Maria
D. Perez

Ph.D. Candidate, Political Science and International Relations

University of Southern California

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About Me

Welcome! I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern California. I am also a graduate student in the Master of Science in Applied Economics and Econometrics (MS AEE). I have a strong mixed methods background through my experience working with survey data, A/B testing, survey experiments, interviews, focus groups, text analysis, vector autoregressions (VAR) and multilevel-regression analysis with postratification frames (MRP).


My research focuses on corporate political strategy, the behavior of political elites, affective polarization, and attitude formation. My dissertation looks at corporate activism to identify its determinants, as well as its consequences on the behavioral attitudes of social and political stakeholders.


Prior to my doctoral education, I worked as a public affairs and strategic communications consultant and analyst for international private firms and non-profit clients.

 

Professional Experience

UX Researcher & Market Research

Ableton, Inc

May 2021 - August 2021

  • Designed and executed a research project to expand the reach of Ableton’s software by identifying points of market entry, improving the methods to engage with current and prospect consumers, and informing the advertising product strategy.

  • Completed a competitive analysis and benchmarking report on the music software industry’s key players and their products.

  • Collaborated with the UX and product team in creating a mix method research framework to identify user needs and improve their engagement with the product. This included defining questions for a survey methodology and in-depth interviews, and developing quantitative measurements for usability testing.  

Graduate Research Assistant

University of Southern California

08/2020 - Present

  • Designed and executed a cross-country A/B test that increased the subscription of local politicians to a NGO’s newsletter.

  • Developed the statistical analysis of public opinion estimates by running hierarchical multilevel models with the R package lme4 using complex survey and demographic data.

  • Matched, cleaned and managed sensitive data from the cross-national European Value Survey database and other official European statistical data sources to feed into the hierarchical multilevel models.

  • Generated small-area poststratification frames (weights) using census data and the R package anesrake.

  • I am currently designing a cross-national survey of elected municipal officials with embedded survey experiments.

Executive Associate Public Affairs and
Corporate Strategic Communications

Estudio de Comunicación, Spain

10/2017 – 06/2018

  • Lead consultant in the development of the firm’s new public affairs research department.

  • Defined and implemented corporate political strategies through key stakeholder mapping and engagement tactics.

  • Designed and analyzed surveys, interviews and focus groups with clients’ stakeholders (i.e. consumers and employees).

Associate Public Affairs

KREAB Worldwide, Spain

12/2014 – 09/2017

  • Political strategy consultant for international clients from private and non-profit sectors.

  • Researcher at the KREAB Research Unit for socio-economic studies on trade and business growth in Spain.

  • Designing, implementing and analyzing corporate reputation and perception studies.

Public Relations and Communications Trainees

Ministry of Education and Culture, Australia

03/2012 – 08/2012

  • Researcher at the KREAB Research Unit for socio-economic studies on trade and business relations in Spain.

  • Formulated, implemented and analyzed corporate reputation and perception studies targeting the brand image of international clients from private and non-profit sectors. Methods included surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews and text analysis.

 

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant

2019

International Relations

University of Southern California

Undergraduate Course 


2020

Political Economy

University of Southern California

Undergraduate Course

2021

Advanced Strategy

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

MBA

 

Educational Background

Expected 2023

PhD, Political Science and International Relations

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Expected 2021

MS, Economics and Applied Econometrics

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

2017

Postgraduate Certificate, Public Affairs Management

Universidad Camilo José Cela, Spain

2015

MA, Political and Corporate Communication

Universidad Camilo José Cela, Spain

2014

BA, International Relations

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

2015

BA, English Studies and Linguistics

UNED, Spain

August 2007 - May 2011

MA Coral State University

This is a concise description of your educational experience. Use this space to provide background on the degree or qualification you received, including any important recognitions received along the way.

 

Publications and Working Papers

Values Over Money: The Effect of Corporate Activism on Political Stakeholders' Attitudes Towards The Firm

2021

Can Corporate Activism Drive Political Consumerism?

2021

What Drives Politicians to Learn?: A Cross-Country Experiment

2020 
(with Miguel Pereira, Kaya Axelsson and Nathalie Giger)

Who Has Preferential Access to Legislators:
A Lobbying Field Experiment and Elite Survey

2020

A Resource-Based Perspective of Corporate Political Capabilities

2020

 

Research Updates:

 
Screenshot-2021-03-31-at-21.11.25.webp

Modeling Public Opinion Estimates

Estimates of public opinion on climate change policy support by regions in the United Kingdom created for the Net Zero Climate campaign.

Click here to access the interactive map.

 

Contact

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