Paul Friesen is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and a PhD Fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. His research and teaching interests include comparative political theory, democracy promotion, and determinants of resilient hybrid political regimes, with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

As a development professional and political analyst at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Paul supported the Southern and East Africa team to win and manage democracy strengthening grants in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Prior to that, Paul completed internships with The Fund for Peace, World Vision International and Joint Aid Management in Washington, D.C. He also served as a research assistant for the Afrobarometer and has experience working with political parties in Zimbabwe and election observation groups in Zambia.

Paul holds a B.A. in International Studies from Taylor University and a Master of Public Policy with a specialization in International Development from Michigan State University. His master’s thesis, Predicting Political Party Durability in Sub-Saharan Africa, examined the importance of liberation struggles and extractive resources as tools for political party dominance within the region.


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