Greer Mellon

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at Columbia University. My research examines how the characteristics of organizations shape individual and organizational decision-making and contribute to social stratification. This work contributes to the sociology of education, research on inequality and stratification, and political sociology.

Research on School District Governance: My dissertation research examines the effects of school district leadership and governance on student achievement and district policy outcomes. One of my dissertation papers examines variation in superintendent effects on student achievement, using a longitudinal dataset I constructed on superintendent employment tenures in 26 states matched to achievement data. The subsequent papers of my dissertation examine the role of partisanship in school district policymaking — whether school boards typically appoint co-partisan superintendents, and whether school boards are more likely to authorize tax and bond funding elections under Democratic majorities. This work has been funded by an NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship.

School Racial Composition and Parents’ School Preferences: In a forthcoming Sociology of Education paper coauthored with Bonnie Siegler, I examine how the presence of Asian students in schools affects white parents’ school preferences. Using data from an original conjoint experiment, we find that white parents significantly prefer schools with fewer Asian students, and that these preferences align with social stereotypes about schools with more Asian students. This paper was the recipient of the Sociology of Education Association’s best graduate student paper award (2023). I am continuing to examine parents’ race-based school preferences in my ongoing work.

Gender Inequality in the High-Skilled U.S. Labor Market: I also examine how organizations contribute to gender inequality in the labor market. I am currently working on a co-authored project with Benjamin Elbers and Thomas DiPrete examining the factors that led to an increase in female representation on U.S. corporate board of directors since 2016. We also examine whether companies continue to appoint women to boards as “tokens”, or whether there has been a shift towards genuine gender inclusivity in recent years. I am also developing a second project with Thomas DiPrete to examine how employer pay differences contribute to ongoing gender inequality in the labor market, especially for highly-skilled women.

In addition to these research interests, I am also committed to understanding and supporting the experiences of students who are underrepresented in higher education. Another of my co-authored projects examines how the college major decision process contributes to inequality in higher education outcomes for low-SES college students.

I have an MA in Statistics from Columbia University, and an MPhil in Development Studies (International Development) from the University of Oxford, which I received on a Euretta J. Kellett fellowship. I also have experience conducting research for federal government agencies and nonprofit organizations. I have previously conducted research for the National Endowment for the Arts, Legal Services Corporation, the Digital Harbor Foundation, and Benenson Strategy Group.

Outside of work, I’m into long-distance running, and ran my first NYC Marathon in 2021. I’m also an elected member of the Manhattan Democratic Party County Committee and member of the West Side Democrats.

I can be reached at or @greermellon on twitter.