John A. Curiel 

MIT Elections Data and Science Lab, Research Scientist 

Research Interests:

  • Redistricting 
  • Representation
  • Elections 
  • Institutions 
  • Parties 
  • State and local politics 
  • Public policy
  • Spatial methods 
  • Multilevel modeling





I am a research scientist at the MIT Elections Data and Science Lab. I earned my PhD in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in August of 2019. My primary subfield is American politics, and my minor subfield is Methodology, with a focus on spatial methods. I earned my M.A. in political science from UNC-Chapel Hill, and my B.A. in political science and history from Ohio Northern University.  

As a research scientist at MEDSL, I research how electoral institutions mediate the fairness and integrity of elections and ensuing representation. Some projects that I am part of include the biannual precinct elections returns effort, Election Performance Index, Ballot Assignment Audits (BAA), and Redistricting. All efforts build up towards the fair administration of elections and open data within the field of political science. 

As a scholar, my dissertation seeks to develop and improve upon measures of party organizational strength and competition, and ascertain the extent to which polarization drives the decreased capacity of traditional party leadership. I then employ these new measures to investigate why states lose redistricting power to courts via gridlock, and how state legislative party leaders establish strong hierarchies by rewarding party loyalty with the overlapping constituencies necessary to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. I have employed the methods used within my dissertation for a variety of related research projects, including the creation of a new standard to constrain gerrymandering via the preservation of ZIP codes, to predicting precinct level health literacy for local elections.

Please read my research page for my works in progress, articles and replication materials. If you need to contact me, please feel free to email me at jcuriel@mit.edu.