Mala Htun

    Professor, Political Science
    Deputy Director, Advance at UNM

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Photo: Mala  Htun

Dr. Mala Htun received an appointment at The University of New Mexico in 2011 in the Department of Political Science. In addition to her teaching and research, Htun serves as the deputy director of ADVANCE at UNM, a NSF-funded program to promote women and minority STEM faculty. She offers both undergraduate and graduate courses for Latin American Studies students. Her research centers around comparative politics, with emphases in women’s rights, politics of race and ethnicity, and Latin American politics. She is author of Inclusion Without Representation in Latin America: Gender Quotas and Ethnic Reservations (Cambridge University Press, 2016) Sex and the State: Abortion, Divorce, and the Family under Latin American Dictatorships and Democracies (Cambridge Press, 2003), and The Logics of Gender Justice: State Action on Women’s Rights around the World (book forthcoming from Cambridge, co-authored with Laurel Weldon). In 2015, she was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Formerly, she held the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship in Japan, and was a fellow at the Kellogg Institute of the University of Notre Dame and the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard. She has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Norwegian Research Council, Social Science Research Council, and National Security Education Program. She has served as a consultant to the World Bank, UN Women, Inter-American Development Bank, and the Inter-American Dialogue. 


  • PhD in Political Science, Harvard University (2000)
  • MA in Political Science, Harvard University (1996)
  • AB in International Relations, Stanford University (1991)

Research Areas

  • Comparative Politics
  • Latin American Politics
  • Politics of Race and Ethnicity
  • Women's Rights

Country Specialization(s)

  • Latin America

Latin American Studies Courses

*Latin America-related courses offered during the past three years*

  • POLS 496/520 Pro Seminar in Comparative Politics
  • POLS 496/521 Seminar: Gender Politics