fertility behavior, with a specific emphasis on the intersection between age and pregnancy. Jenna’s dissertation explores the connection between the twin trends of teenage pregnancy and delayed childbearing and their relation to broader changes in the American political and economic landscape in the late 20th century. In her work, Jenna is particularly interested in the connection between women’s marketplace participation and fertility behavior. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from the University of Guelph, and a M.A. in the History of Science and Technology from the University of Toronto.

Project: Tattletale: Teenage Pregnancy and the Parental Notification Controversy During the Reagan Administration”

The Long and Polarizing History of the Parental Notification Debate, March 30, 2015

Rejecting the Biological Clock, October 30, 2014

Rebecca McKibbin is a PhD student in Economics. Her research interests lie in the fields of industrial organization and public finance. More specifically, she is interested in quantifying patients’ valuation of medical care and the implications this has for policies aimed at improving efficiency in the delivery of health care in the US. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from the Australian National University.

Project: “The Impact of Off-label Prescribing on the Development of New Drugs”

How Much Should New Drugs Be Regulated? June 4, 2015

Funding Off-Patent Cancer Drug Development to Reduce Costs of Treatment, Dec. 3, 2014

Jennifer McTiernan is a J.D. candidate at Yale Law School. Her research focuses on the law and policy of social enterprise, with a specific interest in alternate corporate structures designed to deliver social value as well as profit. Previously, she was a Co-Founder and Executive Director of CitySeed, a New Haven-based, non-profit organization that believes everyone should have access to fresh, healthy food.  During her tenure, CitySeed was recognized nationally by USA Today and USDA for its neighborhood farmers’ markets, which were also featured in The New York Times. Jennifer received her B.A. from Yale College.

Project: “Reforming the Charitable Tax Deduction to Pursue Distributive Justice”

Making the Charitable Sector More Charitable, September 30, 2015

Matto Mildenberger is a PhD student in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  His research seeks to understand climate policy inaction in the face of dramatic economic and social costs associated with climate change. Matto’s dissertation explores variation in the timing and content of carbon pricing policies across advanced economies, with particular attention to the role of emissions-intensive economic actors in shaping climate policy outcomes. He also studies the dynamics of public climate opinions. Matto received a BSc. from the University of Toronto and an M.A. from the University of Waterloo.

Project: “The Rise and Fall of Congressional US Climate Coalitions”

The United States Is No Longer a Climate Laggard, July 15, 2015


Corina Mommaerts is a PhD student in Economics. Her research explores the role of informal insurance arrangements within a community or family in mitigating various sources of risk. Her dissertation focuses on how the social safety net in the United States interacts with the use of family members in long-term care decisions of the elderly. Before coming to Yale, Corina previously worked at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC and received her B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Website link here. 

Project: “Long-Term Care Insurance and the Family”

Funding Long-Term Care: Cash Benefits for Informal Care, January 29, 2015

Health Care’s Older Brother: The Long-Term Care Crisis, October 10, 2014


Patrick R. O’Brien is a Ph.D. student in the Political Science department. He is interested in the presidency, American political development and macroeconomic policy. Patrick has a B.S. in economics from DePaul University and a M.A. in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Project: ““The Administrative Foundations of Economic Policymaking””

Precedents for Obama to Address Monetary Policy,  February 16, 2015

Beyond the Election: Who Controls Presidential Policy, November 6, 2014


Rosa Po is a J.D. candidate at Yale Law. Her research focuses on the relationship between the Affordable Care Act regulatory process and health care policy design. Before law school, she previously worked on numerous political campaigns, on Capitol Hill and at the Department of Health and Human Services. She holds a BA and MA from Yale University.

Project: “Unorthodox Rulemaking: The New Regulatory Process in Agencies and the Administrative Procedure Act”

Taking Politics Out of Federal Safeguards, January 13, 2015


Jerome Schafer started his PhD in Political Science at Yale in 2012. He is interested in political behavior, political economy, and quantitative methodology. His current research uses lab experiments to explore biases in economic voting. For example, voters tend to overweight recent events relative to cumulative performance. The lab setting precisely identifies what voters are capable of, and might suggest ways to assist them in taking decisions that serve their interests. A dual French and German citizen, Jerome holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Sciences Po Paris. His article “European Commission Officials’ Policy Attitudes” has been published in JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies.

Project: “Do Voters Fail to Reward Politicians For Natural Disaster Preparedness? Evidence from US House Elections.”

Myopic Voters and the Samaritan’s Dilemma, April 23, 2015

The Democratic Virtues of Teaching Statistics, October 15, 2014

Matthew Regele is a PhD student in Organizations & Management at the Yale School of Management. Matt’s broad interests include entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial growth, and the sociology of strategy. He favors multi-method studies that combine inductive qualitative methods with quantitative approaches, such as field experiments. Currently, he is engaged in the qualitative portion of a project on barriers to growth in second-stage companies. Matt received a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Babson College.

Project: “Meet the Solvers: Established Small Businesses and the Commercialization of Complex Innovations”

Meet the Solvers: Established Small Businesses and the Commercialization of Complex Innovations, March 5, 2015

Small, Old, but Vital: Established Small Businesses and the Innovation Economy, December 8, 2014


Rory Van Loo’s research focuses on the relationship between the business sector and upward mobility, with an emphasis on regulatory design, bankruptcy, and commercial law.  He joined Yale from Harvard Law School, where he taught as a Lecturer. Prior to that, he conducted empirical studies for senior executives of Fortune 500 consumer companies on post-merger integration, pricing, and sales strategy as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co. He also helped set up a new federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as a member of the U.S. Treasury’s Implementation Team.
In 2007 he earned his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he received the Irving Oberman Memorial Prize in Bankruptcy and served as a Senior Editor of the Harvard Law Review. His writing has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, Albany Law Review, San Francisco Chronicle, and California Lawyer. His latest article, “Helping Buyers Beware,” is forthcoming in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.
In 2007 he earned his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he received the Irving Oberman Memorial Prize in Bankruptcy and served as a Senior Editor of the Harvard Law Review. His writing has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, Albany Law Review, San Francisco Chronicle, and California Lawyer. His latest article, “Helping Buyers Beware,” is forthcoming in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Retail Consumer Protection As Household Stimulus, May 12, 2015

Baobao Zhang is a PhD student in Political Science and a master’s student in Statistics. Her research focuses the intersection between public policy and political behavior. Her past work used survey experiments to study how Americans think about coercive foreign policy. During her policy fellowship, she hopes to analyze the effects of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act on electoral behavior and political attitudes. Baobao is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and received her B.A. from Yale University in 2013.  Website:

Project: “Effects of Medicare Eligibility on Seniors’ Political Attitudes and Behavior”

Affordable Care Act: What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Politics, September 23, 2014