A University of New Mexico professor is joining the ranks of legends like Alexander Hamilton, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Madeleine K. Albright.

Political Science Professor Mala Htun has just been elected as a member of The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

I am honored and delighted to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. It’s a thrill for me to earn this recognition. I’m excited to have the opportunity to engage with the Academy’s community of scientists, artists, and public intellectuals,” Htun said. 

The Academy elected its first members in 1781 and announced its newest members April 24. Htun is among 250 members elected, recognized for their excellence and invited to uphold the Academy’s mission of engaging across disciplines and divides. 

“We honor these artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, non-profit, and private sectors for their accomplishments and for the curiosity, creativity, and courage required to reach new heights,” said David Oxtoby, President of the Academy. “We invite these exceptional individuals to join in the Academy’s work to address serious challenges and advance the common good.”

Htun was chosen under the Class III Social and Behavioral Sciences portion of the nominees. Other 2024 new members include actor, director, and producer George Clooney and Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.

“This induction of Professor Htun to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences is well-deserved. The College of Arts & Sciences includes outstanding scholars in a wide array of disciplines. We are proud that Professor Htun’s achievements have been recognized by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences,” UNM College of Arts & Sciences Dean Jennifer Malat said.

Htun has been a professor at UNM since 2015 after earning degrees from Harvard and Stanford. She has been Vice President of the American Political Science Association, served as the chair of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession, and co-chaired the Presidential Task Force on Women's Advancement. She has been an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, a fellow at the Kellogg Institute of the University of Notre Dame and the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard, and held the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship in Japan.

“Dr. Htun has established a strong national and international scholarly reputation. She has dedicated her scholarship, teaching and service to understanding and improving institutional policies to promote equal rights and expand opportunities for minoritized groups,” UNM Political Science Department Chair Jami Nelson-Nuñez said.

Induction ceremonies for new members will take place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in September 2024.