Staff of the Chicago Center on Democracy

Susan Stokes

Faculty Chair

Dr. Susan Stokes is the Faculty Chair of the Chicago Center on Democracy, where she guides the strategy and direction of the center. She is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Political Science.

Learn more about Susan

Kevin Kromash

Senior Research Associate

Kevin is the Senior Research Associate at the Chicago Center on Democracy, where he directs all aspects of the center’s operations, including strategy, research, fundraising, and communications.

Learn more about Kevin

Andres Uribe

Research Project Lead

Andres Uribe is a PhD student in Political Science. His research broadly focuses on democracy and governance in contexts of violent political contestation. In particular, his dissertation project examines the ways in which armed nonstate actors seek to influence electoral and legislative outcomes. Other projects examine rebel group-political party transitions and the rhetorical strategies of anti-democratic politicians. At the Chicago Center on Democracy, he co-leads our research on the rhetorical strategies of populist politicians.

Ipek Cinar

Research Project Lead and Program Assistant

Ipek is a PhD student in Comparative Politics at the University of Chicago. At the Chicago Center on Democracy, where she co-leads our research on the rhetorical strategies of populist politicians. She also supports events and other activities. Her research interests include democratic backsliding, comparative democratization, and political economy of regime transitions. She also studies quantitative methods and their computational applications to comparative politics.

Alina Kim

Research Assistant

Alina is a second year at the University of Chicago studying political science and history, with a specialization in Western violence and social theory. She is a Research Assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, where she supports projects on national referendums and voting trends. Outside of academics, she enjoys editing for The Chicago Maroon Arts Section, coordinating events with the Institute of Politics and its Jukebox Ballot project, and training as an apprentice projectionist at Doc Films.

Aliza Oppenheim

Research Assistant

Aliza is a third year undergraduate at the University of Chicago studying Political Science and Law, Letters, and Society. She is a Research Assistant at the Chicago Center for Democracy, where she is helping study voter behavior in national referendums. On campus, she is involved with UChicago Hillel, the Institute of Politics, and University Theater.

Ananiya Neeck

Research Assistant

Ananiya is a second-year at the University of Chicago studying Economics and Public Policy. Academically, her interests center on international development and human rights. She is a Research Assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, where she supports the collection of data on the political rhetoric used by traditional and populist leaders.

Arunima Bhattacharjee

Research Assistant

Arunima is an M.A. student at the Committee on International Relations. She is an international student from Bangladesh and she completed her B.S. in Journalism from the University of Oregon. At the University of Chicago, she is studying the suppression of freedom of the press in the Middle East.

Aysha Hafiz

Research Assistant

Aysha is a third year undergraduate studying Sociology and Russian and Eastern European Studies. She is a Research Assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, where she is helping translate and code Russian political speeches to study rhetoric used by traditional and populist political leaders. She loves going to showings at Doc Films and taking walks at Promontory Point.

Barbara Mola

Research Assistant

Barbara is a second year at Yale University pursuing a double major in Film & Media Studies and Political Science. She is a Research Assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, where she will help translate and code the rhetoric of populist politicians in Poland. Outside of the classroom, she directs project development for the non-profit Circle of Women.

Cagdas Okay

Research Assistant

Cagdas is a second-year at the College, studying Economics and Global Studies. He is a research assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, where he is helping translate and code Turkish political speeches to study rhetoric used by various political leaders. He enjoys playing soccer and researching intelligence history.

Eszter Ronai

Research Assistant

Eszter is a PhD candidate in linguistics at the University of Chicago. Her primary research interests are in psycholinguistics and experimental pragmatics: how meanings in natural language arise in context, and are processed in real time. She is also interested in a number of syntactic phenomena, specifically through the lens of Hungarian, her native language.

Gabriela Saade

Research Assistant

Gabriela is a first-year Master of Public Policy student at the University of Chicago. She is interested in global conflict and post-conflict reconstruction, economic development, political change, and political economy issues. At the Chicago Center on Democracy, Gabriela is conducting research on the political rhetoric of Venezuelan political leaders.

Guillermo Guevara Gomez

Research Assistant

Guillermo Guevara is a second year Master of Public Policy student at the Harris School of Public Policy. Before coming to Harris, he held various positions at the Mexican Federal Government. As a research assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, Guillermo will analyze data on the rhetoric of populist leaders.

Hani Fernandes Abdel Warith

Research Assistant

Hani is a second-year student in the Committee on International Relations master’s degree program. His interests lie principally in political behavior where he is focused on studying the causal effects of religion on political behavior and the efficacy of social movements and protest. His master’s thesis investigates the use of protest by consociational elites in Iraq and Lebanon. At the Chicago Center on Democracy, Hani will be conducting research on populist speech.

Isabelle Russo

Research Assistant

Isabelle is a Research Assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, collecting data on the effect of authoritarian rhetoric on democratic discourse. She is a first-year at the University of Chicago and is interested in studying Political Science. Outside the classroom, Isabelle is heavily involved with the Institute of Politics and UChiVotes.

 

Julia Du

Research Assistant

Julia is a Research Assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, supporting data gathering and analysis on the rhetoric of populist and establishment politicians. A second-year undergraduate student at the University of Chicago, Julia’s major interests include economics, sociology, and history.

 

Julia Jassey

Research Assistant

Julia Jassey is a first year at the University of Chicago with a focus on the humanities and social science.  Her academic passions are largely based upon the intersection between writing, international politics, and psychology. Julia is a Research Assistant for the Chicago Center on Democracy, where her she is working on a project to collect data about the political rhetoric employed by prominent politicians.

 

Justin Saint-Loubert-Bié

Program Assistant, Research Assistant

Justin is a second year at the University of Chicago studying Political Science and Environmental Studies. He is particularly interested in the intersection between the modern crisis of democracy and climate change. Beyond his academic interests, Justin is the music director for UChicago’s Make a Joyful Noise a cappella group, and enjoys photography and playing piano.

 

Maria Mystridou

Research Assistant

Maria is an M.A. student of International Relations at the University of Chicago. She is originally from Greece where she completed her B.A. in International, European and Area Studies. Her current research, as part of her M.A. thesis, focuses on racism in the political rhetoric of elites in the US. As a Research Assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, she will help translate and code populist politicians’ rhetoric in Greece.

 

Miles Ogihara

Research Assistant

Miles is a second year at the University of Chicago studying Political Science. He is a Research Assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, where he supports collecting data on the rhetorical strategies of populist leaders. On campus, Miles is also involved with the Chicago Project on Security Threats as a research assistant and enjoys watching sports in his free time.

Neil Suri

Research Assistant

Neil is a fourth year at the University of Chicago studying Public Policy and Philosophy. He is a Research Assistant at the Chicago Center for Democracy, where he supports projects related to state-level and national referendums. His other academic interests include theories of international relations and technology policy.

 

Sanittawan Nikki Tan

Program Assistant

Nikki is a Program Assistant at the Chicago Center on Democracy, where she supports events, research, and other activities. She is an M.A. student in the computational social science program at the University of Chicago, where she studies computational methods and their applications to political science research.

Oonagh Stevans

Research Assistant

Oonagh is a second-year at the University of Chicago majoring in Political Science and History, with a planned concentration in imperialism and post-colonialism. Outside of her coursework, she is heavily involved with the Society for International Relations and EUChicago.

Sandra Park

Research Assistant

Sandra is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation moves between military and missionary archives to examine Christian-mediated pathways to South Korean citizenship for North Korean refugees and POWs during the Korean War. At the center, Sandra is supporting a project that studies populist rhetoric in the speeches of South Korean political leaders.

Shreya Gautam

Research Assistant

Shreya is a Master’s in International Relations candidate, specializing in Conflict, Security and International Law. At the center, she is supporting a project on collection of data on rhetoric employed by politicians around the world. 

Theo Lesser

Research Assistant

Theo is a first-year at the University of Chicago studying Public Policy and Environmental Science. Academically, his interests center on environmental policy and the health of democracies. At the Chicago Center on Democracy, he works as a research assistant where he collects data surrounding the effect of political organizing on referendums across the globe.