VRios_webI belong to an emerging generation of academics that rejects the commonly accepted idea that academia is inexorably detached from policy decisions and social mobilization. Instead, I rely on data analysis, research journalism, and close collaboration with academic peers to advance an acute understanding of the pressing social problems of Mexico, my home country, and to encourage and publicize inadvertent solutions to them.

I am a visiting assistant professor at the Department of Government, Harvard University. I use statistical learning techniques to show how some government structures/policies work, and how we can make them work better. My topics are corruption, violence and economic development. Exploring them, I have published several peer-review papers at top-journals in political science and data analysis, and an edited book entitled #TheMissingReform.

In 2018, I was honored to be selected as one of the top Latin American academics by the Library of Congress, and two years before, due to my research about corruption, I was selected by the Mexican Senate to be the youngest selection commissioner of the National Anti-Corruption System. The Economist profiled me as a “mover and shaker” of Mexico's civil society, the Harvard Gazette selected me as one of the 15 Harvard’s stellar graduates, and the American Political Science Association awarded me the prize to to the best public administration dissertation in 2014.
Besides my labor as academic, I regularly work as private adviser for top political leaders, helping them identify, measure and expose counter-intuitive policy truths using data. Among my advisees, I have had the Mexican President’s Spokesman, the Minister of Finance, the President of the largest business organization in Mexico, and The World Bank. I was also the founding CEO of México ¿Cómo Vamos?, a start-up think tank.
I am regularly interviewed as a political analyst of Mexican politics by The GuardianThe Washington Postand other international media, and I write a monthly op-ed at The New York Times (Spanish), and weekly op-ed at Excelsior, one of Mexico’s main national newspapers. 



Other websites: Wilson Center , Google Scholar

Photos: photo 1 , photo 2

For speaking engagements, contact:
Sergio Parra