Awardee | Viridiana Rios (Ph.D. '13)
Viridiana Rios is the 2014 recipient of the American Political Science Association's Leonard D. White Award, honoring the best dissertation in the field of public administration.
Rios's dissertation, How Government Structure Encourages Criminal Violence: The Causes of Mexico's Drug War, "advances a theory about corruption, criminal organizations, and violence to show how political institutions set incentives and constraints that lead criminal organizations behave, organize, compromise or fight one another...[This] argument sheds light on why many criminal organizations are able to operate profitably without major episodes of violence, and illuminates the causes of Mexico’s large increases in drug–related violence."
Rios earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard in 2013. She is currently CEO of México ¿Cómo vamos? a Mexican think tank that studies economic development.