Rethinking Regulation Student Working Group


Lori Bennear  is Associate Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Her current research projects focus on evaluating the effectiveness of non-traditional regulatory regimes, evaluating strategic behavioral responses to these regimes, assessing their distributional impacts, and evaluating the role of program evaluation in environmental policy.

Jonathan B. Wiener is the William R. and Thomas L. Perkins Professor of Law at Duke Law School, Professor of Environmental Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment, and Professor of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy, at Duke University. He has written widely on U.S., European, and international environmental law and risk regulation. Wiener most recently co-edited the 2010 book, The Reality of Precaution: Comparing Risk Regulation in the United States and Europe.

Executive Committee

Mercy Berman DeMenno is a PhD student in Public Policy and a Rethinking Regulation Graduate Scholar. Mercy’s research focuses on the politics of the regulatory policymaking process, at both the U.S. federal and international levels. Her specific research interests include stakeholder participation in rulemaking, regulatory and interest group strategy, and financial risk regulation. In addition to serving as a member of the Rethinking Regulation Executive Committee, Mercy coordinates the Rethinking Regulation Graduate Student Working Group.

Kim Krawiec is an expert on corporate law who teaches courses on securities, corporate, and derivatives law. Her research interests span a variety of fields, including the empirical analysis of contract disputes; the choice of organizational form by professional service firms, including law firms; forbidden or taboo markets; corporate compliance systems; insider trading; derivatives hedging practices; and “rogue” trading. Krawiec’s recent scholarship addresses organizational misconduct and trade within forbidden or contested markets.

Research and Programming Scholar

Amber Díaz Pearson is a Research Scholar at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. She works on research and programming with the Rethinking Regulation Program and the Religions and Public Life Initiative at Kenan, conducts survey research and analysis for the Education for Civic and Moral Responsibility project, and coordinates the Kenan Practitioner in Residence program. Amber holds a B.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in Spanish from Arizona State University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University.


nuclearMatthew Adler is the Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law at the Duke Law School. His substantive areas of expertise include administrative law and constitutional law.

Pete Andrews is a Professor of Environmental Policy in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dan Ariely is the James B Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at the Fuqua School of Business and Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Ed Balleisen is Vice Provost For Interdisciplinary Studies and former Project Director for Rethinking Regulation. He is an Associate Professor of History and Senior Fellow in the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Lawrence Baxter is a Visiting Professor of the Law at Duke Law School.

Stuart Benjamin is a Douglas B. Maggs Chair in Law and Associate Dean for Research at Duke Law School.

Thomas Birkland is the Associate Dean for Research, Engagement, Extension, and Economic Development in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at North Carolina State University.

Michael Clamann is SciPol Lead Editor for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and a Senior Research Scientist at Duke Robotics

Vince Conitzer is the Kimberly J. Jenkins University Professor of New Technologies and Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Philosophy at Duke University

James Cox is the Brainerd Currie Professor of Law at Duke University.

John de Figueiredo is the Edward and Ellen Marie Schwarzman Professor of Law and Professor of Strategy and Economics at the Fuqua School of Business.

Deborah Gallagher is an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Resource and Environmental Policy at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Executive Director of the Duke Environmental Leadership Program.

Gary Gereffi is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center on Globalization, Governance, and Competitiveness at Duke University.

Khara Grieger is a risk assessor/environmental research scientist with RTI International’s Risk Analysis Program.

Kieran Healy is Associate Professor in Sociology and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. His research interests are in economic sociology, the sociology of culture, the sociology of organizations, and social theory.

Christine Hendren is the Executive Director and a Research Scientist at the Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology

Melissa Jacoby is the George R. Ward Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Faculty Fellow of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies.

Matthew Johnson is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Kevin Lee is Associate Professor of Law at Campbell Law School’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.

Kim Krawiec is the Kathrine Robinson Everett Professor of Law at Duke Law School.

Fritz Mayer is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science and Director, Program on Global Policy and Governance at the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Layna Mosley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Richard Newell  is the Gendell Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics and Director of the Duke University Energy Initiative at the Nicholas School of the Environment.

Wayne Norman is the Mike and Ruth Mackowski Professor of Ethics in the Kenan Institute for Ethics and Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke University.

Lydia Olander  is the Director of the Ecosystem Services Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and a Research Scientist at the Nicholas School of the Environment.

Arti Rai is the Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law at the Duke Law School. She is an internationally recognized expert in intellectual property (IP) law, administrative law, and health policy.

Lee Reiners is Lecturing Fellow at the Duke School of Law and Director of the Duke Global Financial Markets Center.

Barak Richman is a Professor of Law at the Duke Law School.  His research interests include the economics of contracting, new institutional economics, antitrust, and healthcare policy.

David Schaad is Associate Professor of the Practice and Associate Chair in the Department Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Kevin Schulman is the Faculty Director for the Health Sector Management Program. He has a joint faculty appointment with The Fuqua School of Business and the Duke University School of Medicine.

Sim Sitkin is a Professor of Management at the Duke Fuqua School of Business, the Founding Faculty Director of the Center on Leadership and Ethics, and Director of the Center for Organizational Research.

Jeff Ward is Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Duke Law School’s Start-Up Ventures Clinic.

Buz Waitzkin is the Deputy Director of Science & Society and Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke.

Ben Waterhouse is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Erika Weinthal is the Lee Hill Snowdon Professor of Environmental Policy at Duke’s Nicholas School for the Environment.

Graduate and Professional Students

Rethinking Regulation Graduate Scholars and Affiliates are graduate students whose research interests align with those of the program in Rethinking Regulation at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and who regularly participate in Rethinking Regulation events. In addition, Graduate Scholars are actively engaged in research projects funded by Rethinking Regulation.


The Rethinking Regulation Graduate Student Working Group (RR GSWG) is a forum for Graduate Scholars and Affiliates to collaborate on topics of regulatory governance. The Graduate Student Working Group meets monthly to present research, discuss interdisciplinary regulatory scholarship, and analyze contemporary regulatory policy issues.

Any graduate students interested in participating in the regular Graduate Student Working Group meetings should contact Hayden Hashimoto.

Aaron Ancell, Philosophy

Most of Aaron’s research is motivated by the question, “What political principles, practices, and institutions are appropriate for human societies given that humans are imperfectly rational and imperfectly good?” In his dissertation, he explores this question specifically in relation to moral and political disagreements. In addition to his dissertation work, he has also written about epistemic arguments for democracy, accommodating conscientious objections in medicine, and the place of regulatory agencies in normative theories of democracy.

Anna Birkenbach, Environmental Policy, Economics Concentration

Anna Birkenbach is a marine resource economist whose current research explores how rights-based fisheries management affects revenue-side benefits for fishermen and targeting/timing behaviors in complex multi-species contexts. This work is intended to inform ongoing discussions about the role of rights-based tools in fisheries management, as well as possible means of fine-tuning these policies to maximize the value generated from the resources and balance the goals of ecological and economic sustainability.

Jessica Brandt, Environmental Health

Jessica’s research focuses on regulated coal combustion residual waste streams to freshwater lake ecosystems, contaminant persistence, and impacts on native biota. She is interested in interdisciplinary systems thinking at the energy-water nexus as it relates to timely environmental issues.

Josh BruceSociology

Josh’s research is primarily in economic and organizational sociology, and currently focuses on diffusion processes, inter-organizational cooperation, and personnel careers in the US federal government.

Tom Cinq-Mars, History

Tom is a business historian writing a dissertation about the building of the longest oil pipeline network in the world, Druzhba, or “Friendship.” His broader interests include comparative political economy, environmental history, and the history of technology.

Lauren Czaplicki, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Lauren’s research involves engineering microbial processes in order to clean up creosote polluted soils. She is also broadly interested in the science-policy nexus, specifically policies encouraging environmental protection and sustainability and how these are affected by technical innovations.

Mercy DeMenno, Public Policy, Political Science Concentration

Mercy’s research focuses on the politics of the regulatory policymaking process, at both the U.S. federal and international levels. Her specific research interests include financial risk regulation, regulatory institutional design, and stakeholder participation in rulemaking.

Rob Fetter, Environmental Policy, Economics Concentration

Rob researches technological change and the interaction between regulation and innovation, particularly in the energy sector. He studies how firms engaged in hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas learn about emerging technologies and how they respond to regulations, as well as technological change in developing countries including the relationship between energy and economic growth.

Will Goldsmith, History

Will Goldsmith examines in his dissertation the construction and evolution of education and economic development policy in North Carolina from 1960 to 2000 in order to understand how a rural Jim Crow state with the nation’s lowest manufacturing wages and abysmal educational attainment became an emblem of the “New Economy.” His work traces how the civil rights revolution created policy space for the emergence of “education for economic growth” as a central focus of state economic development efforts as well as the uneven implications of such policies for rural areas and economic equality.

Katy Hansen, Environmental Policy, Political Science Concentration

Katy’s research interest focus on how institutions shape water service disparities in the United States.

Farah Hegazi, Environmental Policy, Political Science Concentration

Farah is a Ph.D. student in environmental politics at Duke University. She seeks to understand, explain, and address the challenges that governments in the Middle East face in delivering water and sanitation services to un-served and under-served areas.

Anna Johns, Law and History

Anna is interested in the intersection of business, the state, and society. Her dissertation will examine the use of class action lawsuits as a tool for consumer protection.

Ashton Merck, History

Ashton Merck’s research focuses on comparative risk regulation and its relation to the modern administrative state.  Her dissertation project examines a series of institutional shifts in the regulation of food safety during the twentieth century, focusing on poultry and meat products in the United States and the European Union.

Ruxandra Popovici, Environmental Policy, Political Science Concentration

Ruxandra is interested in incentive-based environmental policies that aim to protect the environment while at the same time improving people’s livelihoods. She specifically focuses on Payments for Ecosystem Services in Mexico, where landowners do certain activities that help conserve their forests (fencing, patrolling, garbage collection) and in exchange receive a payment which they can then reinvest in an environmentally sustainable economic activity.

Daniel Ribeiro, Law

Daniel is interested in evidence-based administrative law, in particular how (Regulatory) Impact Assessment (IA) can work to control and promote policies that are cost-effective, fair, sustainable, and that work as intended. He is also exploring how the intersection of law, policy, science, and technology underlying IA can improve political accountability.

Faraz Usmani, Environmental Policy, Economics Concentration

Faraz Usmani is an environmental economist, specializing in the economics of energy access and international development.


Cindy Cheng, Political Science

Jonathon Free, History

Justin Kirkpatrick, Environmental Policy, Economics Concentration

Marcelo Prates, Law

Louise Seamster, Sociology