Originally from Mexico, Alina Rocha Menocal is a Principal Research Fellow in the Politics and Governance Programme at ODI, and Co-Chair (alongside Graham Teskey) of the global Thinking and Working Community of Practice. She is an accomplished expert, thought leader and researcher with 15 years of experience working to bridge the gap between research and policy in thinking about international development and the politics of reform. Her areas of expertise include: governance and institutional transformation; state- and peace-building and (post-)conflict trajectories; conflict and fragility; political settlements and the politics of inclusion; corruption and anti-corruption efforts; democracy/democratisation and the challenges of multiple dimensions of institutional transformation; political economy analysis/Thinking and Working Politically.
Over the course of her career, Alina has been involved in a series of projects and assignments that seek to bridge the gap between research and policy in thinking about governance, as well as to inform more effective engagement and ways of working among international development actors in developing country settings. Alina has done extensive work on political economy, and on how the international development community can think and work in more politically aware ways, through both the Thinking and Working Community of Practice, and other fora, including as Senior Democracy Fellow on Applied Political Economy at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) (2016-2020). As a Senior Research Fellow of the Developmental Leadership Program at the University of Birmingham (2014-2016), Alina conceptualised, developed and led a programme of research and policy engagement on political settlements and the politics of inclusion. She also has considerable experience designing and facilitating trainings on these different themes for both academic and policy oriented audiences, and she has published extensively on these issues. She holds a BA from Yale University in political science, and a MIA on Economic and Political Development and a MPhil in Political Science/Comparative Politics from Columbia University.