She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 1999. She also received an M.P.P. from Chicago in the early 1990s. Much of her research applies game theory to issues of institutional and agreement design. Her article, "Loosening the Ties that Bind: A Learning Model of Agreement Flexibility" appears in the Spring 2001 issue of International Organization. She is co-editor of a special issue of International Organization (Fall 2001) entitled, "Rational Design: Explaining the Form of International Institutions," in which she co-authors the theoretical framework article as well as the conclusion. She is the second political scientist ever to receive a National Science Foundation CAREER Award ($250,000) for her project entitled, "Designing International Agreements: Theoretical Development, Data Collection, and Empirical Analysis."
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