Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
Political Science Department
Division of History and Social Sciences
Paul Manson conducts policy research on two primary areas: local election administration and community responses to disaster. These two areas overlap in the United States as they represent roles we leave to local government, without a strong national coordination function. Approaching this research requires an interdisciplinary approach. While Paul’s training is formally in public administration and policy analysis, he draws on sociology, economics, and political science to research these two areas. He is also the Research Director for the Early Voting Information Center here at Reed. His elections research focuses on understanding how and why local election administrators chose to serve the public as election officials. These officials in the US are largely women, and over half are elected to their position. Yet they have not been a focus of research. Paul’s disaster research focuses on community responses to predicted or potential risks, with a focus on what motivates them to prepare for recovery in advance of disaster events. These two research areas draw on both quantitative methods including survey administration, and qualitative methods. Paul graduated from Reed in 2001 in anthropology and then pursued a Master of Public Administration before joining the private sector as a consulting environmental planner. Paul joined the PhD program at Portland State University in the Public Affairs and Policy program as a part of an NSF IGERT program on environmental planning and governance. Outside of academic life Paul has also served on commissions participating in local land use decisions and local government oversight committees.