Fellowship / Graduate Student Fellows

Sarah E. James

  • 2020–2021
  • Arleen Carlson and Edna Nelson Graduate Fellow
  • Harvard University
Headshot of Sarah James
Photo courtesy of Sarah James

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.

Sarah E. James is a PhD candidate in social policy and government at Harvard University. Her research dissertation speaks to issues of state politics, race and inequality, bureaucratic capacity, policy feedback, the politicization of knowledge, and the role of data and research in policy making.

In her dissertation, “When Is Hindsight 20/20? The Politics of Acknowledging and Addressing Policy Failure,” James examines the conditions under which state-level public officials acknowledge and respond to failed social policies. Her work on conservative outreach to Latinos and millennials is published in Political Science Quarterly. She has also published research on instructional best practices in the social sciences in the Journal of Political Science Education.

Prior to graduate school, James worked in K–12 education, including serving as a high school principal, for five years. She holds a BA in Plan II Honors and government from the University of Texas at Austin and an MEd in curriculum and instruction from Boston University. Her work has been supported by the Center for American Political Studies and the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy.

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