Michele Claiborn

Michele Claibourn

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

Michele Claibourn, a political scientist and statistician, has 20 years of experience teaching, leading, and managing research and data science teams, most recently in building and leading the Research Data Services & Social, Natural, and Engineering Sciences team in the UVA Library, where she serves as Director.

At Batten she teaches the Public Interest Data Lab and co-teaches Project First Gen+ at UVA, is a faculty affiliate in the Global Policy Center/Humanitarian Collaborative, and co-directs the Community Policy, Analytics, and Strategy (CommPAS) Lab. 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.

Michele has a joint appointment at UVA’s Equity Center, where she directs the Center’s data science research. She is co-PI on the Library’s IMLS-funded Collaborative Regional Equity Atlas Grant, working with community partners to build information resources for promoting equity and justices in our region. Her team’s work was featured by the 2020 Racial Equity Taskforce. She is the lead architect of the Regional Equity Dashboard, which aims to provide tools for community members to engage the policy process and hold political leaders accountable.

Dr. Claibourn has taught graduate courses on probability and statistical theory, linear modeling, time series analysis, maximum likelihood analysis, multilevel modeling, and computational text analysis along with workshops on data wrangling, text analysis, and supervised and unsupervised machine learning. 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) where she taught advanced maximum likelihood and mixed-effects modeling. At the undergraduate level, she has taught courses on political psychology, political communication, research design and data analysis, campaign politics, and the presidency.

She has worked as an applied statistician in the Demographics & Workforce group at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service (2011-2013) where she developed population projections and used spatial analysis, time series modeling, and mixed effects approaches for understanding demographic change.

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