Zoila Ponce de Leon Assistant Professor of Politics

Zoila Ponce de Leon

Huntley 210
Curriculum Vitae

Zoila Ponce de Leon is a core faculty member of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) Program. Her research focuses on social policy and comparative political economy, with particular emphasis on the politics of policymaking and a regional concentration in Latin America. She is broadly interested in explaining the variation in the expansion of social benefits across different democracies. Her book project, Political Parties and Policy Reform: Expansion of Healthcare in Latin America, approaches this issue by studying how and why the role of political parties as policy makers has an effect on the quality of legislation and its implementation. Through the comparison of healthcare reform processes in Chile, Mexico, and Peru in the 2000s, she analyzes how programmatic versus non-programmatic parties affect the policymaking process.
Ponce de Leon studies other factors that influence the expansion of social benefits as well as political representation, including the expansion of the private healthcare sector, party-voter policy congruence and clientelism, the role of gender on legislator responsiveness, and immigration attitudes. Her work has been published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics and Revista de Ciencia Política.


Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2018
M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014
B.A., Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2011


Comparative Politics, Social Policy, Comparative Political Economy, Latin American Politics, Political Parties, Representation, Immigration


Latin American Politics, Global Politics, Applied Statistics