Karla Peña is originally from East Los Angeles, California, and earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University Northridge (2009) and her M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan (2013). At Cornell University, she is part of the steering committee for the Latin American Studies Program; and also organizes events that promote student diversity and community through the Latino/a Studies Program and the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement.
Broadly, she is interested in food sovereignty, agrarian change and state-society relations in Latin America.
Karla Peña's research is focused on Ecuador where she studies indigenous-peasant movements and their struggle for land and territorial rights.