Dr. Megan Ming Francis


My research and teaching focus on the structuring role of racial violence in United States politics. I am driven by the belief that if we tell full truths and confront who this country actually is - only then will it be possible to begin a process of repair.


Dr. Megan Ming Francis is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington, a Senior Democracy Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and a Fellow at the Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights.

Francis specializes in the study of American politics, with broad interests in criminal punishment, Black political activism, and racial justice philanthropy. She is the author of the award-winning book Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State. Francis is currently working on a second book that examines the role of the criminal punishment system in the rebuilding of southern political and economic power after the Civil War. In addition, her research and commentary have been featured in numerous academic and public outlets, including a popular TED talk.