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 relationship between electoral and legislative institutions and legislative representation in the United States using observational data from across history and levels of government. Particular interests include the effects of party competition, the consequences of electoral and legislative reforms, and the central importance of the right to vote.
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.