Department of Political Science
2115 G St. NW, Monroe Hall 440
Washington, DC 20052

Phone: (202) 994-6290
Fax: (202) 994-1974

Michelle Jurkovich

Michelle Jurkovich

Office — ACAD 201 (Mt. Vernon Campus)

Office Hours — by appointment

E-mail —

Areas of Expertise —

The politics of hunger and malnutrition; human rights; international organizations; political economy

Major — International Relations


M.A. California State University, Los Angeles

B.A. California State University, Fresno (Smittcamp Family Honors College)


Michelle is a PhD Candidate with a major field in International Relations and a minor field in Comparative Politics. The fifth generation of her family from Fresno, CA, America’s county with the highest rates of agricultural production but also high rates of malnutrition, Michelle is especially interested in the politics of hunger and the right to food movement. Her research focuses on why some economic and social rights, specifically the right to food, follow divergent campaign trajectories to many of the more often studied political and civil human rights campaigns. She is also interested in the evolution of hunger as a global problem more generally, and how (and why) responding to hunger was put on the international agenda. She has conducted archival research at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Oxford University, the UK National Archives and the US National Archives. Her research has been generously funded by the American Consortium on EU Studies (ACES), the Loughran Foundation, and the Institute for European and Eurasian Studies (IERES), among others.

Michelle has also received additional methodological training from the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR) and the Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR), funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She was named a “young leader” by the International Institute for Education and sent as a US delegate to the US Department of State’s weeklong “Dialogue with America” conference in Prague in 2010 to discuss transatlantic security concerns. Michelle received her BA from the Smittcamp Family Honors College at Fresno State on full scholarship and served as a White House intern before beginning her PhD program. She was also awarded Honorable Mention for GW’s Amsterdam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Michelle has taught Human Rights and American Government and Society and her research speaks to the human rights and international organizations literatures.