Vanessa is a PhD student in Political Science at the University of Toronto, specializing in Comparative Politics and International Development Studies. She is a Junior Fellow at Massey College and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada doctoral scholar.
Her research explores the role of taxation in development in post-conflict and low-income countries, and the ways in which state and non-state taxation relates to the formation of political order in conflict-affected countries. She has conducted related field research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Sudan, and South Sudan.
She has worked as a consultant, research manager and lecturer for the Institute of Development Studies, the African Tax Administration Forum, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Danish Refugee Council. Prior to starting her PhD she worked at the International Centre for Tax and Development and the Conflict-Affected and Fragile Countries unit of the World Bank.
She holds a Master of Global Affairs from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of British Columbia.