M. Mena, Ph.D.

Policy & Advocacy Analyst


M. Mena is a Mellon/ACLS Public Service Fellow and works on the Policy & Advocacy team as a Policy & Advocacy Analyst. In this role, she will educate, engage, and mobilize New Yorkers and build a groundswell of public support for budgetary allocations that prioritize child and family well-being as well as youth in the juvenile justice system. Mena is a socio-cultural anthropologist and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Barnard College, a Doctoral degree in Cultural Anthropology, and a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder. For her dissertation research, she conducted fieldwork in São Paulo, Brazil where she collaborated with activists, legal workers, and human rights NGOs to document the experiences of women and gender non-conforming individuals in São Paulo’s criminal justice system.

She has also conducted research with grassroots community activists in New York City and in Denver, and occasionally teaches for the City University of New York.