PhD in Public Policy Candidates

The Schar School of Policy and Government’s PhD in Public Policy candidates explore the dynamic, interdisciplinary landscape of policy analysis and implementation. Their understanding and appreciation of policy are informed by theory and philosophy, model building, and historical and real-world knowledge of specific circumstances, cases, and issues. Pursuing interests that drive their curiosity, public policy candidates define their own field of study in collaboration with the team of scholars they assemble. Here are some examples of what research our students are conducting through the Schar School’s Public Policy Program.

Charles P. "Chuck" Armentrout
Dissertation: "An Examination of the Influence of Social Capital Trends on Vaccination Behaviors in the United States" 
Hometown: Rupert, Vermont 

Lisardo Bolaños 
Dissertation: Identifying Trade Partners to Accelerate Economic Growth
Hometown: Guatemala, Guatemala



Addilyn Perry Chams-Eddiine
Dissertation: Three Essays on Global Financial Cycle Interactions and Moderating the International Transmission Effect of Central Bank Monetary Policy

Angela Gill
Dissertation: Legitimacy and U.S. Intervention
Hometown: Bullock, North Carolina


Layla M. Hashemi
Dissertation: Social movements, media and authoritarianism in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI)

Joel T. Hicks 
Dissertation: Behavioral Interventions in Energy Consumption
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia


Elsa Talat Khwaja 
Dissertation: The Network Architecture of Development Interventions: Exploring the Relational Dynamics of Aid-Impact in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States - The Case of Pakistan and Afghanistan

Mee Jung Kim
Dissertation: The Impact of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) on Business Performance in Low-and Moderate-Income (LMI) Neighborhoods
Hometown: Seoul, Korea

Kyung Min Lee
Dissertation: Essays on Labor, Health, and Entrepreneurship

Mark Loring
Dissertation: Infrastructure Decision Making: Have Data-Based Methods Improved Highway Project Prioritization and Funding Process? A Review of Virginia’s SMART SCALE Program
Hometown: Winchester, Virginia


Elizabeth Neglia
Dissertation: The Impact of the End Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program on the Elderly
Hometown: Frederick, Maryland

Camilo Pardo
Dissertation: The Political Economy of Land Property Rights in the Colombian Civil War: A Study on Land-Grabbing


Abraham (Keunwon) Song 
Dissertation: Entrepreneurship and Business Incentives
Hometown: College Park, Maryland

JD Williams
Dissertation: The Military's Influence on Use of Force Decisions
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Hong Zhang 
Dissertation: China's Development Assistance, Recipient State Capacity, and Democratic Prospect
Hometown: Quanzhou, China



Interested in learning more about the PhD in Public Policy program and doctoral candidates at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government? Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at or the Office of PhD Student Services at We look forward to connecting with you!