Amna Qayyum is a historian of international affairs, specializing in the role of gender and science in global governance. Her research spans the fields of gender and sexuality, critical development, and science and technology studies, bringing these into conversation with questions of political economy and geopolitics. As a fellow at the Brookings Institution, she co-leads the Center for Universal Education’s research portfolio on gender and education equality and oversees the Echidna Global Scholars Fellowship.

Qayyum’s current research agenda explores the gendered nature of global developmental governance. Her book project, “Governing Reproduction: A Global History of Population and Development in Muslim South Asia,” investigates the governance of sexual and reproductive health and rights in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Focusing on both the history of policymaking and development practice, it reveals how authoritarian governance, the geopolitics of knowledge, and U.S. foreign relations have shaped reproductive norms in the Global South.

Qayyum’s book project is based on her 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 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.

She received her doctoral degree 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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