Born in Colombia, Dr. Claudia N. Avellaneda specializes in governance and public management in developing countries, with an emphasis on local governments. She joined the IU O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 2013, after serving as assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and graduate coordinator of Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Her main research interests are decentralization, public policy, innovation, governance, and public management, with a regional focus on Latin America. Specifically, Professor Avellaneda investigates determinants of government performance in Latin American municipalities by focusing on the role of the local chief executive — the mayor.
In her field research, Professor Avellaneda conducts personal interviews and experimental analyses with Latin American mayors. She explores the impact of mayors' education, experience, networking, and political support on social service delivery, public finances, tax collection, and decision-making. She has extended this line of research to Brazilian, Honduran, Colombian, Chilean, Ecuadorian, Guatemalan, Mexican, Peruvian, and Salvadorian municipalities.
Professor Avellaneda serves as editor of Local Government Studies. She is also the international editor for the Journal of Behavioral Public Administration and associate editor for the The Journal of Policy Studies. She serves, or has served, on the editorial boards of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, Public Management Review, Public Administration, Urban Affairs Review, Global Public Policy and Governance, Fudan Public Administration Review, Public Service Review (Revista do Serviço Público), and the Brazilian Journal of Public Administration (RAP). She is an elected member of the 2017-21 Public Management Research Association Governing Board. She was selected as the 2019-20 President of the Midwest Public Administration Caucus.