Amna Qayyum is a historian of global decolonization whose research lies at the intersection of gender, global governance, and the political economy of development. As a fellow at the Brookings Institution, Qayyum co-leads the Center for Universal Education (CUE)’s research portfolio on gender equality and education and oversees the Echidna Global Scholars Fellowship.

Qayyum’s current research explores the gendered nature of the developmental state and forms of global governance. Her book manuscript “Governing Reproduction” offers a global history of reproductive health and education programs set in Muslim South Asia. Focusing both on the history policymaking and international development praxis, it links a diverse set of stakeholders from across the Global South and North and reveals how people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights have been shaped by authoritarian governance, the global geopolitics of knowledge, and U.S. foreign relations.

Qayyum’s book project is based on her prize-winning doctoral dissertation, which was awarded the 2021 Pirzada Prize in Pakistan Studies by the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has also been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Foundation, the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the Joint Center for Economics and History at Harvard University, among other institutions.

Prior to joining Brookings, Qayyum was a Henry A. Kissinger postdoctoral fellow in international security studies at Yale University’s Jackson School of Global Affairs. She has served on expert committees convened by the New America Foundation and the government of Pakistan’s National Security Division, advising on links between gender and human security. As an educator, she has also worked with university and refugee learners through Princeton University’s Global History Lab. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post and her scholarly research is forthcoming in Cold War History.

She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Gender
    • Global Decolonization
    • Reproductive Politics
    • Islam
    • U.S. Foreign Aid & Philanthropy
  • Past Positions

    • Henry A. Kissinger Postdoctoral Fellow, Jackson School for Global Affairs, Yale University
  • Education

    • Ph.D. in History, Princeton University
    • M.A. in History, Tufts University
    • B.A. in Economics and History, Connecticut College
  • Languages

    • Urdu (Advanced)
    • Hindi (Advanced)
    • Persian (Intermediate)
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