Board of Directors

A new board of directors is currently being formed and will be announced soon. The following former members will serve on the new board:

Dr. James A. Baer, chair

James Baer is a professor of history at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. He received his Ph.D. from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He received a Fellowship for College Teachers from the National Endowment for the Humanities, served as the Virginia Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor, and was awarded the Harold Eugene Davis Prize for best article by the Middle Atlantic Council on Latin American Studies (MACLAS). Dr. Baer is the author of several articles on Argentine social history. He co-edited Cities of Hope: People, Protests, and Progress in Urbanizing Latin America, 1870-1930, with Ronn Pineo, another COHA Senior Research Fellow. His book, Anarchist Immigrants in Spain and Argentina, published by the University of Illinois Press, is a transnational study of anarchists and their impact on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Dr. Baer is currently working with a Cuban scholar on a study of Protestant groups in Cuba and their unique relationship with the United States. Dr. Baer is also chairman of COHA’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. Nicholas Birns

Nicholas Birns is an Associate Professor of Literary Studies at Eugene Lang College, the New School, where he is affiliated with the Janey Program in Latin American Studies. His numerous publications on Latin American topics include Vargas Llosa and Latin American Politics (with co-editor Juan E. de Castro) and The Contemporary Spanish American Novel (with co-editors de Castro and Wilfredo Corral) and articles for The New York Times Book Review, Arizona Quarterly College Literature, and The Harvard International Review. His book, Theory After Theory: An Intellectual History of Literary Theory From 1950 to the Early 21st Century, includes an extensive discussion of Latin American and U.S.-Latino contributions to recent ideas in literary studies.

He served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) from 2007 to 2011, and has been the editor of Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature since 2000. He has recently contributed essays to two Cambridge Companions, on Anthony Trollope and on Mario Vargas Llosa.

Nicholas Birns has a B.A. from Columbia University, and Ph.D. from New York University.

Dr. Jeff Dorsey

Dr. Jeff Dorsey is an agricultural economist with over 25 years of experience designing and implementing strategies and programs for policy change and poverty alleviation in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Throughout his career, he has focused on developing programs for income- and employment-generating activities in developing countries via credit, small business creation and growth, and the opening up of new opportunities in agriculture, aquaculture, and fisheries and marketing their products. His work has consistently placed him in advisory and management roles linked with poverty alleviation, food security, and rural development. Over his career, he has forged excellent working and personal relationships with senior public policymakers and key actors in the private sector in more than 45 countries. Dr. Dorsey has applied his experience and knowledge to the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs and policies for governments around the world, often working with international agencies. Dr. Dorsey has a Ph.D.  from the University of Wisconsin and a B.A. from Hamilton College. He has also been a collaborator and program officer with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.

Dr. Greg Grandin

COHA intern alum, Greg Grandin, is the author of a number of prize-winning books and in recent years has come to be regarded as one of the most esteemed Latin Americanists of his generation, with writings receiving worldwide recognition. Most recently his current best-seller, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City (2009) has received wide notice. The book was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in History and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In the media, Fordlandia was recognized by the New York Times, New Yorker, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and NPR for inclusion on their “best of” lists, and was named by as the best history book of 2009.

Grandin’s professional career began as an undergraduate student at Brooklyn College. During this period he served as a COHA intern before going on to obtain his Ph.D. at Yale University. He rapidly ascended to become an important national voice for the left on Latin America issues and a powerful critic of the Latin American right-wing establishment. Currently, he is the chief editor of the highly regarded bible of hemispheric issues, the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) and is a professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at NYU.

In addition to his professorship at NYU, Grandin serves as a consultant to the United Nations Truth Commission on Guatemala and has been the recipient of a number of highly regarded awards and fellowships. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a prolific author of articles and critiques on U.S. foreign policy as well as Latin American regional issues and human rights abuses. His articles have been published in Al Jazeera, The New York Times, Harper’s, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Boston Review, The Los Angeles Times, and The American Historical Review, amongst others. He has also been a frequent guest on Democracy Now! and has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show  and Chris Hayes Show. Grandin’s latest book, The Empire of Necessity, will be published in January 2014.