Jonathan Woon, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies


Professor Woon received his PhD in political economics from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and his SB in political science with a minor in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After completing his doctorate, he served as an assistant professor of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University before joining the faculty of the Dietrich School in 2007. He was promoted to the rank of full professor in 2018.

Woon’s research interests are wide-ranging and include experimental and behavioral political economy, formal theory, empirical implications of theoretical models, decision research, collective choice, strategic communication, representation, elections, political parties, Congress, and American politics. A widely published and prolific scholar, his work with departmental colleague Associate Professor Kristin Kanthak on the gender gap in candidate emergence was funded by the National Science Foundation and has received best paper awards for women and politics. Professor Woon has also led the Behavioral Models of Politics project with Duke University Professor David Siegel, which received NSF support to provide mentoring and graduate educational experiences. This project seeks to organize a research community and promote a dialogue between theorists and empiricists to expand the range of analytical models used by political scientists and political economists beyond the standard rational choice, game theoretic paradigm by incorporating behavioral concepts, bounded rationality, psychology, and cognition.

A highly engaged member of our community of scholars, Woon has served as chair of political science since 2018, and for a term prior to that served as the acting department chair. He was Director of Undergraduate Studies for his department from 2015 until 2018. In addition to his primary appointment as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science, he holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Economics, and he is an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Experimental Economics Laboratory. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Vanderbilt University, Stanford University, and the University of Amsterdam.