Liz McKenna is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at UC Berkeley. Her book, Groundbreakers: How Obama’s 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America (co-authored with Hahrie Han, Oxford University Press, 2014) examines how the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns expanded traditional models of field campaigning using the principles and practices of community organizing.
Liz’s broader research agenda focuses on how protests and social movements across the ideological spectrum interact, and how they vary in their capacity to influence formal politics. Her dissertation uses a prospective case study design to study the leadership, membership, organization, and strategies of right and left-wing movement coalitions in Brazil as they contest state power.
Before Berkeley, Liz worked as an organizer in Rio de Janeiro and Port Clinton, as a regional field director in Columbus for the Obama re-elect, and as the founding program manager in the San Francisco Bay Area for New Sector Alliance. She holds an M.A. in sociology from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in social studies from Harvard College.