Tom Leavitt is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Columbia University, where he specializes in methodology and comparative politics. For the 2019 — 2020 academic year, he was an exchange scholar in the Department of Government at Harvard University.
Mr. Leavitt's research is on political methodology, with a focus on causal inference in experimental and observational designs. In particular, he works on (1) the causal foundations of methods in counterfactual prediction, wherein inference is not based on analogy with the experimental ideal; and (2) Bayesian learning from randomized experiments in order to connect findings in specific experimental populations to broader social-scientific theories. He applies this methodological research to questions on racial and ethnic politics using original data from South Africa and the United States.
Mr. Leavitt is also an instructor (with Ben Hansen and Jake Bowers) for the Causal Inference course at the ICPSR summer program and has taught a course on African politics at the City College of New York (CCNY). Before coming to Columbia, he received an M.A. from the University of Chicago and lived for two years in Uganda, where he served as a research assistant at Makerere University.