Michele Claiborn

Michele Claibourn

Assistant Professor of Public Policy

Education & Training
Ph.D. Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A. Political Science, Rice University

As the Director of Equitable Analysis for The Equity Center at UVA, Michele Claibourn leads the Center’s community-engaged data science work in support of a more equitable and just region. She has directed or supervised multiple community-based research projects in the Charlottesville community, including racial equity studies for the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless. Additional work at the Equity Center includes the collaborative development of the Virginia Evictors Catalog and the Reading Inequities sites, updating and expanding the Stepping Stones report on youth and community well-being in the Charlottesville, region, co-production of the Albemarle County Equity Profile and a regional Orange Dot Report examining family self-sufficiency in the Charlottesville area. Her team’s work was featured by UVA’s 2020 Racial Equity Taskforce. She is currently part of an NSF-Funded Coastal Futures Grant to build a climate equity atlas for Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Claibourn works to connect the developing data expertise of UVA students to the community as well through her faculty appointment in the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy where she teaches Imagining Equitable Policy and Public Interest Data: Ethics and Practice. She has previously co-taught Saving Lives with Data and, as a first-gen college student herself, she helped develop and co-teach the first Project First Gen+ class at UVA. She currently holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Data Science, where she helped launch a Community Data Fellows program.

Prior to joining The Equity Center and Batten, she founded and led the StatLab, teaching courses and workshops on computational text analysis, applied causal inference, data wrangling, and machine learning. She built and directed Research Data Services in the UVA Library. As a faculty in UVA’s Political Science Department, she taught graduate courses on probability and statistical theory, linear modeling, time series analysis, and maximum likelihood analysis along with substantive courses in political psychology and communication, the presidency and the public, and campaigns and elections. She served as an invited instructor at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research’s Summer Program on Quantitative Methods of Social Research (2002-2005) teaching advanced maximum likelihood and mixed-effects modeling.

Her research publications include Presidential Campaigns and Presidential Accountability (University of Illinois Press 2011) as well as articles in The Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Political Communication, Political Behavior, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and PNAS.