Michael Ross received his Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University in 1996. From 1996 to 2001 he was an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He also spent the 2000 calendar year as a Visiting Scholar at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and Jakarta, Indonesia. He is now Professor of Political Science, and Director of the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies.
His research deals with political economy, democratization, natural resources, and poverty in the developing world - particularly (but not exclusively) in Southeast Asia. His main project is a book on the "resource curse" that explains why countries with lots of natural resource wealth tend to do worse than countries with with resource wealth.
His 2008 article, "Oil, Islam, and Women," received the Heinz Eulau Award from the American Political Science Association, for the best article published in the American Political Science Review.
Chair of UCLA International Development Studies Interdepartmental Program 2004-2008. Director, UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 2007-present.