The Global Initiative Network


Cecilia Farfán-Méndez

Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for US-Mexican Studies / University of California San Diego

Dr. Cecilia Farfán-Méndez is a post-doctoral scholar at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies from the University of California, San Diego. Her book project Beyond Cartels and Kingpins: The Business of Drug Trafficking Organizations examines criminal organizations in their own right rather than assuming they are unitary, homogenous actors that mostly traffic illicit drugs. It advances a mid-level theory that identifies subtypes of structures—hierarchies and wheel networks—and explains when and why DTOs pursue additional criminal enterprises, the methods used in money laundering, and their different propensities for violence.

Farfán holds a Ph.D. in political science with a focus on international relations and organization theory from UC Santa Barbara. She also holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and received her bachelor’s degree international relations from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).

Farfán has been a recipient of several research fellowships including Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology, the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States, the Fulbright Program, and the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.