I am an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University. I hold a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (2002), an MA in Political Science from the University of Chile (2007), and an MA and a Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh (2015). Before coming to the US, I worked at the international desks of the newspapers El Mercurio (Chile, 2002-2008) and ABC (Spain, 2008).
My research focuses on two lines of inquiry. First, I specialize in elite behavior by analyzing how the personality traits of presidents impact executive governance. Second, I study the consequences of variation in political institutions across countries, with a focus on Latin America. I examine executive-legislative relations, informal institutions, gender and politics, and judicial politics.
I am currently working on two papers that assess the behavior of world leaders in the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic. One paper conducts a systematic evaluation of the performance of heads of government, taking their speed of reaction as an indicator of achievement. A second paper analyzes leaders who took advantage of the pandemic to conduct a power grab.
After completing the research about Covid-19, I will resume working on the book project How Leaders Erode Political Institutions: Presidential Personalities and Constitutional Change in Latin America. This manuscript shows that the personality traits of Latin American presidents explain which leaders attempt to change the constitution to increase their powers or relax their term limits. I am also completing the World Leaders Database Project, a database that contains biographical and psychometric information about national leaders that governed nations around the world from 1970-2020.
My research has been published or is forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Psychology, Journal of Law and Courts, Journal of Legislative Studies, Latin American Politics and Society, Latin American Perspectives, América Latina Hoy, Revista de Ciencia Política, The Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance, Bolivian Studies Journal and Política.