PhD Candidate; Claremont Graduate University
Melissa Mahoney Smith is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science with concentrations in Political Philosophy and American Politics at Claremont Graduate University. Her research blends political theory with contemporary concerns for individual liberty, improved government, and anti-corruption. In particular, her dissertation explores the ways in which public sector reforms can increase civic dignity as well as enhance government effectiveness. The dissertation draws insights from ancient and modern philosophy, the political example of Jane Addams in 18th Century Chicago, and contemporary reforms in the Philippines.
During her tenure at Claremont, she was named the Michael J. and Mary C. Johnston Fellow in American Politics. She has taught American Government and Classical Political Philosophy at the University of La Verne, in addition to presenting papers at academic conferences around the country.
Before Claremont, Smith worked as a Project Manager in Washington D.C. at the non-profit Carr Foundation, which has a public-private partnership with the government of Mozambique to restore Gorongosa National Park. As Project Manager, she managed the design phase of Gorongosa’s Interpretive Center, represented the Foundation at film festivals and events throughout America and Europe, and worked on several book projects. Prior to working in D.C., Smith volunteered as a private English tutor in France and worked in higher education administration at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She holds a BA in Political Science from Assumption College and a MA in Politics from Claremont Graduate University.