Jamila Michener, PhD, MA is an associate professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. She is co-director of the Cornell Center for Health Equity and board Chair for the Cornell Prison Education Program. Her research focuses on the politics of poverty, racial inequality, and public policy in the United States. In particular, her work explores the conditions under which economically and racially disadvantaged groups engage in the political process, the effects of that engagement, and the role of the state in shaping the political and economic trajectories of marginalized communities. Her book, Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism and Unequal Politics examines how Medicaid — the nation’s public health insurance program for people with low income — affects democratic citizenship. Unpacking how federalism transforms Medicaid beneficiaries’ interpretations of government and structures their participation in politics, Fragmented Democracy assesses American political life from the vantage point(s) of those who are living in or near poverty, (disproportionately) Black or Latino, and reliant on a federated government for vital resources.

Dr. Michener’s research has been supported by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Ford Foundation. She received her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago and her undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Prior to working at Cornell, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at the University of Michigan.