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Vanda Felbab-Brown is an American expert on internal[1] and international organized crime.[2] She is a senior fellow[3] with the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy program[4] at the Brookings Institution,[5] a Washington-based thinktank.[6]



In June 1999 Felbab-Brown obtained a B.A. in Government from Harvard University. In February 2007 she completed a Ph.D. in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3][7]


In 2007 Felbab-Brown worked as assistant professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. In fall 2008 she became adjunct professor at the University.[8] In 2009 and again in 2011 she was asked to work as adjunct professor at the University of Delaware. In 2012 and 2013 she was guest lecturer at the School of Advanced Military Studies in Fort Leavenworth. From March 2012 until July 2013 she also was on the advisory board of the Modernizing Drug Law Enforcement Initiative. Since June 2013 she has been a member of the Economics of International Drug Strategy expert group which is organized by the London School of Economist’s IDEAS.[7] Since March 2017 she is a senior fellow for foreign policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.[9] In addition, she is involved in a number of projects at the Institution. She is co-director of the project "Reconstituting Local Orders" as well as director of the "Improving Global Drug Policy: Comparative Perspectives and UNGASS 2016" project.[4]



  • Shooting Up: Counter-insurgency and the War on Drugs (Brookings 2010)[10]
  • Bringing the State to the Slum: Confronting Organized Crime and Urban Violence in Latin America (Brookings 2011);[3]
  • Calderón’s Caldron: Lessons from Mexico’s Battle Against Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking in Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and Michoacán (Brookings, 2011)[3]
  • Aspiration and Ambivalence: Strategies and Realities of Counterinsurgency and State-building in Afghanistan (Brookings, 2013)[7]


  1. ^ Bailey, Julia (2013-11-19). "Authors on Asia". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  2. ^ "The Development response to drug trafficking in Africa" (PDF). 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  3. ^ a b c d "Smart Adjustments or Dropping the Ball? Mexican Anti-Crime Policies" (PDF). 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  4. ^ a b Felbab-Brown, Vanda (2017-10-05). "Public Presentation: "Global Wildlife Trafficking and Conservation Dilemmas"". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  5. ^ Lally, Kathy (2011-03-29). "Russia, U.S. keep lines open on narcotics". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  6. ^ Hawley, Chris (2010-11-15). "South American gangs flying vast quantities of cocaine to Europe". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  7. ^ a b c d "Vanda Felbab-Brown" (PDF). 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  8. ^ "Vanda Felbab-Brown" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  9. ^ "Contact Brookings". Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  10. ^ Carroll, Rory (2010-02-16). "Why the war on drugs in Colombia may never be won". Retrieved 2017-10-17.