Huan Gao received her Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University. Her research agenda centers on spatial politics and civil society, with a regional focus on China. Her dissertation uses natural disasters and the ensuing destruction and reconstruction of cities as a window to analyze how space affects social mobilization and civil society development. It centers on the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China, supplemented by analyses of comparable disaster cases in the United States and Japan. This research program seeks to draw attention to thephysical urban environment as an important yet overlooked aspect of state power and governance. At the CSCC, Huan will focus on a book project and continue to pursue her interest in spatial politics in China with an ongoing experiment project that investigates how spatial configurations affect social contact and cooperation.