Curriculum Vitae: pdf file
My research program integrates topics related to economic inequality, gender inequality, crime and violence, and international migration. Broadly defined, my research examines three main questions: 1) How do contexts characterized by economic marginalization and violence affect disadvantaged citizens’ political behavior? 2) What are the political consequences of strategies disadvantaged citizens adopt to cope with economic marginalization and violence? 3) how can the state help level the playing field for minorities and marginalized citizens? To explore these questions, I employ experimental and non-experimental research designs as well as advanced statistical methods, including multilevel modeling, multilevel path analysis, and causal inference techniques.
My research is based on extensive data collection I have carried out in El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil, as well as on publicly available datasets. To evaluate the political impacts of inequality, I rely on both public opinion and elite surveys. My research is also informed by in-depth interviews I have carried out with political elites in multiple Latin American countries. Though grounded in Latin America, my work goes beyond this region and explores patterns of political inequality across the globe.
My peer-reviewed articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal of Politics, World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, the Latin American Research Review, Latin American Politics and Society, the Journal of International Sociology (special issue on Political Inequality), Journal of Democracy, and PS: Political Science and Politics. My article at the Journal of Politics received the 2017 Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA)’s Sophonisba Breckinridge Award for best paper on women and politics. More recently, I have been invited to revise and resubmit one of my articles at the journal of Comparative Politics, and two of my new articles have been invited to be part of special issues in refereed journals, the Latin American Research Review (LARR) and América Latina Hoy edited at the University of Salamanca, Spain.
Since joining the University of Kentucky, I have received over $100,000 in grants and fellowships to support my research. Last year, I was granted a research fellowship by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) at Harvard University, which allowed me to spend a semester in Cambridge. In addition, my research has been sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Office for Policy Studies on Violence against Women, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the College of Arts and Science at the University of Kentucky.
I completed my graduate studies at Vanderbilt University, where I obtained a PhD in Political Science and two Master’s degrees, one in Economics, the other in Latin American Studies. Before joining the University of Kentucky, I was a post-doctoral fellow in the Latin American Public Opinion Project at Vanderbilt University, where I served as the lead researcher of USAID’s Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) impact evaluation project. I have also been a Fulbright Fellow and worked as a consultant for The World Bank.