I am grateful for your consideration as candidate for Executive Director. I have been active within EGAP since 2009, and it has been singularly important intellectually and professionally. I think we can increase the value that EGAP offers to its members, the broader social science community, and policy makers. The organization needs to balance many priorities. If I were elected as Executive Director, I would aim to promote the following to the extent that we can, taking into considering resource constraints and the need for balance:
1. Methodological training
EGAP events offer unique opportunities for increasing our methodological sophistication as a research community. We can devote more to this, including lectures and initiatives on the use of statistical and substantive theory to inform research design and analysis plans. EGAP can be the hub for methodological excellence in field-experimental and otherwise quantitative fieldwork-driven social science.
2. Policy engagement
We can be more systematic in promoting policy engagement. For example, we could host our meetings in national capitals and then hold expert sessions with local policy makers as separate events alongside the regular meeting.
3. New venues for scholarly publication
We can use the EGAP network to establish new venues for scholarly publication to overcome the fact that conventional journals are too slow and unreliable. A modest goal would be a working papers series (along the lines of NBER or BREAD), an ambitious one would be EGAP “proceedings” journals that operate in a manner similar to proceedings outlets in other disciplines like in computer science.
4. Geographic diversity
I think that it is important for us to continue broadening the geographic reach of the network in terms of membership, sites for events, and education activities such as our “learning days.” This includes doing more to engage scholars in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
5. Deconcentrating leadership
I would like to distribute leadership positions over a broader set of members. My sense is that, at present, administration of meetings, member selection, and research programs is concentrated among too few individuals, and that this has only worked to date because of the exceptional commitment and energy of these few individuals. But this is unsustainable. I will look into different possibilities for delegation of tasks such as member selection, event organization, and management of research initiatives on the basis of region or thematic groups.