We work with our local partners to design, implement, and analyze randomized controlled studies that assess a wide range of programs and practices. We then share the results of our studies so that we can build a repository of best practices and facilitate broader discussions about how to improve community wellbeing. Marquette Democracy Lab (MDL) is a regional affiliate of Laboratories of Democracy, a network of academics from across the country who share a commitment to maximizing policy effectiveness.


MDL is led by Dr. Amber Wichowsky, assistant professor of political science at Marquette University. Dr. Wichowsky received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University’s Center for the Study of American Politics. She previously worked on community development policy and performance management initiatives at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Dan Matthews is Assistant Director at MDL. Born in New Jersey, raised in Oklahoma, and educated in Minnesota, Dan has lived in a variety of climates, both political and physical. After graduating from Carleton College with a degree in Political Science in 2010, he served two years in St. Paul as an AmeriCorps volunteer supporting 40 low-income students as they prepared for college. With the support of the Trinity Fellowship, Dan earned his Master's Degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Public Administration from Marquette, where he focused on American politics, entrepreneurial leadership and social innovation.