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, political sociology, and research on inequality. Methodologically, my research uses a wide variety of quantitative methods including multilevel modeling, decomposition analysis, conjoint analysis, and two-way fixed effects analysis. My research combines multiple sources of data including large-scale administrative data, web scraped records, surveys, and experiments. My research has been funded by an NAEd/Spencer Dissertation fellowship.

My dissertation research examines the effects of school district leadership and governance on student achievement and district policy outcomes. One of my dissertation chapters 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 chapters 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.

In addition to my dissertation research, I am currently working on several co-authored projects that examine educational inequalities in other settings. One project examines whether anti-Asian biases affect white parents’ school preferences. A second project examines how the college major decision process contributes to inequality in higher education outcomes for low-SES college students.

I also have an MA in Statistics from Columbia University, and an MPhil in Development Studies (International Development) from the University of Oxford. Before beginning my Ph.D., I worked in applied nonprofit and government work, and worked on 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 greer.mellon@columbia.edu or @greermellon on twitter.