Rachel Beatty Riedl, our director since 2019, envisions the Einaudi Center as a home for imagining and implementing global research. She is the Einaudi Center's John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and professor in the Department of Government.
Riedl’s research interests include institutional development in new democracies, local governance and decentralization, and authoritarian regime legacies, with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Her newest book—From Pews to Politics: Religious Sermons and Political Participation in Africa, coauthored with Gwyneth McClendon—was published in September 2019. Authoritarian Origins of Democratic Party Systems in Africa (2014), her previous book, won the African Politics Best Book award. She also cohosts the Ufahamu Africa podcast about life and politics on the African continent.
Most recently, Riedl was a fellow at the Nantes Institute for Advanced Study and a Fulbright scholar. Previously, she was director of the Program of African Studies and an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University.