My name is Manuel Meléndez-Sánchez. I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Harvard University, where I am affiliated with the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. In 2023-23, I was a USIP-Minerva Peace and Security Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace.

I study contemporary challenges to democracy, with a focus on Latin America. My dissertation examines what I call criminal electioneering—deliberate attempts by criminal organizations to influence elections—in Mexico and Central America.

My writing has appeared in the Journal of Democracy, Lawfare, Slate, the Washington Post, and others. I have consulted for the World Bank and for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through NORC.

At Harvard, I have taught and helped design courses on formal theory, research methods, organized crime, and comparative politics. In 2021, I received the Derek C. Bok Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching of Undergraduates.

I have an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.Sc. from Oxford, where I was a Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholar and a member of St. Antony’s College. I was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador.

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