James Sutherland

Doctoral Candidate


James is a doctoral candidate and instructor in Northeastern University’s Department of Political Science, specializing in American and Comparative Politics. He also has extensive training in quantitative analysis (SPSS and R) and geographic information system software (ArcGIS). James is currently teaching his second semester of Quantitative Techniques (POLS 2400).

Research Interests

James is primarily interested in urban politics, and in particular, municipal campaigns and elections. His dissertation (in progess) is a large-N comparative analysis focusing on the democratic deficits of local electoral systems in large American cities. James is also currently involved in research looking at the role that geospatial variables play in causing political polarization.

Work Experience

James has worked for Boston City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley for the past 4 years and is currently her Research Director. James’ work in the Office of City Councilor Ayanna Pressley focuses on public transportation, economic development, land use and zoning, data collection, social media, and community outreach. In his capacity as Research Director, James recently authored an ordinance mandating all large city-contracted vehicles to be equipped with enhanced safety measures designed to prevent fatalities and further reduce the risk of collision with vulnerable road users.


James, a California native, moved to Boston in 2009 to finish his Bachelor’s Degree at Emmanuel College where he also played NCAA Division III volleyball. In his free time, James enjoys playing and watching volleyball, baseball, and football.


Sutherland, James D. and Lawrence S. DiCara. 2013. “Where the Votes are in Boston.” Commonwealth (Spring): 19-21.

Sutherland, James D. and Lawrence S. DiCara. 2013. “Elections highlight shifts in Boston voting.” Commonwealth (August 6).

Sutherland, James D. and Lawrence S. DiCara. 2013. “No surge of ‘new’ voters.” Commonwealth (October 10).

Sutherland, James D. and Lawrence S. DiCara. 2013. “A tale of two cities.” Commonwealth (November 13).

Conference Presentation

Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Conference (2010, 2011)

Midwestern Political Science Association Annual Conference (2014)

Research Interests: Local and State Politics, Campaigns and Elections, Electoral Campaign Rhetoric, Political Marginalization, and Zoning and Community Development.

Contact info:
331 Meserve Hall