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Carolina Bernal

MPP '17

Growing up in Colombia, Carolina Bernal observed how armed conflict and civil war impacted the judicial system, and she decided to make an impact. After earning an undergraduate degree in law from Universidad EAFIT in Colombia, she conducted academic research at think tank Dejusticia and made policy recommendations for the criminal system. She then joined the Colombian Prosecution Office, working for the attorney general as a public policy advisor. She studied the relationship between strong state systems and the ability to prosecute homicides and drug trafficking.

Following her graduation from Harris Public Policy, Bernal worked as a research assistant with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Labs (J-PAL) under professor Oeindrila Dube, the Philip K. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies. Bernal is now a PhD candidate in political science at Columbia University, where she aspires to understand how Colombia’s institutions should adapt to conflict and where they should concentrate to bring about much-needed change.

Baidoa, Somalia

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