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Professor of Political Science, Grinnell College

Professor Willis received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin. Before joining the Grinnell College faculty in 1991, Professor Willis taught political science and political economy at Boston College and Tulane University. Her research on Latin American politics has appeared in several peer-reviewed journals including the Latin American Politics and Society, Journal of Latin American Studies, Latin American Research Review and World Politics. Her current research and analysis of contemporary politics focuses on popular responses to trade negotiations in Central America and the international context of Latinx immigration to the U.S.


  • 1991–present
    Professor, Grinnell Collge
  • 1990–1991
    Visiting assistant professor, Tulane University
  • 1984–1990
    Assistant Professor, Boston College


  • 1986 
    University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D.
  • 1977 
    Georgetown University, B.S.F.S


  • 2012
    Latin American Politics and Society, The CAFTA Conflict and Costa Rica’s Democracy: Assessing the 2007 Referendum
  • 2001
    World Politics, A Political Theory of Decentralization with Latin American Cases
  • 1999
    Latin American Research Review, The Politics of Decentralization in Latin America
  • 1995
    Journal of Latin American Studies, Explaining Bureaucratic Independence in Brazil: The Experience of the National Economic Development Bank

Professional Memberships

  • Latin American Studies Association
  • American Political Science Association