Current Ph.D. Students | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Current Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. Students

Our Ph.D. students in public policy engage closely with our LBJ School faculty members as well as research centers within LBJ and the university at large.

Francisca Bogolasky

Francisca Bogolasky's research interests include urban and education policy and the links between these policy areas. Specifically, she is interested in residential mobility, housing policy and segregation. Before attending the LBJ School, she worked as a researcher in the Center for Public Policy at Universidad Catolica de Chile. She holds an MPA from Columbia University, NY, and a B.A. in Sociology from Universidad Catolica de Chile.


Diana Bolsinger

Diana Bolsinger's current research examines the U.S. foreign policy community’s perceptions of and responses to religious and ideological movements in the Muslim World. Before coming to UT, she served in a variety of analytical and policy support positions in the U.S. Federal Government, including assignments with the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC; Islamabad, Pakistan; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Seoul, Korea. She holds an M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University, an M.Ed. from Marymount University, and an M.A. in Government from New Mexico State University.


Regina M. Buono

Regina M. Buono's research interests are broadly focused on water policy, including questions of water governance, the water and energy nexus, and payment for ecosystem services. Regina is a nonresident scholar at the Center for Energy Studies (CES) at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Prior to entering the Ph.D. program, she served as the Baker Botts Fellow in Energy and Environmental Regulatory Affairs at CES and practiced legislative and environmental law in Austin. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Arkansas, a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, and an M.Sc. in Water Science and Governance from King’s College London. In her limited spare time, Regina enjoys running, traveling and serving on the board of the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation.


Christina Nefeli Caramanis 

Christina Nefeli Caramanis is a doctoral student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a Graduate Research Trainee at the Population Research Center (PRC) at UT Austin. She holds a B.A. in sociology and philosophy from Boston University and an M.A. in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. With an overarching focus in social policy, Christina's research examines the dynamic interplay between poverty—both at the community and family levels—and the social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive and academic development of children and youth over the life course. In an effort to inform policy in various community and family settings, she is broadly interested in: (1) looking at the pathways through which antipoverty programs and policies interact with system-wide patterns of behavior and overall child and family wellbeing, and (2) using higher level statistical modeling and analysis to quantitatively address individual- and system-level change in key family- and child-level processes. Research interests include social welfare policy, family policy and demography, poverty reduction and child development.


Bryan Frizzelle

Bryan Frizzelle's research interests include North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) defense spending policy from both a historical and contemporary perspective. He is an active duty United States Army officer with 15 years of service. He has served abroad in both command and staff positions throughout the Middle East and Eastern Europe and is slated to command a Stryker infantry battalion. Bryan holds degrees from the United States Military Academy at West Point (B.S., history) and an MPM from Georgetown University.


Xue Gao

Xue Gao's research interests are focused on technological learning and innovation, knowledge management, economics of innovation, renewable energy technology innovation policy and low carbon development. She devotes special attention to interdisciplinary study that involves public policy, economics, political science and statistics. Xue Gao holds an M.S. in statistics from The University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in Public Administration from Tsinghua University, China, and a bachelor's degree in economics from Southeast University, China.


Mark Clayton Hand

Mark Clayton Hand's research areas of interest include U.S. immigration policy, state-level legislative decision-making and network analysis. Prior to his Ph.D., Mark taught Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford's Saïd Business School and UT Austin. He has been an impact investor, making, managing and supporting investments in over 40 ventures through his work with Gray Ghost Ventures, Oxford Seed Fund, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and UnLtd USA. He worked for four years in community development, including founding Manna Project International's site in Ecuador.


Eun Young Kim

Eun Young Kim is from Seoul, South Korea. Her research interests encompass areas of program evaluation, international development and economic growth. Before coming to the LBJ School, she worked as a researcher at the Center for International Development Evaluation at Seoul National University, where she developed her interest in evaluation methods and international development issues while participating in various research projects. Eun Young holds a MPP as well as bachelor's degrees in economics and in political science (international relations), from Seoul National University.


Nisha Krishnan

Nisha Krishnan is a doctoral candidate at the LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation focuses on deepening our understandings of household-level vulnerability and resilience to climate change and its implications for international development policy and practice. Her other research spans the breadth of climate change and its implications for human security (Climate Change and African Political Stability); the politics of climate change policies; tracking, measuring and evaluating foreign aid effectiveness and policies; and complex emergencies and political stability (the Program on Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia). Prior to returning to graduate school, she worked on the Global Adaptation Atlas at Resources for the Future, conducted vulnerability assessments in Central and West Asia and designed guidance on climate change adaptation strategies for USAID. She has written on several topics, including assessing vulnerability to climate change in Africa, security implications of climate change policy in Asia and the Pacific, and monitoring and tracking systems for adaptation and disaster-related aid. She holds an M.A. in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in economics and political science from Macalester College.


Abby Lane

Abby Lane is a Ph.D. candidate whose dissertation research focuses on child care issues and maternal wellbeing among low-income mothers with nonstandard work schedules. Abby's broader research interests include social welfare policy, family policy, poverty reduction and family wellbeing. Immediately prior to entering the Ph.D. program, Abby worked as a policy fellow covering family economic security, education and employment issues at the National Women's Law Center in Washington, DC. She holds an MPP from The George Washington University and a B.A. in political science from St. Olaf College. She also works as a graduate research assistant at the Child & Family Research Partnership at the LBJ School.


Ilse Oehler

Ilse Oehler-Grediaga was born and raised in Mexico City. Her research interests focus on the extent and the conditions in which Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) improve policy effectiveness. Her current research uses Mexico as a case study to unpack the extent and ways in which different M&E governance arrangements at the federal level influence how results are used in informing the policy process. Before coming to LBJ, Ilse worked in the public sector for more than 10 years. In the Mexican government, she has held such positions as Director of International Media Analysis at the Office of the President of Mexico and Head of Communications at ProMexico—a government agency responsible for the promotion of exports and attraction of foreign investment. She developed her working experience with International Organizations when she was selected into the OECD's Young Professional Program, 2007–2009. At the OECD, she worked on public service delivery in rural areas at the Governance and Territorial Development Directorate. Ilse holds a B.A. in International Relations from ITAM (Mexico) and an M.Sc. in Public Policy from UCL (UK). 


D. Cale Reeves

Cale's research is at the intersection of individual decision-making, program uptake and policy outcomes in residential solar PV subsidy policies. Using advanced analytical approaches such as agent-based modeling, he develops insights into the role of policy in the structure and evolution of technology diffusion. He has co-authored articles published in "Environmental Research Letters," "Renewable Energy," and "Energy and Buildings." He holds a BSPA and MPA in Policy Analysis from Indiana University. When not at his desk, Cale enjoys repairing and riding his 1969 Triumph Daytona.


Jodi Rosenstein

Jodi Rosenstein came to UT Austin after a decade abroad working on conflict and post-conflict reconstruction and stability issues. Most recently, she spent five years embedded with the military in eastern Afghanistan as a stabilization and transition officer for the United States Agency for International Development. There, she managed the stabilization programming in ISAF's Regional Command-East and led the transition planning for development programming for the eastern region as ISAF began to draw down its presence. While serving in Afghanistan, Jodi became interested in capturing best practices and lessons learned from the United States' increasingly "interagency" stabilization operations. Jodi's desire to examine these issues in a multi-disciplinary environment that emphasized both quantitative and qualitative methodologies led her to the Ph.D. program at the LBJ School. Jodi holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree in International Politics from Georgetown University and an M.S. in international relations from the London School of Economics.


Rachael Singer

Rachael Singer's research interests include public health policy of infectious diseases, specifically neglected infections of poverty. Related research areas of interest include the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases, refugee and migrant health, emerging infectious diseases and health security, and health systems strengthening. Rachael's dissertation work will include an epidemiological study of intestinal parasites in Texas children and identify policy priorities to address neglected parasitic infections within the United States. Rachael holds a Master of Science in Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine and a B.A. in biology from Hampshire College.


Santiago A. Tellez

Santiago Tellez is a Ph.D. candidate in public policy. His research interests focus on governance issues in the education sector, in particular, the effects of decentralization of education on students' performance and inequality in Latin America. Before starting his Ph.D., he completed his Master of Public Policy at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Santiago is from Colombia, where he is a lawyer from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He is currently doing field work in Colombia.


Jiameng Zheng

Jiameng Zheng (Tracy) has research interests in areas including the economics of water resource management, water and energy nexus, and the health impacts of water contamination. She specializes in water policy under the supervision of Professor Sheila Olmstead. Before joining LBJ, she was a Ph.D. student in the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, College Park. She holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Wuhan University, China, and a master's degree in Public Affairs from the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, College Park.