The Global Initiative Network

GIN Member

Pamela Ruiz

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, New York University

Pam is a Postdoctoral Fellow at New York University’s Behavioral Sciences Training in Drug Abuse Research. She earned her doctorate in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice/The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Her dissertation titled, “The Evolution of MS-13 and Barrio 18: Violence, Extortion, and Drug Trafficking in the Northern Triangle of Central America,” utilized mixed-methods to obtain a comprehensive understanding of these gangs. Pam is a former U.S. Fulbright Fellow and a Dean K. Harrison Fellow, during her fellowships, she lived in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

She has presented her research to government officials at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, USAID in Honduras, and civil society in Guatemala. She holds an M.A. in Social Science, and two B.A. degrees, one in Chicano/Latino Studies and another in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, Irvine. Previously, she was a Senior Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton working with the Department of Defense at the National Defense University.


Ruiz, P. (2020) Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18: Gangs, Terrorists, or Political Manipulation? Small Wars Journal.

Ruiz, P. (2020) Facing the challenge of extortion in Central America, Initiatives implemented to reduce extortion. Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

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