Team directory

Team directory

Danielle Petrafesa, Senior Administrative Assistant

Address: 89 Trumbull Street, Room C020
Phone: 203-432-9736

2019 Director's Fellow

Aidan Pillard, Yale College

Aidan Pillard is a junior in Jonathan Edwards college in the humanities major. He leads the Yale chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, which advocates for those most harmed by the War on Drugs through campus education, New Haven community organizing, and state-level policy lobbying. He will attend the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine after graduating, and hopes to work on healthcare reform.

Benjamin Polak, Provost; William C Brainard Professor of Economics; Professor of Management

Professor Polak is an expert on decision theory, game theory, and economic history. His work explores economic agents whose goals are richer than those captured in traditional models. His work on game theory ranges from foundational theoretical work on common knowledge, to applied topics in corporate finance and law and economics. Most recently, he has made contributions to the theory of repeated games with asymmetric information. Other research interests include economic inequality and individuals’ responses to uncertainty.

Maxime Pradier, Dahl Scholar

Maxime Pradier, Dahl Scholar, 2017 - 2018

As a Dahl Scholar, Maxime Pradier’s project aimed at determining whether local economic contexts have an impact on the local enrollment rate of a federal assistance program seeking to support unemployed disabled people. 
Currently, Maxime is working on his senior thesis: he is hoping to find out whether prosecutors in Louisiana are justified in thinking that seeking the death penalty rather than a life-without-parole sentence in first degree murder cases enhances prosecutorial success. 

Gwen Prowse, Graduate Student, Political Science & African American Studies

Gwen is a joint doctoral student in political science and African American studies at Yale.  Her research focuses on historical and contemporary issues of urban inequality in general, and for Black people in particular.  She uses a mixed methods approach to investigate how these inequalities affect political behavior.  Prior to coming to Yale, Gwen worked in education and community development, both as a high school teacher and instructional coach in southeastern Arkansas and Delaware.  She received her BA in urban planning and public policy from Rutgers University.

Kelly Rader, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Kelly Rader is an assistant professor of political science and a resident fellow of the Institution for Social Policy Studies and Center for the Study of American Politics.  She received her Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University (2012) and her B.A. in mathematical economic analysis from Rice University (2002).  Her research interests include U.S.

2019 DIrector's Fellow

Akhil Rajan, Dahl Scholar, 2018 - 2019

As a Dahl Scholar, Akhil Rajan works with Assistant Professor of Political Science Fredrik Savje on a project developing an institutional design for fair redistricting. Akhil is studying Ethics, Politics and Economics and is in the Yale class of 2021. He is also a Human Rights Scholar at Yale Law School’s Schell Center. He is interested in empirical democratic theory, especially applications in redistricting and voting behavior.

Akhil Rajan, Yale College, EP&E

Akhil Rajan is a sophomore in Branford College studying Ethics, Politics and Economics. He is also a Human Rights Scholar at Yale Law School’s Schell Center. He is interested in empirical democratic theory, especially applications in redistricting and voting behavior. On campus, he has worked on several campaigns, does research at ISPS as a Dahl Scholar, and is a Research Assistant in the Political Science Department. He also serves on the board of the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association and Dwight Hall.

Jennifer Richeson

Jennifer Richeson, Philip R. Allen Professor of Psychology

Professor Richeson’s research examines multiple psychological phenomena related to cultural diversity. Her work generally concerns the ways in which sociocultural group memberships such as race, gender, and socio-economic status impact the way people think, feel, and behave, especially during interactions with members of different sociocultural groups.

Laila Robbins, Yale College, History

Laila Robbins is a junior at Yale studying History with a focus on pathologization. At Yale Law School, she currently researches discretionary sentencing enhancements for repeat drug offenders. Previously, Laila interned for Honorable Katherine B. Forrest (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York). On campus, as Vice President of the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project, Laila mentors inmates at a Connecticut prison and facilitates re-entry initiatives in New Haven.