Alejandra Garcia Diaz Villamil

Feminist Political Transformational Leadership: Evaluating the impact of Bolivian women leaders in advancing the social justice agenda.

Supervisors: Jill Steans and Emma Foster

Alejandra Garcia Diaz VillamilWith the election of Evo Morales in 2006, Bolivia began a process of change with greater focus on indigenous and human rights. The primary focus of political agenda was to embrace Andean culture, decolonize western norms and vindicate indigenous rights; there are 2.5 million Aymaras and Quechuas (Tamburini,2013) in Bolivia. This led to the subsequent enactment of laws to reaffirm social and feminist movements resulting in Bolivia being one of two countries (first place is Rwanda) to surpass the 50% quota in women’s parliamentary participation (UN Women, 2017.)  However, barriers to women’s political leadership continue to exist in particular for indigenous women. Not only is access to resources a challenge for women, but the sociocultural norms and heritage left behind by Spanish colonies and indigenous culture reduce women’s agency to political action. With this in mind, this study seeks to explore women’s political leadership in Bolivia as both transformative and feminist. Feminist transformational leadership is a political activity to change the conditions of women and power structures. Empowerment is not only a precondition for the success of feminist political transformational leaders, but also a means to and an end to advancing women. Consequently, this study, under a post-colonial feminist lens, will evaluate and identify the casual relationships and integration of empowerment (access to resources, self, agency, collective action) needed in feminist transformational leadership. This allows for both the integration of empowerment in political leadership, as well as the impact of the investments made to promote women’s political leadership. 



  • BA Political Science
  • MALP Gender and Women Studies
  • MPA Non-profit Organization Management


Alejandra Garcia Diaz Villamil is currently the Vice President of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning at Vital Voices Global Partnership. She has over 15 years of research, evaluation, and monitoring experience within Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Her prior work experience focused on maintaining monitoring and evaluations systems for ProMujer, Community Research Institute at Grand Valley State University, NeighborWorks America, and National Democratic Institute. She led the programme design and set up of M&E systems for programmes over 30 M funded by USAID, DRL, State Dept, DFID, SIDA, and DANIDA to reduce poverty and increase women's empowerment political participation. Alejandra designed and conducted gender-sensitive formative and summative evaluations using participatory methods. She has also authored curriculum and learning tools to gender mainstreaming M&E.

Alejandra has taught as an adjunct faculty School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration at Grand Valley State University. She has a master's in liberal arts and Professional Studies in Gender and Women Studies from Armstrong Atlantic State University and a Masters's in Public Administration from the University of Oregon. Alejandra is currently completing her Ph.D. in Women's Political Participation at University of Birmingham, UK. 

Research interests

  • Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Theory
  • Women’s Political Participation
  • Intersectionality
  • Gender Equity in Democracy and Governance
  • Women’s Leadership
  • Women’s Economic Empowerment
  • Indigenous  Studies
  • Storytelling

Professional memberships

  • American Evaluation Association
  • Washington Evaluators Association

Contact details

inkedIn: alejandragarciadv/