About Me

Danielle has found her passion in social science research after wandering through a variety of diverse personal and professional opportunities. She is currently a Doctoral Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) and the University of Cologne, located in Cologne, Germany.


She is a member of the International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, a doctoral program offered jointly by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and the Faculty of Management, Economics, and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne. Her research proposal is tentatively titled “Measuring Abortion Access in Advanced Economies and its Unequal Effects.” This work will build upon her masters thesis research, in which Danielle compiled a global dataset that measures the ease of accessing abortion around the world and focused in on the case study of Ireland’s 2018 abortion referendum. Her supervisor is Prof. Dr. André Kaiser.

Politics and government are the subject of most of Danielle's formal education. She earned two simultaneous bachelors degrees in Political Science and Philosophy at American University. After a year out of school, Danielle returned to American to earn her Master of Public Administration degree. In her MPA, Danielle studied many topics related to good governance and leadership, concentrating in Nonprofit Management. After some time in the professional world, Danielle decided to return to university once again and moved to Germany to begin her MA in Political Science at the University of Cologne in 2018.


During her masters studies, Danielle worked as a Graduate Assistant with the Chair of European and Multilevel Politics at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics (University of Cologne) as a team member on the project called "Rebels in Representative Democracy: The Appeal and Consequences of Political Defection in Europe." She has previously worked as both a research assistant and a teaching assistant to professors and has peer-reviewed submissions to an undergraduate-level journal. 

Danielle has been interested in abortion and reproductive justice long before she began her research in Cologne. During her MPA studies in Washington, DC, Danielle collaborated on multiple projects with Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington DC. She analyzed their regulatory structure as a service provider as well as an advocacy organization, and she wrote a grant application for PPMW which brought the organization $100,000 to implement a program to address HIV before an individual is ever exposed to the virus (PrEP).  Danielle has also worked on nonprofit regulations with several other organizations, handling charitable status paperwork, the incorporation of a new nonprofit, and donor management.


Before landing in this field of research, Danielle worked across several other fields. She worked for three impact investing companies that aim to help investors put their money in organizations and projects that have a social or environmental benefit in addition to a financial return. One of these jobs led her to take on a project management role where she worked directly with the web developers and subject matter experts to create the ideal product for a tech startup. Other professional opportunities have included client management, writing project plans, and conducting interviews.


Leadership development is a running theme in Danielle's professional and personal interests. At American University, she earned a Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies as the result of a four-year program that covered both theoretical approaches to leadership as well as hands-on opportunities for students to design and run their own programs in the community. Danielle has joined several professional development groups, becoming a StartingBloc fellow and graduating from Bossed Up Bootcamp, Planned Parenthood of Metro Washington's Developing Leaders Program, and LeadIn. She hopes one day to bring these leadership skills to an academic management position.