Miguel Angel Lara Otaola

Head of Programme, Mexico
Elections, election management, electoral justice, democratic accountability, political parties, money in politics


Miguel Angel Lara Otaola is Head of Programme for the Mexico and Central America Office. He is a democracy practitioner and scholar with progressive responsibility and 12+ years of experience in the field of electoral integrity and democracy support.

Miguel Angel manages International IDEA’s programs in Mexico, Central America, and the Dominican Republic. These include long term programs with Mexico’s Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary Branch (TEPJF) and Panama’s Electoral Tribunal (TE) Focused on electoral integrity and wider democratic support. Specifically, he works in providing advise, comparative experiences and technical assistance to improve the quality of elections in the region.

His latest project consists of developing a Global Index on Electoral Justice. This is a proposal that addresses a critical gap in indices around the world that evaluate democracy, election administration, and other related aspects, but not electoral justice.

Before joining International IDEA in 2018, Miguel Angel held various management, research and field positions in a number of leading organizations including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Overseas Development Institute in the United Kingdom, the Electoral Integrity Project at the Universities of Sydney and Harvard and Mexico's National Electoral Institute (INE).

Moreover, Miguel has participated as an electoral observer in several missions in Asia, Australia, the European Union and Latin America and has over 30 publications on democracy, electoral integrity, corruption and governance in English, Spanish and German.

Latest publications:

Lara Otaola, M.A., Norris, P. (2019) ‘Las dos Venezuelas’ Voz y Voto - México, June

Lara Otaola, M.A. (2019) ‘A farewell to flags’ London School of Economics blog, June

Lara Otaola, M.A., Díaz Santana, H. (2018) ‘Compra de Votos: Compra de Voluntades?’ Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica, April-June, pp.103-111

Lara Otaola, M.A. (2017) ‘To include or not to include? Party representation in Electoral Institutions and Overall Confidence in Elections’, Party Politics, pp. 1-11

Jeffrey Karp; Alessandro Nai; Miguel Lara Otaola and Pippa Norris (2017) ‘Professional Electoral Management: Building Capacity’. The Electoral Integrity Project, University of Sydney.

PhD in Politics (University of Sussex), MSc in Comparative Politics (London School of Economics), MPA in Public Policy and BA International Relations (Tec de Monterrey)
Contact Information: