Magda Hinojosa named director of ASU's School of Politics and Global Studies

Magda Hinojosa, professor at Arizona State University, has been named the new director for the School of Politics and Global Studies, an academic unit of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Hinojosa’s approach to leadership is motivated by her background. As a Mexican American woman who grew up on the U.S.-Mexico border, Hinojosa was drawn to researching marginalized groups and the processes and procedures that can bring people into positions of power. Hinojosa credits her research with igniting her passion for administration and points out that studying why it matters who sits at the decision-making table has motivated her to step into leadership roles.

Her research focuses on women’s political representation in Latin America, with her most recent book (co-authored with ASU Professor Miki Caul Kittilson), “Seeing Women, Strengthening Democracy: How Women in Politics Foster Connected Citizens,” showing that having women in political office affects citizens' political engagement. She is also the author of “Selecting Women, Electing Women: Political Representation and Candidate Selection in Latin America” and numerous journal articles and popular press pieces.

Hinojosa, who received her PhD in political science from Harvard University in 2005, joined ASU as a faculty member in 2007. Prior to being named director, Hinojosa served as interim director of the School of Politics and Global Studies, a position she started in July 2020. She also previously held a number of administrative appointments at ASU, including associate director of undergraduate studies and director of graduate studies with the School of Politics and Global Studies and dean’s fellow in The College.

“Dr. Hinojosa brings with her a wealth of administrative experience and insight into the School of Politics and Global Studies,” said Pardis Mahdavi, dean of social sciences in The College. “She is also the ideal scholar and visionary to lead the school as they level up and take on some of the world’s most pressing problems.”

As director, she will continue the work she’s already started while tackling new initiatives. Partnering with a diverse group of alumni, donors and stakeholders, she created the School of Politics and Global Studies Advisory Board as part of a broader focus on community engagement. The board held their first official meeting in February and will continue to meet quarterly. The group provides linkages to the broader community, gives the school insight into how to better prepare students for a changing world and brings new ideas to the school’s leadership.

Beyond building the school’s relationship with community members, Hinojosa plans to continue expanding the school’s academic offerings and programs, and making these more broadly accessible to students. She recently developed the School of Politics and Global Studies Director's Graduate Scholarship, which supports the school’s growing population of online master’s degree students. The school also has expanded its lecture series over the past two semesters — hosting its 10th public talk over the past year on March 30 — and created opportunities for intellectual engagement for students, alumni and community members.   

“The work that we do here in the School of Politics and Global Studies prepares students to tackle the most significant challenges of our day — from systemic racism against our communities of color to flagrant violations of democratic norms and ongoing crises fueled by climate change. I’m committed to finding new ways to share the exciting work that we do in the school with the broader community,” Hinojosa said.

She is excited for the hard work that is to come in her new role as director because she knows she can help make a difference. 

“It’s an incredible honor to serve as director of the School of Politics and Global Studies, and I am excited to lead us toward even greater things,” she said.

Matt Oxford