Senior Research Fellows

Aline Piva

picAline Piva earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the State University of Londrina in Brazil, where she earned a post-graduate degree in International Law.  She also has a post-graduate degree in International Affairs from the University of Brasilia.  She has worked in areas of media analysis and political campaigns for Entrelinhas, a Brazilian-based international communications agency. Piva’s areas of research interest include: U.S.-Cuba Relations in the 20th Century, U.S. Foreign Policy and Imperialism, Haitian elections in the 21st Century, Popular Movements in Latin America and the history of Democracy in Brazil. Piva also cooperates with the communications network of progressive social movements in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is a collaborator of Brazilian political blog Nocaute, a project led by Brazilian writer Fernando Morais.


Dr. Roland Benedikter

Dr. Roland Benedikter is a European Public Intellectual, Political Scientist and Sociologist serving as Research Professor in Residence of the Willy Brandt Centre for European Studies at the University of Wroclaw-Breslau, Poland. Additionally, he is Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Studies of Eurac Research Bozen-Bolzano, Autonomous Province of South Tyrol, Northern Italy. Dr. Benedikter holds two doctorates from the Free University of Berlin and one from the University of Innsbruck. He is also a Trustee of the Toynbee Prize Foundation in Boston, and a Full member of the Club of Rome. He has authored more than 300 publications which have been translated into 12 languages, writing for Foreign Affairs, Harvard International Review (where he is member of the Advisory Board), Global Policy, The National Interest, European Foreign Affairs Review, New Global Studies, and Challenge: The Magazine of Economic Affairs. He is a frequent commentator for the Italian national broadcast RAI – Radiotelevisione Italiana and co-author of two Pentagon and U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff White Papers on the ethics of technology (February 2013 and April 2014) and of Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker’s Limits of Privation (Report to the Club of Rome, 2003).


Dr. Steven J. Hirsch

Picture 014Dr. Steven J. Hirsch is a Professor of Practice in the International and Area Studies Department at Washington University in St. Louis. He received a M.A. in Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in Latin American History at George Washington University. Dr. Hirsch’s research focuses on Latin American populism and neopopulism, and, anarchism, labor, and politics in Peru and the Andean region. His recent publications include: Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Post-Colonial World, 1870-1940, 2nd edition (2013); “Anarchism, the Subaltern, and Repertoires of Resistance in Northern Peru, 1898-1922,” in No Gods, No Masters, No Peripheries: Global Anarchisms (2015); and “Anarchist Visions of Race and Space in Northern Perú, 1898-1922,” in, In Defiance of Boundaries: Anarchism in Latin American History (2015). Dr. Hirsch’s forthcoming publications include: Study, Organize, Rebel: Anarchism and the Struggle for Working-Class Emancipation in Perú, 1898-1932,” and, Anarchists, Marxists, and Nationalists in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870s-1940s: Antagonisms, Solidarities, and Syntheses, co-edited with Dr. Lucien van der Walt.


Dr. Charles G. Ripley III

Charles G. Ripley III is a lecturer in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University, where he received his Ph.D. in 2013.  His major fields of study are international relations and comparative politics with an emphasis on U.S. foreign policy, international political economy, security studies, and Latin American politics.  Before coming to Arizona, Charles taught for five years at the University of Central America in Managua, Nicaragua.  He continues to do field work throughout Central and South America.  Charles has published a broad range of peer-reviewed articles on important global themes such the impact of privatization in Nicaragua, the role of monetary unions in South America, the new effects of Asian investment in Latin America, and Colombia’s internal security.  He recently finished an article “Discourse in Foreign Policy” for Oxford University Press (2017) and is working on a book called South America and Neo-Regionalization: Creating Space for Resistance, Peace, and Development.  In addition to formal study, Charles has experience beyond academic scholarship.  He has worked at the U.S. Embassy’s North American Cultural Center in Nicaragua, the United Nations, the Danish Embassy, and KPMG International.  Moreover, Charles was nominated for the ASASU Centennial Professor Award (2013) and became the first recipient of the Michael Mitchell Outstanding Teacher Award in 2016.  A year later, he won the 2017 CLAS Outstanding Lecturer Award.  Charles also won the outstanding case study award at the University of Massachusetts in Boston where he earned a master’s in science in 2007.  Currently, he serves as a Senior Research Fellow at the Council of Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) in Washington D.C.


Michael Lettieri

Michael Lettieri is currently a Program Officer at the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego, where his work deals with issues of freedom of expression, violence against journalists, and transparency in Mexico and Central America. He received his Ph.D. in History at the University of California, San Diego in 2014 and a B.A. in History and Spanish from Bowdoin College in 2005. Prior to beginning his Ph.D., he worked as a Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. He has lived in Chile and Mexico and maintains an active interest in contemporary Latin American politics. His academic research concentrates on questions of clientelism, cooptation, and corruption in 20th-Century Mexico, focusing on the informal control mechanisms of Mexico’s “soft authoritarian” regime. He has received support for this project from a Fulbright-Hays grant, as well as a number of U.C. San Diego research centers including the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies, the Institute for International, Comparative and Area Studies, and the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies.


Louise Højen

Bio_LHLouise Højen specializes in Development and International Relations focusing on Latin American affairs. She is currently finishing her Master of Social Science at Aalborg University in Northern Denmark and holds a BA in Spanish and International Studies from the same university. She is a dedicated philanthropist and supporter of Fundación Internacional Tierra Fértil (FUNTIFER), a small NGO working in the slums of Bogotá, Colombia to enhance the lives of numerous internally displaced persons. In 2013, she spent 2 months working voluntarily for AIESEC at a public school in Usme, a poor neighborhood in Bogotá, where she met FUNTIFER’s founder. She has since then worked closely with the NGO and raised thousands of dollars for them. Louise is also a former Research Associate at COHA and has published several articles during her time in Washington, D.C. As an emerging academic, she holds a broad field of interests related to Latin America. Furthermore, she is especially attentive to human rights violations, the repression of freedom of speech, and geopolitics. She is currently writing her MA thesis on the U.S. sanctions of December 2015 against Venezuelan officials.


Dr. Odeen Ishmael

Portrait-2Dr. Odeen Ishmael, Ambassador Emeritus and historian, served as Guyana’s ambassador to the United States (1993-2003) while simultaneously functioning as his country’s permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), to which he was Chairman on two separate periods. He was also ambassador to Venezuela (2003-2011) and to Kuwait (2011-2014). In addition, he has represented Guyana at the United Nations, in the Summit of the Americas process (up to 2003), and at the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). Between 2003 and 2011, Dr. Ishmael served as the head of Guyana’s delegation to the Caracas-headquartered Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA), eventually being elected as its Chairman (2009-2010). He was awarded one of Guyana’s highest honors, the Cacique Crown of Honor (1997), and the Martin Luther King Legacy Award for International Service (2002). Some of his authored books include: The Democracy Perspective in the Americas, The Guyana Story – From Earliest Times to Independence, and The Trail of Diplomacy – The Guyana-Venezuela Border Issue.


Dr.Cynthia McClintock

McClintock_CynthiaCynthia McClintock is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University and Director of GWU’s Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program. She holds the B.A. degree from Harvard University and the Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. McClintock was President of the Latin American Studies Association in 1994-95. Also, she was a member of the Council of the American Political Science Association in 1998-2000, and served as the Chair of its Comparative Democratization Section in 2003-05. During 2006-2007, Prof. McClintock was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Based on her research at the Center, she is writing a book on the implications for democracy of runoff versus plurality rules for the election of the president in Latin America. Prof. McClintock has received fellowships from the U.S. Institute of Peace, Fulbright, and the Social Science Research Council as well as from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has testified before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives and has appeared on a variety of television and radio programs, including the “News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” CNN International, CNN Spanish, National Public Radio, and the Diane Rehm Show.


Dr. Philip Oxhorn

Phil2 (3)Philip Oxhorn is a Professor of Political Science at McGill University and the Founding Director of McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Latin American Research Review. A former Associate Dean (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) at McGill, his research focuses on the comparative study of civil society and its role in supporting democratic regimes, particularly in Latin America. Professor Oxhorn’s publications include Sustaining Civil Society: Economic Change, Democracy and the Social Construction of Citizenship in Latin America (Penn State University Press, 2011) and Organizing Civil Society: The Popular Sectors and the Struggle for Democracy in Chile (Penn State University Press, 1995), as well as numerous articles and four co-edited volumes: What Kind of Democracy? What Kind of Market? Latin America in the Age of Neoliberlism (with Graciela Ducatenzeiler, Penn State University Press, 1998), The Market and Democracy In Latin America: Convergence or Divergence? (with Pamela Starr, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1999), Decentralization, Civil Society, and Democratic Governance: Comparative Perspectives from Latin America, Africa, and Asia (with Joseph Tulchin and Andrew Selee Woodrow Wilson Center Press/the Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004), and Beyond Neoliberalism? Patterns, Responses, and New Directions in Latin America and the Caribbean (with Kenneth Roberts and John Burdick, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). Professor Oxhorn has lectured extensively in North and South America, Africa,Western Europe, Asia and Australia. He has also worked as a consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Population Fund, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada, the MasterCard Foundation, Department for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Canada, the Ford Foundation, The Carter Center, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and the Mining Association of Canada.  He has a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University.


Terrence E. Paupp J.D.

COHA_SRF_Terry_PauppTerrence E. Paupp is an international law and human rights scholar.  He holds a (BA) degree from San Diego State University, a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and a Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of San Diego School of Law. As a globally recognized legal scholar, Paupp has published over 3,000-pages of articles and books on international law, civil and human rights, peace studies, and international relations.  Employing an interdisciplinary approach to global problems, peace-studies, and region-building in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, he has contributed critical analysis and solutions to the problems of exclusionary states versus inclusionary states, poverty, wealth inequality and disparities, illegal hegemonic interventions — as well as the role of the United Nations, NGOs, and human rights organizations and scholars in providing alternatives to the status quo. Paupp’s published books include the following: Achieving Inclusionary Governance: Advancing Peace and Development in First and Third World Nations (Transnational Publishers, Inc., 2000); Exodus From Empire: The Fall of America’s Empire and the Rise of the Global Community (Pluto Press, 2007); The Future of Global Relations: Crumbling Walls, Rising Regions (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009); Beyond Global Crisis: Remedies and Roadmaps by Daisaku Ikeda and his Contemporaries (Transaction Publishers, 2012); Redefining Human Rights in the Struggle for Peace and Development (Cambridge University Press, 2014); Robert Kennedy in the Stream of History (Transaction Publishers, 2014).  Currently, he is working on a new book entitled, From Regional Peace to Global Peace: The ASEAN Security Community as a Model for Advancing Asia-Pacific Security, Region-Building, and Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZs).  Also, he is currently working on a new book entitled, Latin America beyond Hegemony: The Collapse of Neoliberal Domination and the Rise of Social Justice Movements and Inclusionary States.


Salvador E. Pineda

ErnestoPineda_MediumSalvador E. Pineda is originally from El Salvador and currently resides in Washington D.C. He earned his Master in Latin American Studies from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. His research focuses on government institutions, international development and trade, citizen security policies as well as transitional justice in Latin America. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Maryland. As former Counselor and Alternate Representative for the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the Organization of American States (OAS), he has wide experience advancing political, economic and social issues at multilateral levels. Prior to his work as a diplomat, Mr. Pineda spent several years working in the implementation and furthering of legal-aid programs to low income residents throughout the metropolitan region of Washington D.C. Among those, he managed foreclosure prevention and special education advocacy programs. It is this multidimensional experience that enhances his research endeavors and allows him to bring a comprehensive perspective to his analysis. Some of his academic research has appeared in Democracy & Society Journal, Revista de Estudios Centroamericanos (ECA), and others.


Dr. Francisca Reyes

Reyes, FranciscaDr. Francisca Reyes is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Western New Mexico University. She received her Doctorate of Economic Development from New Mexico State University. Dr. Reyes’ research covers a wide range of topics that include international economics, entrepreneurship, female labor participation, water scarcity, U.S. – Mexico border issues, and international migration. She earned her BS in Industrial Engineering from Instituto Tecnologico de Durango in Mexico, her MBA & MPA from University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Reyes has worked with private and public organizations in Mexico and the U.S.


Dr. Kirwin Shaffer

KirkShafferDr. Kirwin Shaffer is Professor of Latin American Studies at Penn State University. He received his Ph.D. in Latin American History at the University of Kansas (1998). Dr. Shaffer is dedicated to researching the transnational anarchism in the Americas. In 2005, he published his book Anarchism and Countercultural Politics in Early Twentieth-Century Cuba (University Press of Florida). In 2013, he published Black Flag Boricuas: Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1921 (University of Illinois Press).  In 2015, he co-edited another book with Geoffroy de Laforcade, titled In Defiance of Boundaries: Anarchism in Latin American History (University Press of Florida). Dr. Shaffer is currently writing a book on anarchist networks in the Caribbean region, including Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the United States.


John Stolle-Mcallister

johnJohn Stolle-McAllister is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Intercultural Communication at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. His research and teaching interests include cultural change and social movements in Latin America. He authored Mexican Social Movements and the Transition to Democracy, which analyzes two towns’ resistance to development projects that threatened their livelihoods and their sense of community. His current book project examines the development of intercultural political, community and environmental relationships in Kichwa communities in northern Ecuador in the wake of that country’s Indigenous rights movement. He earned his BA from Bates College, and his MA in Hispanic Literatures and PhD in the Comparative Studies of Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota.


Dr. Michelle Switzer

headshot_mSwitzerFor the last 12 years, Michelle’s work and research have focused on the impacts of Latin America’s changing political and social landscape both locally and globally. Her master’s research looked at the challenges facing indigenous civil war widows in highland Guatemala in the decade following the signing of the Peace Accords. For her doctorate, Michelle analyzed the growing tension between supporters and resisters of Uruguay’s expanding pulp and exotic tree plantation industry, paying particular attention to the ways that plantation forestry has reshaped the political and environmental landscapes and Uruguayans’ relationships with them. Michelle is currently a Resident Anthropologist with the Insights Team at Idea Couture in Toronto. Previous posts include working as a Research Analyst for the Province of Ontario; as the coordinator for the Extractives Industry Project at Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), and as a Community Outreach and Communications Coordinator with the Canadian-based international development agency, Horizons of Friendship. She is a Senior Research Fellow with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) in Washington and Vice-President on the Board of Directors for the Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples in Toronto.


Stansfield Smith

Stansfield Smith maintains, produces the AFGJ Venezuela and ALBA Weekly, and is active in the movement against US interference in Latin America. He co-founded the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5 in 2002 and was active in that campaign through their freedom in 2014. He has written on Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, North Korea (available on He administers the Facebook groups ‘Friends of Evo’s Bolivia/ Amigos de la Bolivia de Evo,” “Stand with Venezuela,””Friends of Ecuador- North America,” among others. His Masters thesis at the University of Chicago was ‘The Development of the Labor Theory of Value in Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Karl Marx.”


William Camacaro

Originally from Venezuela, William studied at Queens College where he obtained two masters degrees- one in Fine Arts and another one in Latin-American Literature. He is the co-founder and coordinator of the Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle of New York and is an artist, radio host at pacifica network WBAI New York, and activist in New York City.


Siobhan K. McCollum

Siobhan K. McCollum is a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Anthropology department at York University in Toronto. Her research focuses on the cultural politics of the environment, the development of the waterscape, expatriate and lifestyle migration and residential tourism, and land rights in coastal communities. Specifically, her ethnographic fieldwork is located in an indigenous Garifuna village in Belize.  Her Masters degree is also from York University and she holds two Bachelors degrees from SUNY College at Buffalo, in Cultural Anthropology and in Broadcasting.


Dr. Greg Grandin

Greg Grandin is a Professor at New York University and the author of a number of prize-winning books, including most recently “The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World,” which won the Bancroft Prize in American History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in the UK. NPR’s Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air named The Empire of Necessity as the best book of 2014, both non-fiction and fiction. “Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History, as well as for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and was picked by the New York Times, New Yorker, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and NPR for their “best of” lists, and named it the best history book of 2009. Grandin’s other books include “Empire’s Workshop, The Last Colonial Massacre, The Blood of Guatemala,” and the co-edited (with Gil Joseph) anthology, “A Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence during Latin America’s Long Cold War.” A professor of history at NYU and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Grandin writes on American Exceptionalism, US foreign policy, Latin America, genocide, and human rights. He has published in 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. He has been a frequent guest on Democracy Now! and has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show. Grandin also served as a consultant to the United Nations truth commission on Guatemala and has been the recipient of a number of prestigious fellowships, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.


Dr. Sean Burges

Sean W. Burges holds a Ph.D. in Politics & International Studies from the University of Warwick, England. He is currently an Adjunct Professor with the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. His research interests focus on Brazilian foreign policy, inter-American affairs, and emerging market countries (BRICs) in world affairs, with special reference to trade and foreign aid. He is the author of Brazilian Foreign Policy After the Cold War (University Press of Florida, 2009), and has published on Brazil, inter-American affairs, and democratization in International Relations, Third World Quarterly, The Bulletin of Latin American Research, The Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Canadian Foreign Policy, International Journal, and The Cambridge Review of International Affairs, as well as in edited volumes with Johns Hopkins University Press and Palgrave Macmillan. His news and editorial contributions have been made to Swiss National Radio, the BBC World Service, The National Post, Miami Herald, Journal of Commerce, Financial Post, Washington Post, Washington Times, Maclean’s, Brazil Magazine, FOCAL Point, and Military Review. Burges is currently working on the tension between the OECD member countries and BRIC countries in the new international economic and aid governance order, as well as an extended research project on the state-business nexus in contemporary Brazilian development policy.




Dr. Charles H. Blake

Blake_headshotCharles Blake is a Professor of Political Science at James Madison University. He earned his undergraduate degree from Davidson College and the Ph.D. in political science from Duke University. He received the JMU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2012 and was a co-recipient of the Provost’s Award for Contributions to the Liberal Arts in 2011. His research agenda examines the dynamics of socioeconomic policies and the pursuit of greater governing transparency and accountability in Latin America. He has field experience at research institutes and universities in Argentina, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and Uruguay. His research has been supported by the Fulbright program, the Organization of American States, and the Tinker Foundation. With Stephen Morris, Dr. Blake has co-edited two volumes on corruption dynamics — Corruption and Democracy in Latin America (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009) and Corruption and Politics in Latin America: Regional and National Dynamics (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010). His research has been published in various academic journals, including Comparative Political Studies; Democratization; Journal of Inter-American Studies & World Affairs; The Review of International Political Economy; and Studies in Comparative International Development. His research in progress examines the relationship between federalism and mechanisms of horizontal, societal, and vertical accountability.


Fransisco Ugás

(Santiago, September 15th, 1978 – ) Lawyer, title granted by the Supreme Court of Justice of Chile. Degree in Law and Bachelor in Social Sciences and Humanities, at the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Chile. Master in Fundamental Rights and also Master in Advanced Studies in Human Rights, both degrees conferred by the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, Spain. He worked as a legal assistant, and later as an attorney at the Legal Counseling Unit of the Metropolitan Regional North Central Prosecutor’s Office. Lawyer at the Human Rights Office of the Judicial Assistance Corporation. Subsequently, he served as an attorney at the Division of Studies of the North Metropolitan Regional Defender Office. Between April 2010 and April 2014, he was the Head of the Legal Area at ​​the Human Rights Program of the Home Office of Chile. From April 2014 to September 2015, he served as Executive Secretary of the above-mentioned Program. From September 2016 until today, he works as an attorney at the Nelson Guillermo Caucoto Pereira and associate attorneys Law firm, in Santiago, Chile.