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Camila Pérez

1st-Year MPP

Camila Pérez graduated from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, with a degree in political science and a minor in journalism. While studying, she worked as a research assistant for a project to analyze the political reintegration of former M-19 guerilla combatants, leading to her interest in political leadership amid armed conflict.

Upon graduation, Pérez moved to Monteria, a Colombian city historically afflicted by disputes among legal and illegal armed actors. Through the National Ministry of Education, she coordinated a team tasked with improving English literacy in K-12 public schools in vulnerable communities. The importance of political leadership became even more apparent through her interactions with young grassroots champions rebuilding social fabric through cultural programming and the development of historical memory in the region.

In 2018, she joined the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE), a Colombian NGO that fosters citizens’ political and civil rights. Pérez managed the Political and Social Violence Observatory, analyzing how the presence of illegal armed groups and aggression towards political and social leaders affected democratic processes in Colombia. She also evaluated the institutional architecture and legal framework of the Peace Accords with the FARC guerrillas, to advise the Colombian government on the implementation of democratic initiatives in fragile regions.

At The Pearson Institute, Pérez hopes to explore in depth how political participation is affected by violent contexts and vice versa. She particularly aims to assess the role of local and marginalized leaders in the articulation of national and local institutions, and the means by which they can boost consensuses that allow vulnerable communities to peacefully negotiate their demands.

Baidoa, Somalia

Makeshift, temporary shelter made of plastic and clothing at a refugee center in Baidoa, Somalia.