Hello! My name is Michael Olson, and I am an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis, where I am also a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity. My research focuses on the role that elections play in shaping representation in American politics. To explore how different electoral and legislative institutions shape representation, I use a wide variety of data from across American history and different levels of government. You can find my CV here and my Google Scholar profile here. 

Before coming to Washington University, I completed my Ph.D. in Political Science at Harvard University, and my B.A. in Political Science at Vanderbilt University. I am originally from Port Washington, Wisconsin. When I'm not working, I enjoy fishing, exploring St. Louis on foot and bike, watching Chicago Cubs baseball, and going for walks in Tower Grove Park with my wife and retired racing greyhound, Memphis.

"Democracy!" mural designed by Ralph Steadman. Photograph by Michael Olson.