Maya Nandakumar ’19
Doctoral Candidate in Political Science, The University of Chicago

Maya Nandakumar
Maya K. Nandakumar ’19 is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Chicago.

Her research interests include comparative political theory, cultural preservation and destruction, and classical reception. Prior to starting her PhD, Nandakumar worked with the Cyber Program, China Cyber Policy Initiative, and Defending Digital Democracy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies and Political Science with departmental honors in 2019. Her senior thesis explored the strategy behind the Islamic State’s systematic destruction of historical sites in the Middle East.

While a student at Wellesley, Nandakumar worked as a research assistant in the Department of Art History and served on College Government. She was an Albright Fellow in 2018, and she did her corresponding internship at the U.S. Department of State’s Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome. She worked primarily with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM).