David Scott Palmer is a professor of international relations and political science at Boston University, and is the founding co-director of its Peru summer program. Scott earned a B.A. from Dartmouth, M.A. from Stanford, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. From 1962 to 1964 he served in the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Peru. Scott has worked on issues related to political development and democracy, insurgency, border disputes, and civil-military relations in Latin America since studying in Chile and Uruguay.
He is the author of numerous articles and books about the region. His major publications focus on Peruvian politics at both the national and local level (most particularly in Ayacucho) and on Shining Path; other publications have focused on issues such as the military, democracy and its challenges, the Peru-Ecuador border conflict, drug trafficking, and United States-Latin American relations. He has also served (for 12 years) as Chair of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) at the U.S. Department of State. While in Washington, D.C. he also taught a seminar on the politics of the Andean Republics at SAIS as a Professorial Lecturer. For the past five years, he has been a member of the Academic Reserve for the National Intelligence Council to provide perspectives on developments in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, and has traveled regularly to each country, including a visiting professorship at FLACSO Ecuador and a Senior Fulbright Lectureship at the University of Huamanga in Ayacucho, Peru.