I am an assistant professor of political science at NYU Abu Dhabi. My research seeks to identify some of the determinants of global and sub-national variation in economic and political development, particularly among developing countries. I also employ field experiments to assess the impact of programs intended to improve service delivery and political accountability. The regional focus of my research is sub-Saharan Africa, where I have spent more than four years working and conducting fieldwork in eight countries since 2005.
I blog occasionally at the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, write for the Independent magazine, and am a panelist on KfM‘s The Hot Seat and NTV Uganda’s Fourth Estate in Uganda. I am a California native and have lived in Uganda, my second home, on and off since 2005. In Uganda I previously worked as a reporter at the Daily Monitor and The Independent magazine.
I received a PhD in political science from Stanford University in 2016, and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University in 2007 (go Card!).
New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)
Melina Platas Izama
Social Science (Bldg. A5), #145
P.O. Box 129188
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Email: mplatas [at] nyu [dot] edu