Kaleb Nyquist

Hello! I am a public policy professional specializing in addressing "wicked" collective action problems, such as climate change and democratic gridlock. My approach is data-and-values driven, incorporating rigorous statistical analysis alongside a commitment to partner with the best in humanity.

I recently graduated from the University of Chicago with a joint Master of Public Policy and Master of Divinity, and then supplemented by education with a Data Science Fellowship at the Flatiron School in Washington DC where my capstone project was an unsupervised machine learning analysis of voter survey data to better understand why public opinion does not always translate into public policy outcomes.

My previous professional experience includes working as a youth pastor in Chicago and as a faith-based climate change activist. I am available for speaking to youth groups, and am presently the youngest member of the Parliament of World Religion's Climate Action Task Force.

Currently, I am in the midst of a research project on North American Christian congregations responding to ecological despair. During 2020, I have also followed through on a commitment to join alongside those who are trying to "detox" our nation's politics during this election cycle, serving as the Head of Communications for the Bernadette Hansen for State Senate campaign.

What I Do


One of the most urgent public policy challenges facing us today is guaranteeing that our planet remains hospitable to human life through the end of the century. I seek in particular to identify and cultivate sustainable practices that are already emerging from the grassroots of communities, rather than imposing top-down prescriptions.

Democratic Reform

The good life is made possible by people having a sense of stewardship over how they and their neighbor are governed. I am an advocate for democratic reforms that decrease unproductive polarization and increase the responsiveness of elected officials to constituent desires, most recently serving as the co-chair for the Harris School of Public Policy's Project on Political Reform student advisory board.


In our attention overload economy it is all too easy for people to forget about the things that really matter. Working within the Christian tradition (with pietist influences) and equipped with multi-faith ministry training from the University of Chicago's Divinity School, I partner with others to create space that fosters souls of sacrificial love, deep joy, and sacred peace.

Data-and-Values Driven

I take a mixed-methods research approach that integrates qualitative data, quantitative data, historical narrative, and practical ethics. Such innovative and multidisciplinary research helps me get to what is at the heart of today's public policy dilemmas and imagine solutions that might otherwise be overlooked. A key value for me is the importance of listening ⁠— that is, letting the actual people behind the data points speak for themselves.