Jay Ulfelder

Research Project Manager, Nonviolent Action Lab

Jay Ulfelder has two decades of experience working at the intersection of social science and data science, with a particular focus on protest, collective action, human rights, democracy, and forecasting.

From 2001 until 2011, Ulfelder served as research director for the Political Instability Task Force, a U.S. Government-funded program that aims to help policymakers anticipate and understand various forms of political crisis around the world. In the late 2010s, he worked for two years at Kensho Technologies, developing data-driven software tools for analysts tracking geopolitics. In between, he worked as an independent consultant for clients that included the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, for which he designed and built an early-warning system to assess risks of mass atrocities in countries worldwide in hopes of helping to prevent them. While freelancing, he also authored Dart-Throwing Chimp, an award-winning blog on international affairs, forecasting, and data science.

Ulfelder holds a PhD in Political Science from Stanford University and BA in Comparative Area Studies (USSR and Eastern Europe) from Duke University. He is the author of Dilemmas of Democratic Consolidation (Lynne Rienner 2010) and has published numerous articles on democratic transitions and breakdowns, protest, and political forecasting.