My name is Manuel Meléndez-Sánchez. I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Harvard University and 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 the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras).

My writing has appeared in the Journal of Democracy, Lawfare, Slate, and 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.

Email Me.