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Nathan Lee

Nathan Lee

Ph.D. Candidate


Nathan Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Stanford University. His research examines the role of facts and expertise in American policymaking. His dissertation investigates the extent to which partisan bias undermines policymaker responsiveness to expert evidence. Leveraging both survey data of local and state officials and content-analysis of congressional committee hearings, Nathan demonstrates that policymakers exhibit an enduring commitment to facts and expertise, even while manifesting more subtle forms of partisan bias. In contrast to the tenor of most journalistic and scholarly accounts, these findings suggest reasons for optimism concerning the role of evidence in contemporary policymaking. 

In addition to his dissertation research, Nathan is the founder and managing director of CivicPulse (, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable, multi-collaborator policymaker surveys. Nathan also has ongoing research interests associated with subnational candidate emergence, the gender gap in government, and the politics of climate change.

Prior to his time at Stanford, Nathan served in the US government as a policy analyst in the White House National Economic Council, the Department of Energy’s Climate Policy Office, and the California Public Utility Commission. Nathan earned a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Technology and Policy from MIT. His research has been supported by the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship, the Nancy Pfund Fellowship, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.