Nathaniel Persily

Faculty Research Affiliate  ·

Nate Persily is the James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, with appointments in the departments of Political Science, Communication, and the Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies. He is the Founding Co-Director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center and its Program on Democracy and the Internet, as well as the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project. 

Professor Persily’s scholarship and legal practice address issues such as voting rights, political parties, campaign finance, redistricting, and election administration – all topics covered in his coauthored election law casebook, The Law of Democracy (Foundation Press, 6th ed., 2020), with Samuel Issacharoff, Pamela Karlan, Richard Pildes and Franita Tolson. He has served as a special master or court-appointed expert to craft congressional or legislative districting plans for Georgia, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. He also served as the Senior Research Director for the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

His current work, for which he has been honored as a Guggenheim Fellow, Andrew Carnegie Fellow, and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, examines the impact of social media and artificial intelligence on political communication, campaigns, and elections. His most recent book is a coedited volume with Joshua Tucker, Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field and Prospects for Reform (Cambridge Press, 2020). 

Professor Persily is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as a commissioner on the Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age. He received a B.A. and M.A. in political science from Yale (1992); a J.D. from Stanford (1998) where he was President of the Stanford Law Review, and a Ph.D. in political science from U.C. Berkeley in 2002.