I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri. My primary research interests include foreign policy analysis, Latin America, political psychology, and dictatorships. In my current work, I examine leaders’ personality for explaining the decision of personalist dictators to escalate a conflict. I am particularly interested in answering questions such as, do leaders matter in international politics and if so, how? Are all dictators equally prone to intervene in civil wars? Which personal motivations matter for explaining aggressive behavior in foreign policy? What incentives and constraints shape different types of dictators behavior in foreign policy decision-making?

My work also extends to other aspects of foreign policy decision-making like the effects of leaders’ beliefs and perceptions about the context and how gender differences impact on leadership style in Latin American foreign policies. I have further research interests in voting behavior, political violence in Latin America, and the role of China in the developing world. In most of my research, I employ quantitative content analysis, case studies, and survey data. To learn more about my teaching and research, please visit my Research and CV pages.

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, I have also lived in Germany and the United States. Before coming to the University of Missouri in 2013 as a Fulbright scholar, I received my master's degree in Political Science at Universidad Simón Bolívar and my bachelor's degree in International Studies at Universidad Central de Venezuela. From 2010 and 2013, I worked as an Assistant and Visiting Professor at Universidad Simón Bolívar, Universidad Central de Venezuela, and Universidad Metropolitana.