CU Population Center

Institute of Behavioral Science

Varnitha Kurli (She/her/hers)

Graduate Research Assistant

Graduate Student

Ph.D. Student, Political Science, University of Colorado Boulder

I am a Ph.D. Student at the University of Colorado, Boulder specializing in Public Policy, Methodology, and Environmental Engineering at the Department of Political Science. I am affiliated with the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) and The Mortenson Center in Global Engineering. I am a recipient of the University of Colorado Chancellor’s Fellowship.

My work is supported by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Climate Innovation Collaboratory (CIC) launched by Deloitte and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Before embarking on my Ph.D., I was a Water Data Specialist in World Bank’s Water Global Practice (GP). I joined the Bank in July 2018 and continue to provide analytical and advisory (ASA) support and be part of Country Climate and Development Reports (CCDR). I hold M.Sc. in Logic, Computation, and Methodology from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics (Honors) from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Research Interests

My research interests fall broadly in the areas of:

  1. Natural Resource Management- Groundwater Management and Forest Management
  2. Population Policies and the Role of Community Health Workers in Bangladesh, Honduras, and India
  3. Sustainable Development and Climate Adaptation Policies in the Global South


Kaur, Komal, Kurli, Varnitha, Andersson, Krister. "The challenge of governing complex forest ecosystems: Can a polycentric approach help?" Handbook of Institutions and Complexity

Kurli, Varnitha. "To Be (e) or Not To Be (e): Understanding the Economics of Voluntarism" The Massachusetts Undergraduate Journal of Economics (2016): 55.