The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Ray La Raja

Professional Title: 

Professor of Political Science


Thompson 634

Phone Number: 



Office Hours: 

Spring 2020: Due to the coronavirus, effective March 16, I will not hold onsite office hours. Email me to set up appointment to talk remotely. Be well!


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; Master in Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard


Ray La Raja's areas of expertise include political parties, interest groups, campaign finance, elections, political participation, American state and local politics, public policy and political reform. He is co-founder and former co-editor of The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics and a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Campaign Finance Institute. He was past president of the Political Organizations and Parties section of the American Political Science Association.   He is co-author, with Brian Schaffner, of Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail (Univ. of Michigan Press 2015), which was the winner of the Virginia Gray Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association's State Politics and Policy section. He has a forthcoming co-authored book with Brian Schaffner and Jesse Rhodes on inequality in local politics with Cambridge University Press.  He is Associate Director of the UMass Poll, which conducts public opinion research in Massachusetts and the United States to inform policymaking.  

Area of Study: 

  • American politics
  • Public policy and organizations

Curriculum Vitae: 

Download pdf (195.61 KB)


  • Political Science