Emily Zier

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Administration

Emily is a PhD Candidate interested in public policy analysis and policy implementation. Emily’s research specifically focuses on understanding how policies affect vulnerable populations, including but not limited to children, individuals with disabilities, and those of lower socioeconomic status.

Emily’s research is inspired by her advocacy efforts and legislative work. Over the past nine years Emily has volunteered to train service dogs for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. Through this work, Emily has met a diverse set of individuals with unique needs and has discovered how imperative it is that policy addresses inequities between the general public and vulnerable populations.

Prior to graduate school Emily independently campaigned for new policies addressing service dog access in Maryland. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Government and Politics from University of Maryland. During her time as a student, she wrote the new state policy and advocated for its passage, which was successful. She is currently working with legislators to revamp service dog policy in the state of Georgia. Emily has also been invited to work on national projects with the American Veterinary Medical Association to address service dog fraud policy on a larger scale.

Emily also earned her Masters of Public Administration and Policy at University of Georgia. During this time period, Emily served as President of Georgia Students for Public Administration – the student organization representing the Masters Program – and won an award for completing over 100 hours of volunteer service in a year.

Emily’s current research projects focus on areas of policy that are generally understudied – how federal policy affects educational outcomes amongst students with disabilities and how state policy affects individuals with disabilities who utilize service dogs. On a broader level, Emily is motivated to conduct research that can go on to be used to advocate for change and close the gap in access to resources between vulnerable populations and the general public.


B.A. | University of Maryland | 2013  | Government & Politics, Minor Spanish Language and Culture

M.P.A. | University of Georgia | 2015 | Public Administration & Policy

Of Note

Research Assistantship, Department of Public Administration & Policy, Dr. David Bradford, August 2017 – Present.

Teaching Assistantship, Department of Political Science, University of Georgia,   August 2013 – May 2017.

George D. Busbee Summer Research Assistantship Award, 2016.

Annual 100 Hours Volunteer of Service Award, University of Georgia, 2015.

Honors Day Guest, University of Georgia, 2010.


Research Interests

Emily’s research focus specifically focus on understanding how policy affects vulnerable populations. Emily is broadly interested in health policy, education policy, and disability policy.