Virginia Haufler is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park and is affiliated with the Center for International Development and Conflict Management. She is the 2022-23 Fulbright Canada-PETF Fellow and Joint Chair in Contemporary Policy at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.

From 2011-2021 she was Director of the Global Communities Living-Learning Program, which introduces freshmen to scholarship and experiences that explore globalization, global issues and intercultural understanding.

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Her research focuses on the changing nature of governance in the global political economy, especially the role of transnational corporations and corporate social responsibility. She has published her work in leading journals and presented it in numerous conferences and public talks around the world.

Prof. Haufler has been a visiting scholar at McGill University, University College London, University of California-Irvine, the University of Southern California, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She has presented her work at conferences, workshops and talks in more than a dozen countries. She is Treasurer of the non-profit Women in International Security, and has been honored to serve as advisor, board member, or consultant to a number of organizations, including the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, the OEF Foundation, Oxfam International, the US Institute of Peace, and the UN Global Compact.

She has a M.A./Ph.D from Cornell University and dual B.A. from Pennsylvania State University.

In her free time, she loves to play the mandolin and indulge her two cats, Suzi and Ollie.


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Selected Publications

Disclosure as Governance: The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Resource Management in the Developing World

Global Environmental Politics 10(3), 2010: 53-73

The global promotion of transparency for the extractive sector—oil, gas and mining—has become widely accepted as an appropriate solution to weak governance in resource-rich developing nations.

These beliefs are embodied in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), initially a unilateral foreign policy effort by the UK under Tony Blair that has evolved into a global program.

Why has transparency become the solution of choice for managing natural resource wealth, and how has the EITI evolved into the institution it has become?

Governments today are too often unwilling to intervene in global commerce, and international organizations are too often unable to govern effectively.

In their place, firms increasingly cooperate internationally to establish the rules and standards of behavior for themselves and for others. Are they stepping into the breach to supply needed collective goods? Or are they organizing themselves in order to prevent governments from interfering in their business?
Over the past decade, a growing number of corporations have adopted policies of industry self-regulation such as corporate codes of conduct, social and environmental standards, and auditing and monitoring systems.

A Public Role for the Private Sector is the first book to explore this self-regulation phenomenon on an international level across three different policy issues—environment, labor, and information privacy.

As businesses search increasingly for opportunities beyond their national borders, they face the risk that political change in other countries will jeopardize their efforts.

Dangerous Commerce shows that a crucial factor in the expansion of global markets has been the private sector’s creation of a sophisticated insurance industry to redistribute the risks entailed in foreign commerce, a privately constructed safety net for international transactions.

Global Communities Living-Learning Program

  • Re-established and revised UMD’s Global Communities Living-Learning Program, a two-year residentially-based undergraduate program open to all majors, supported by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
  • Created a freshmen-oriented interdisciplinary social science program focused on globalization, global issues, and intercultural understanding, including a special version of the UNIV100 course for entering freshmen.
  • Developed new courses to fulfill a new experiential course requirement, including an internship course and service-learning course, as well as two main required courses.
  • Developed a wide range of co-curricular opportunities such as field trips, educational events, and academic support.
  • Served as Director of the program from 2011-present.


Fourth from the right. With students from the Global Communities Living-Learning Program.