James Sutherland

Doctoral Candidate


James Sutherland is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University, specializing in American and Comparative Politics. He has a strong background and interest in local government and elections. James has served as an instructor for Quantitative Techniques (POLS 2400), Urban Policies and Politics (POLS 2345), and American Government (POLS 1150).

Research Interests

James’ primary research focus is on urban politics and city governance. In particular, James studies municipal elections and campaigns. His dissertation (expected Fall 2016) focuses on electoral institutions and voter turnout in major American cities. James is proficient in ArcGIS, SPSS, and STATA.

Prior Work

Since 2011, James has worked for Boston City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley. He is currently serving as her Research Director. James’ legislative work focuses on economic development, voter access and democratic reform, land use and zoning, cycling infrastructure, data collection, social media, and community relations.


James, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, moved to Boston in 2009 to finish his Bachelor’s Degree at Emmanuel College. While at Emmanuel, played NCAA Division III volleyball. Outside of his academic work, James enjoys traveling; photography; coffee; watching and playing volleyball, baseball, and football; and more recently, viticulture and enology.


Sutherland, James, and James Chisholm. 2016. “Four arguments for four-year Boston City Council terms.” CommonWealth Magazine (April 18).

Dicara, Lawrence S., Sutherland, James D., and Samuel True Adams. 2015. “The incredibly vanishing Boston voter.” Commonwealth (October 22).

Sutherland, James D. 2015. “Instant runoff voting could improve Boston elections.” Commonwealth (July 7).

Sutherland, James D., Dicara, Lawrence S., and Samuel True Adams. 2015. “Kid-free Boston.” Commonwealth (March 19).

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

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

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. “Where the Votes are in Boston.” Commonwealth (Spring): 19-21.


Conference Presentations

Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Conference (2010, 2011)

Midwestern Political Science Association Annual Conference (2014)


Degrees earned and institution:

BA, Emmanuel College

MA, Northeastern University


Research Interests: Local Government, Campaigns and Elections, Electoral Institutions, Voter Turnout, Urban Policy, Community and Economic Development

Contact info:
Twitter: @jdsuth