Lisa García Bedolla is a professor in the Graduate School of Education and director of the Institute of Governmental Studies. She uses the tools of social science to reveal the causes of political and economic inequalities in the United States, considering differences across the lines of ethnorace, gender, class, geography, sexuality, et cetera. She believes an intersectional approach is critical to recognizing the complexity of the contemporary United States. She has used a variety of social science methods – participant observation, in-depth interviewing, survey research, field experiments, and geographic information systems (GIS) – to shed light on this question.
She has published four books and dozens of research articles, earning five national book awards and numerous other awards. She has consulted for presidential campaigns and statewide ballot efforts and has partnered with over a dozen community organizations working to empower low-income communities of color. Through those partnerships, she has developed a set of best practices for engaging and mobilizing voters in these communities, becoming one of the nation’s foremost experts on political engagement within communities of color.
Her current projects include a multi-year study of Integrated Voter Engagement efforts conducted by six community organizations in California (with Marisa Abrajano, UC San Diego); the development of a multi-dimensional data system, called Data for Social Good, that can be used to track and improve organizing efforts on the ground; and the creation of a university-based center to support academics interested in conducting research in partnership with practitioners and that centers addressing inequality (with Hahrie Han, UC Santa Barbara; and Taeku Lee, UC Berkeley).
Professor García Bedolla earned her Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and her B.A. in Latin American Studies and Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley.