Mary Callahan

Associate Professor, Jackson School of International Studies



Mary P. Callahan is associate professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Among her publications include Making Enemies: War and State Building in Burma(2003), Political Authority in Burma’s Ethnic Minority States: Devolution, Occupation and Coexistence(2007), “The Generals Loosen Their Grip,” Journal of Democracy(2012), “Ethnicity without Meaning, Data Without Context: The 2014 Census, Identity and Citizenship in Myanmar” (Transnational Institute, 2014) and “National Security and the Military in Post-Junta, Constitutional Myanmar” (Sasakawa Foundation, 2015), and Conflict Dynamics and the 2020 Election in Myanmar(US Institute for Peace, 2019).

Splitting her time between Seattle at the University of Washington and Yangon, Myanmar, Callahan is a founding partner of Ava Advisory, Ltd., which provides political risk analysis on the Myanmar economy, ethnic relations, the peace process, Rakhine State affairs, and other important political issues. She also has consulted on a range of development and governance projects for the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the Carter Center, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the US Agency for International Development, the UK Department for International Development, the United Nations and others.

Callahan received her Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University in 1996. At UW, she teaches classes on Southeast Asian politics, human rights, and state-society relations. In Myanmar, over the last three years, she has taught classes on transitions to democracy, international relations, the history of US-Myanmar relations and international law.


  • Cornell University, PhD in Government,