Karisa Cloward

Associate Professor of Political Science, SMU

Carr Collins 201
(214) 768-2300



Karisa Cloward received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University (2010). She is the author of When Norms Collide: Local Responses to Activism Against Female Genital Mutilation and Early Marriage, published by Oxford University Press in 2016. She has also published articles in International Organization and Studies in Comparative International Development, and she is the winner of the Robert O. Keohane Award for best research article published in International Organization by an untenured scholar. Dr. Cloward’s research focuses on the decision-making processes of non-governmental organizations operating in the Global South, as well as the local impact of international norms and transnational activism. She has conducted extensive field research in Kenya with funding from the SMU University Research Council, the Sam Taylor Fellowship Fund, and several other institutional sources. 


  • Ph.D. Political Science, Yale University
  • M.A. Political Science, Yale University
  • B.A. International Relations, University of the Pacific
  • B.A. Economics, University of the Pacific