© 2020 by Kelebogile Zvobgo.

Kelebogile / ki-le-bu-hi-le / 1. I am grateful. [Setswana]

Zvobgo / zhrob-go / 1. That which has always been. [Shona]


I am Provost's Fellow in the Social Sciences and a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern California. I am also a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research FellowI received my B.A. (with honors) in International Relations and French Language & Literature from Pomona College in 2014. Currently, I am a Pre-doctoral Fellow at William & Mary and, beginning in fall 2021, I will be an Assistant Professor in the Government Department. I recently founded the International Justice Lab.


My research broadly engages questions in human rights, transitional justice, and international law. My work is published or forthcoming in the International Studies QuarterlyJournal of Human Rights, and Journal of Political Science Education, and has appeared in The Washington Post and The Conversation, among other popular press outlets. My research has also won multiple awards, including the Best Paper Award from the International Studies Association's Human Rights Section (2019) and the Best Paper Award from the American Political Science Association's Human Rights Section (2019). 


My primary research focuses on quasi-judicial bodies that have proliferated across the globe to fill the gaps left by domestic and international law and courts. Like courts, these accountability mechanisms collect statements from individuals who have been harmed by state or non-state actors, conduct an investigation, and enjoin appropriate reparative actions. Thus far, my work in this research stream has extended to truth commissions and international development banks' compliance mechanisms.


My dissertation/book project, Governing Truth: NGOs and the Politics of Transitional Justice, develops and tests a theory of how transnational advocates guide the creation, design, and impact of transitional justice, with an institutional focus on truth commissions. The cornerstone of this research is a novel dataset that captures (1) patterns across commission mandates and powers, (2) the nature and frequency of commissions’ policy recommendations, and (3) the extent to which policy makers have implemented recommendations.

I am an avid traveler, runner, and Zumba enthusiast. My lightbulb moments tend to happen when I'm on the move.