Renowned as an expert in Latin American politics and security issues, Margaret Daly Hayes can trace her interest in the field back to her study abroad program in Spain. She went during a time when the country was transitioning to a democratic government, and found the whole situation fascinating. Dr. Hayes proceeded to apply for and receive the National Defense Foreign Language Title VI fellowship, propelling her to a fulfilling career in political science.
The first job Dr. Hayes obtained in the industry was senior associate in the Political Science Division of CACI, Inc. She then transitioned to roles like associate director of the Center of Brazilian Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies, senior professional staff member in the Western Hemisphere Division of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, director of the Washington Office of the Council of the Americas, director of external affairs of the Inter-American Development Bank, and visiting fellow of the Center for Naval Analysis. The highlight of her journey, however, came when she joined National Defense University in 1997. She took the initiative to design the program and curriculum for the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies herself, and served as the first director there. Dr. Hayes left in 2004 to join Georgetown University as an adjunct professor of Latin American security studies and remained there until her retirement in 2017. She hopes to remain connected to the program in a reduced capacity moving forward.
To prepare for her endeavors, Dr. Hayes earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Northwestern University in 1965, a Master of Arts in Spanish literature from New York University in Madrid, Spain, in 1966, a Master of Arts in political science from Indiana University in 1970, and a PhD in political science from Indiana University in 1975. She also joined prominent organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc., the Latin American Studies Association, and the International Studies Association.
When Dr. Hayes has free time, she enjoys scuba diving. She is a certified scuba instructor and was twice the president of the Capital Divers Association. Additionally, Dr. Hayes is a black belt in Tai Kwan Do.