Lucía Dammert is Associate Professor at the Universidad de Santiago de Chile and a Global Fellow with the Latin American Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center. She has both academic and public policy experience throughout Latin America.

At the academic level, she has done research at different universities in Argentina and Chile. In Argentina, Dammert was an Associate Researcher at the Center for Security and Society at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín and Academic Coordinator at the Universidad Empresarial Siglo XXI in Córdoba. In Chile, she directed the “Civil Society and Security” area of the Center for Citizen Security Studies at the University of Chile and the Security and Citizenship Program at FLACSO-Chile.

At the public policy level, she has held key advisory positions, including Advisor to the Ministry of Environment and Public Works of the Province of Mendoza, Argentina and Consultant to the Citizen Security and Public Policy Division at the Ministry of the Interior in Argentina. In Chile, she served as Regional Coordinator for the Government of Santiago and as an advisor to the Citizen Security Division for the Ministry of the Interior in Chile. She was a senior advisor to the Secretary of Public Security of México and the Department of Public Security of the Organization of American States.

She has consulted for the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and the European Commission, regarding countries such as Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica.



B.A. in Sociology, Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina; M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh; Ph.D. Universidad de Leiden, Holanda


International Security,Latin America,Urban Issues


  • Research Coordinator of the area "Civil Society and Security," Center of Citizen Security Studies, University of Chile, 2001- 04
  • Co-director of the Project Police Reform and Public Security in the Americas, Georgetown University, 2002-04
  • Advisor, Asesora de la Red 14 "Seguridad Ciudadana en la ciudad" del URBAL Program, European Comisión, 2004
  • Asesora de la División de Seguridad Ciudadana, Asesoría a la Jefatura de la División de Seguridad Ciudadana del Ministerio del Interior de Chile, 2003-04


Latin America, Public Security, Participation

Project Summary

Crime is one of the central topics in the political agenda in most countries of Latin America. In the cases selected for study, Argentina, Chile and Mexico, insecurity has become one of the most vexing and complex public policy challenges with the potential for seriously undermining the rule of law and challenging democratic governance. For different reasons in each case crime and fear of crime are playing significant roles in governmental agendas at the national, estate and local levels. Public policies developed in the last decade to address this matter are closely linked to experiences considered "success stories" in the US. Unfortunately, little research has been done to systematically compare alternative experiences of policy diffusion and its relative effectiveness in addressing a central public policy challenge. In undertaking this study I will be able to draw on my own close professional relationship and access to key decision makers at the highest level in all three countries.

Major Publications

  • Public Security and Police Reform in the Americas, co-edited with John Bailey, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005.
  • Seguridad y Reforma Policial en las Américas, coeditado con John Bailey. Editorial Siglo XXI, México, 2005.
  • Ciudad y Seguridad en América Latina (editora) En Coautoría con Gustavo Paulsen, FLACSO, 2005.
  • Seguridad Ciudadana: Experiencias y desafíos (editora) URB-AL, Valparaíso, 2004.

Previous Terms

Fellow, Sep 2007 - May 2008