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Catherine Lena Kelly

Graduate Student in Government


Catherine Lena Kelly

Kelly is a PhD candidate in Harvard’s department of government, where she specializes in comparative politics. Her research includes party politics and party-building in sub-Saharan Africa, the political economy of development, and accountability and democratization in the developing world. Her dissertation theorizes the formation, coalition-building strategies, and durability of political parties in Africa’s competitive authoritarian regimes. Fluent in French and advanced in Wolof, she is a two-time recipient of the US government’s Foreign Language and Area Studies grant, which supported her dissertation fieldwork in Senegal. In 2012–2013, she was the Harvard Sciences Po Exchange Fellow at Sciences-Po. Her previous field experience was in Belgium, France, and Ghana.