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ABOUT US

We are developing innovative methodologies and data streams to generate scientific understanding about the causes, consequences, and dynamics of violence. We aim with our research to contribute to restore peace, security, and protect human rights.

OUR TEAM

Current members

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Beatriz
Magaloni
Director
Personal Website

Beatriz Magaloni is Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University. She is also an affiliated faculty at the Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development. Her research interests fall into four themes: the study of authoritarian regimes; electoral and distributive politics; “traditional” forms of governance and non-state provision of public goods; and violence, public security and human rights. Much of her research has focused on Latin America.

She is the founding director of the Poverty, Violence, and Governance Lab. The Povgov Lab engages researchers and students — undergraduates, M.A. and Ph.D. candidates — from the fields of political science, education, economics, international policy studies, and engineering with the goal of finding solutions to problems of lawlessness and violence.

She is the author of Voting for Autocracy (2006, Cambridge University Press –winner of the Leon D. Epstein Outstanding Book Award for the best book written in the previous two years on parties and elections and the Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association’s Comparative Democratization Section). She is also the author of The Political Logic of Poverty Relief: Electoral Strategies and Social Policy in Mexico (2016, Cambridge University Press, co-authored with Alberto Diaz-Cayeros and Federico Estévez).

Her research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Conflict Resolution, World Development, Comparative Political Studies, Annual Review of Political Science, Latin American Research Review, International Journal of Educational Development, Latin American Politics and Society, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Journal of Theoretical Politics, and Política y Gobierno.

Beatriz Magaloni received her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University and obtained her Law degree from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).

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Alberto
Díaz-Cayeros
Affiliated Faculty
Personal Website

Alberto Díaz-Cayeros is Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law (CDDRL) and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Stanford University. His research interests include federalism, poverty relief, indigenous governance, the political economy of health, violence, and citizen security in Mexico and Latin America. He is the author of Federalism, Fiscal Authority and Centralization in Latin America (Cambridge, reedited 2016) and coauthor with Federico Estévez and Beatriz Magaloni of The Political Logic of Poverty Relief (Cambridge, 2016), as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters. He is currently working on a project concerning the developmental legacies of colonial rule and governance in indigenous communities in Mexico. In addition, he is the co-PI (with Beatriz Magaloni) of the project Citizen Trust and Evidence-Based Police Accountability and Professionalization in Mexico.

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Kim Alexander
Juarez Jensen
Research Associate

As a Research Associate, Kim Juárez is managing various of the Lab's research projects, including an RCT on gender-based violence in Mexico, a lab-in-the-field experiment on corruption at the US-Mexico border, and mapping organized crime presence in all of Mexico's municipalities. Kim holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen and a MA in Latin American Studies, Political Economy Track from Stanford University. Prior to joining POVGOV, Kim worked in the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Danish Parliament, and Transparency International. 

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Belinda
Byrne
Program Manager
Belinda Byrne is grant administrator for the Poverty, Violence and Governance Lab. Prior to this role, she served for many years as executive director at the Freeman Spogli Institute, overseeing administration, finance, faculty affairs and institutional planning. Before that, she held management positions at Stanford’s Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine and at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. A graduate of UC Berkeley, she has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a master’s degree in Education/Learning Design and Technologies.
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Benjamin
Shenouda
H2A Program Manager

Ben is the Research Program Manager for the Guestworker Migration Initiative. His main interests lie at the intersection of migration, development, and humanitarian work. Before joining the King Center, Ben worked on a portfolio of migration-focused projects at the Center for Effective Global Action at UC Berkeley and conflict and violence prevention research at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He received his BA in political economy from UC Berkeley and his MA in humanitarian studies from Uppsala University in Sweden.

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Sarah
Thompson
Graduate Fellow

Sarah is a PhD candidate in Political Science at Stanford University. She is interested in how politically marginalized groups in Latin America and South Asia interact with the state. Currently, her work focuses on the impacts of traditional governance, and improving women’s civic engagement. She received a B.A. (with honors) in Political Science from Columbia University. 

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Madison A.
Dalton
Graduate Fellow

Madison Dalton is a Political Science Ph.D. student at Stanford University. She is interested in identifying strategies for reducing violence perpetrated against politically and socially marginalized individuals. Currently, her work focuses on preventative interventions addressing commercial sexual exploitation and violence against women and children. Prior to Stanford, she worked as a research associate for Mathematica Policy Research and served as a research fellow for the anti-trafficking nonprofit Love Justice International. She holds a B.S. (with honors) in Quantitative Science and Creative Writing from Emory University.

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Emily
Russell
Graduate Fellow
Personal Website

Emily Russell is a PhD student in Political Science studying comparative politics, international relations, and historical methods. She is a Knight-Hennessy scholar and an NSF fellow. Broadly, she is interested in political violence, including repression and militarization in zones of occupation. She is also interested in groups who organize outside of the state apparatus, including anti-colonial movements and modern forms of indigenous sovereignty. Previously, Emily was a research assistant at the University of Michigan and at the Icelandic Human Rights Centre in Reykjavik, Iceland. As a Kathryn Davis Projects for Peace fellow, she co-founded Playwriting for Peace in Pristina, Kosovo, which used applied theatre techniques to prevent security force enlargement. She maintains an affiliation with the Trivedi Centre for Political Data at Ashoka University in India.

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Hanna
Folsz
Graduate Fellow
Personal Website

Hanna Folsz is a PhD student in Political Science at Stanford University. Her research interests are focused on the political economy of accountability, corruption, and democratic backsliding. She is interested in understanding the determinants of effective democratic accountability, the role of money in politics, and processes of democratic erosion in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Her work applies modern causal inference, text analysis, and geospatial techniques to innovative data sources. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Politics from Durham University and an MSc in Political Science and Political Economy from the London School of Economics. 
 

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Miryea Lee
Sturdivant
Graduate Fellow

Miryea Sturdivant is a Political Science Ph.D. student studying comparative politics and American politics. Her research is broadly concerned with Black and Indigenous social movements, state violence, and racial identity; particularly how they interact to enforce racial hierarchies and repression. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Social Theory & Practice from the University of Michigan. Prior to Stanford, she worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Social Research and as a production coordinator for ABC News working on election projection models.

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Natalie
Chaudhuri
Graduate Fellow

Natalie Chaudhuri is a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science at Stanford. She is interested in violence by armed forces and environmental displacement in Central America. Natalie holds a B.S.F.S. in Regional and Comparative Studies and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. She has interned with governmental and nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. and Santiago, Chile. 

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Rosa Betsabeth
Urbina Diaz
Research Assistant

Betsabeth is a graduate of the Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Public Administration. Her professional interest in community development has led her to implement strategic projects in various areas of Mexico, aiming to generate a positive impact on the health and psychosocial development of communities. She has worked on the creation and implementation of methodological tools for promoting the rights of children and adolescents. Additionally, she has collaborated in organizing events and forums on gender issues.

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Alexi
Magallanes
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alexi Magallanes is an undergraduate majoring in Political Science with a minor in Human Rights. Her research interests are international law, human rights, and political development. Once she graduates from Stanford University she plans on attending law school.

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Chloé
Romero
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Chloé Romero is a Junior studying Earth Systems, with a concentration in Energy. Chloé has lived most of her life in Uruguay, and also has ties to Brazil, the US, and Cuba. She strongly values using data-driven approaches to study the issues facing Latin America. Chloé hopes to pursue a future working to solve environmental, socioeconomic and political issues in the region.

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Lizbeth
Hernandez
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lizbeth is a third-year student majoring in Political Science, with a focus on Political Economy and Development, and minoring in Human Rights and Art Practice. She is deeply passionate about the intersection of human rights enforcement by political stakeholders and its impact on (re)building political institutions, restoring public trust, and fostering inclusive and sustainable development.

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Liza
Goldberg
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Liza Goldberg is an M.A. candidate in Public Policy and B.S. candidate in Earth Systems. Goldberg has served as a NASA Earth Scientist for the last eight years, applying groundbreaking satellite-based analysis tools to inform deforestation policy across low- and middle-income nations. Goldberg is a 2024 Marshall Scholar, a National Geographic Explorer, the youngest female Google Developer Expert, a Sigma Squared Fellow, and a Slavin Foundation Fellow.

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Carlos
Schmidt-Padilla
External Collaborator
Personal Website

Carlos is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Development Research Initiative. His research leverages applied data science methods to study the political economy of development in Latin America and in sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, his research focuses on crime, human capital, migration, and policing under weak institutions. Carlos earned his doctorate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, in August 2021.

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Isabella
Montini
External Collaborator

Isabella C. Montini is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley with a focus on Comparative Politics and Methods. Her research focuses on the political economy of development, exploring topics such as violence, distributive politics, and welfare provision by state and “non-state” actors. Her methodological interests include applied causal inference methods. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Isabella worked as a research fellow at the Poverty, Violence, and Governance Lab at Stanford University in projects concerning criminal governance, militia expansion, and police violence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Isabella holds a MA in Latin American Studies with a specialization in Political Economy from Stanford University and a BA in Political Science and Sociology from the Humboldt-University in Berlin.

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Anikó
Antalfi
External Collaborator
Personal Website

As a photographer Anikó Antalfi  is documenting and story telling visually PovGov’s randomized control trial related to gender-based violence in Ecatepec, Mexico. 

She studied Theology and Literature at Babes-Bolyai University, holds a BA in Philosophy and Communication at Babes-Bolyai University and MA in Photography at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest. In her artistic practice, she is focusing on themes such as intimacy, representations of the self, boundaries of private and public and transitional states of life. Her work combine constructed images, performative elements and documentary techniques. 

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Nicole
Canali de Castro
External Collaborator

Nicole Canali de Castro is originally from Paraná, Brazil. She is interested in state fragility, political violence, and the impact of non-state actors on peacebuilding and security governance. Nicole holds a BA degree in international relations and a specialization in geopolitics and defense. Her thesis on the impact of private military companies on the fragility indicators in Somalia received honors from the evaluation board. At the Poverty, Violence, and Governance Lab at Stanford University, she worked as a Research Assistant in projects concerning militias in Rio de Janeiro, and Brazilian quilombos. Nicole is also an enthusiast of youth protagonism: in 2018, she represented Brazil on the Youth Ambassadors program, from the United States Government. Since 2019, she serves as a junior adviser on the Business Council of Paraná, contributing to the propagation of sustainability goals and mentoring other young people

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Enrique
Ariza Moedano
External Collaborator

Psychologist graduated from UNAM specialized as a community expert in cognitive behavioral therapy; He has worked for more than 10 years in the outskirts of Ecatepec promoting programs that support children, adolescents and young people in decision-making, psychoeducational and professional development, and has also developed his own model for intervention in clinical psychology focused on therapy brief.

Founder of the CIES Comprehensive Education and Health Center, which is a community center that provides care in the areas of health and education, receiving population from mother and child to the elderly, currently it is a self-sustaining place that coexists with the entire community of Ecatepec.

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Tara
Hein
External Collaborator

Tara is an undergraduate student studying political science, with an emphasis on political economy and development. Born and raised in Monteverde, Costa Rica, Tara is broadly interested in the relationship between citizens and the state in Latin America. In particular, she is interested in understanding how this relationship can be leveraged to alleviate poverty and strengthen democracy in the region. She is currently writing her honors thesis at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Her research examines how low-income individuals in Santiago, Chile, conceptualize their citizenship and how, in turn, they participate in politics and engage with the state.

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Vicente
Vargas
External Collaborator
Personal Website

POVGOV carries out many of its evaluations In Mexico in collaboration with Redes Sociales Para El Desarrollo AC, a non-governmental, not-for-profit civil association formed under the laws of Mexico and doing business as “REDDES”. For almost 20 years, Vicente Vargas has worked—both as a public servant and as a graduate student in Queens' College, Cambridge—on violent social conflicts. His main focus has been to recover the role of the state as the most fundamental social instrument, particularly in poor and violence ridden areas. Vicente has been involved in the attention to diverse conflicts. He supervised the Ministry of Development's response to the Zapatista rebellion in Las Cañadas. He was in charge of the Peace Commissioner's Office in Chiapas. He led the Strategy to alleviate poverty in the 100 poorest municipalities (Estrategia 100x100). From 2008 to 2013, he was in charge of the Program of Governance and Development in the 10 most vulnerable regions of Mexico (167 municipalities). Since 2013, Vicente has been the CEO of Redes Sociales para el Desarrollo (Reddes) and the Observatorio de Desarrollo Regional y Promoción Social (ODP).

Previous collaborators

Stephanie
Gimenez Stahlberg
Research Associate
Alice
Yiqian Wang
Graduate Fellow
Ameze
Belo-Osagie
Graduate Fellow
Cesar
Vargas Nunez
Graduate Fellow
José
L. Sabau
Master Student Affiliate
Raquel
Juárez
Research Assistant
Daniel
Astilla
Research Assistant
Bryan
Benitez
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Lauren Elizabeth
Winkley
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Mari
Bigolin Groff
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Melissa Severino
Severino de Oliveira
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Buddy
D. Noorlander
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Jaan
Altosaar
External Collaborator
Jonathan
Furszyfer
Academic Program Manager & Associate Researcher
Luis
Rodríguez
Data Scientist and Graduate Fellow
Gustavo
Robles
Research Scholar
Vanessa
Melo
Program Manager, Research Associate and Graduate Affiliate
Cesángari
López
Associate Researcher
Edgar
Franco
Graduate Affiliate
Veriene
Melo
Graduate Affiliate and Research Associate
Gabriela
Calderón
Postdoctoral Student
Brenda
Jarillo
Postdoctoral Student
Ana
C. Martins
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Gustavo
Empinotti
Graduate Affiliate
Catalina
Ramírez-Sáenz
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Eric
G. Cuevas
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Rosemarie
Sandino
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Robert
Nelson
Graduate Affiliate
Zaira
Razú
Graduate Affiliate
Elisa
Labore
Graduate Affiliate
Jorge
Olarte
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Sofía
Mac Gregor
Associate Researcher
César
Martínez
Graduate Affiliate
Alexis
Lynn Kallen
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Juan
J. Lucci
Graduate Affiliate
Mónica
Terán
Postdoctoral Student
Jonathan
Arriaga
Postdoctoral Student
Sarah
M. Goodman
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Jorge
Ramírez
Graduate Affiliate
Julio
A. Contreras
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Lorenzo
M. de la Puente
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Elena
Cryst
Program Manager
Alex
Ruíz
Non-Stanford Pre-doctoral student
Perla
Lizet González
Program Manager