Newswise — Dr. Gabriella E. Sanchez (Ph.D., Arizona State University) is a faculty member of the National Security Studies Institute at the University of Texas El Paso. She specializes in the study of the social organization of transnational criminal groups. Her work has primarily examined human smuggling and drug trafficking operators, their interactions with other criminal organizations, their potential for market diversification, and their decision making processes. She has been assistant professor at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC, research fellow at Monash University’s Border Crossing Observatory in Melbourne, Australia, visiting lecturer at Wellesley College, Fulbright Scholar at the Criminology Department of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Maryland's Consortium for the Study of Terrorism (START). Dr. Sanchez is also a US State Department Boren National Security Fellow.
A socio-cultural anthropologist by training, Dr. Sanchez has completed extensive ethnographic research in smuggling and trafficking hubs in over 20 countries. Her book “Human Smuggling and Border Crossings” (Routledge, 2015) was the result of her work among human and drug smuggling facilitators on the US Mexico Border, and was nominated by the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime for their 2015 Book of the Year Award. Her current project explores the triggers for market diversification and potential collaborations among terrorist, drug and human smuggling groups. A former criminal investigator, she also has extensive experience as a consultant for US federal and state agencies and global NGOs.
Dr. Sanchez is available for interviews in English or Spanish.