Christopher is an applied researcher, methodological nerd and technological optimist. He is currently completing his doctorate in media studies at the University of Oslo, where his research focuses on the institutional conditions that facilitate open government and digital civic engagement by government institutions. Christopher’s research mixes qualitative and quantitative methods, with a focus on the influence of norms and culture in established democracies. He blogs about research and methods for assessing civic technology at https://methodicalsnark.org.
Christopher is currently a visiting fellow at the Beeck Center and adjunct faculty at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Christopher also provides strategic support on research design and organizational development for nonprofit organizations, including the Norwegian parliamentary monitoring organization HolderDeOrd and the HIVOS international program on transparency and accountability.
Prior to joining the University of Oslo in 2016, Christopher co-founded and spent six years growing The Engine Room, a civil society organization supporting the use of technology in advocacy. Christopher led the organization’s applied research portfolio with a focus on cross-country comparisons, strategic analysis and methodological innovation. Christopher also worked directly with small and large nonprofit organizations to develop appropriate tools and methodologies for collecting data and conducting research within advocacy contexts, and led the organization’s work on data ethics. Before co-founding The Engine Room, Christopher worked for six years as a communications officer in the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre, supporting civil society use of new technologies in governance assessments, and coordinated convenings and trainings for the the International Freedom of Exchange Network.
Christopher has lived in Norway for the past 18 years, and can almost pass for a local. In his free time he likes to act childish with kids, climb trees, perform weddings, croon and play burlesque bass. He quit travelling when he left The Engine Room.
Education: University of California, Berkeley, B.A. in Rhetoric and Political Argumentation; University of Oslo, MPh in International Human Rights Law; University of Oslo, doctoral program in media studies ongoing.
Hometown: Born in California, began rambling early.
The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do. -B. F. Skinner (1969)
There are cameras nowadays that have been developed to tell the difference between a squirrel and a bomb. – George W. Bush
What I’m Reading Now: Democracy for Realists (because fake news isn’t depressing enough)