Madiha Afzal is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy, and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her current work examines the roots of intolerance, extremism, and anti-Americanism in Pakistan; the links between education and radicalization in Pakistan; and elections, voter behavior and legislator performance in Pakistan. Dr. Afzal has published in Public Choice, and is the author of a USIP special report on Education and Attitudes in Pakistan. Dr. Afzal writes regularly for publications including The Express Tribune, Foreign Policy's South Asia Channel, Newsweek, the Friday Times, etc. She has been interviewed by BBC World News, BBC radio, VoA, CNN.com, NPR.com, and various other outlets. For her writing on education in Pakistan, she was named to Lo Spazio della Politica's list of Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013.
Dr. Afzal has been a consultant for the World Bank and DfiD, a Visiting Research Fellow with IFPRI's Pakistan Strategy Support Program, and is also a Research Fellow at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan, and the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) in Pakistan. At Maryland, Dr. Afzal teaches quantitative methods to MPP students; leads a yearly study abroad course to Morocco to study its politics, development, and security; and directs the thesis course in International Development.
Dr. Afzal received her PhD in Economics from Yale University in 2008, specializing in Development Economics and Political Economy. Her dissertation examined voter rationality and legislator behavior in Pakistan and India. She received her Bachelor's degree in Economics (with minors in Computer Science and Mathematics) from the Lahore University of Management Sciences in 2002, where she was ranked first in her graduating class. She grew up in Lahore, Pakistan, and Montreal, Canada.