Global affairs scholar Tamara Kay to join Notre Dame’s new Keough School of Global Affairs

Author: Joan Fallon

Tamara Kay Tamara Kay

Tamara Kay, a scholar with extensive experience in Latin America and Africa, will join the new Keough School of Global Affairs as associate professor of global affairs, according to Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School. Kay will hold a joint appointment in the Notre Dame Department of Sociology.

“Professor Kay is a truly interdisciplinary scholar and teacher whose work spans the political and legal implications of regional economic integration, transnationalism, global health and global governance for labor and environmental movements,” Appleby said. “Much of her research has direct implications for policy formation as well as for practice in nongovernmental organizations.”

Kay is the author of the award-winning book “NAFTA and the Politics of Labor Transnationalism” (Cambridge) and co-author of a second book manuscript on trade battles, activism and the politicization of international trade policy. She has conducted intensive ethnographic fieldwork in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Nigeria and India for her third book project, which focuses on transnational relationships among nongovernmental organizations in the U.S. and in developing countries.

“Kay’s work has intriguing connections to a number of transnational research themes we seek to develop not only in the Keough School but also in collaboration with other units throughout the University,” Appleby said. “A proven mentor, she will be a popular and effective teacher of the global affairs students who will begin enrolling in the new school in August 2017.”

Kay received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and she spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of New Mexico, she was associate professor of sociology and co-director of Harvard University’s Transnational Studies Initiative.

The Keough School of Global Affairs is the first new school or college at Notre Dame in nearly a century. Founded in 2014 and named in honor of Notre Dame life trustee Donald R. Keough, the Keough School will offer undergraduate programming and a two-year professional Master of Global Affairs degree to prepare students for skilled, effective and ethical leadership and impact on the world.

Contact: Tamara Kay,