Journalist Sasha Issenberg to be Civil Society Fellow

Political journalist Sasha Issenberg will be in residence as a Fellow in the Center for Civil Society in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the UCLA Department of Political Science for spring quarter 2014.

Mr. Issenberg is currently Washington correspondent for The Monocle, a magazine covering global affairs, business culture and design. He is the Author of The Victory Lab: the Secret Science of Winning Elections (Crown, 2012), which shows how political campaigns have been transformed by innovations in data, analytics, and behavioral psychology. He is also the author of The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of Modern Delicacy (Gotham/Penguin, 2007), which describes how sushi went from a street snack to a major global commodity in less than a decade.

He is currently writing a book on marriage equality to be published by Crown/Random House, The Engagement: A Quarter-Century of Defending, Defining, and expanding Marriage in America. The Engagement will document the political, legal, and social history of the battles over gay marriage in the United States. Mr. Issenberg’s UCLA Fellowship is supported in part by a generous contribution from the David Bohnett Foundation.

Mr. Issenberg will co-teach a Fiat Lux undergraduate course, Victory Lab, Exploring the Mechanics of Modern Campaigns with Lynn Vavreck of the Political Science Department, who was instrumental in bringing Mr. Issenberg to UCLA. The Fiat Lux Course will meet every other Tuesday from 3:30 to 4:50 in room 1284 of the Public Affairs building. Luskin students are welcome to sit in on the class, which will also feature a number of prominent guest speakers from the political arena.

In addition he will lead brown bag lunch discussions for the Luskin community: Thursday, May 1, 12 pm Why We Stopped Fighting over Gay Marriage” in 3333, and Wednesday, May 14, 12 pm for Why the Democrats Are Better with Data in Room 3343. He will also lead a Dean’s Salon in May on the topics of “Sushi, Campaign Strategy, and Civil Rights.”

Mr. Issenberg has held editorial and reporting positions for George, Philadelphia Magazine, The Boston Globe, and Slate. He has also published articles in a wide range of major publications including the New York Times Magazine, New York, The Atlantic and The Washington Monthly. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics in 2013. He is a 2002 graduate of Swarthmore College.

Most recently, he published “America Exports Democracy, Just not the Way You Think,” in the March 14 Sunday New York Times Review.  And in 2012 he held his own with Stephen Colbert.

Mr. Issenberg’s office is Rm 6273, in the Public Affairs Building, and he can be reached at

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