Faculty Fellow Melissa M. Lee

Melissa Lee headshot
Klein Family Presidential Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
Academic Year: 2023-24
Faculty Fellow, 2022-23; Visiting Scholar, 2021-22; Lightning Scholar 2020-21

Melissa M. Lee is the Klein Family Presidential Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Director of the World House Student Fellows Program at Perry World House.

Professor Lee studies the international and domestic politics of statebuilding and state development. She is the author of Crippling Leviathan: How Foreign Subversion Weakens the State (Cornell University Press, 2020). Her research has also been published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and International Organization, and her policy writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs and the Irregular Warfare Initiative. Her work has received the American Political Science Association’s 2016 Helen Dwight Reid (now Merze Tate) award, APSA’s European Politics and Society Section 2020 Best Article Prize, and Perry World House’s inaugural Emerging Scholar Global Policy Prize.

Lee received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University and her B.A. in Political Science – International Relations from the University of California San Diego. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn, Lee was Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Lightning Scholar at Perry World House.

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