Melina Platas, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at New York University Abu Dhabi. She studies the politics of development with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, where she has conducted fieldwork in several countries. She is a faculty fellow at the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies and a contributor for the Washington Post. She wrote for the Daily Monitor and The Independent magazine and was a Fulbright scholar in Uganda. Melina received a Ph.D. in political science in 2016 from Stanford University.