Leadership

Peter Bolton, Director

Peter Bolton became the director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs in 2019 following a restructuring of the organization in the wake of the passing of its founder and director of over four decades, the late Larry Birns. He was formerly a research fellow at COHA and focused his research on Venezuela, Colombia, and Cuba. He is a regular contributor to The Canary, a progressive UK-based publication, and has penned articles about Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala. He has spent time living in Colombia, where he worked as a freelance journalist covering issues such as labor rights and the Colombian armed conflict for publications including The Guardian, Colombia Reports and UpsideDownWorld.org and partnered with human rights organizations including Witness for Peace and Peace Brigades International. He holds a masters degree in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs from American University and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Durham University in the United Kingdom. While studying at AU, he produced a master’s thesis that applied concepts from conflict resolution to the drug war in Latin America and worked at the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies.

He has made multiple appearances on Radio Sputnik’s “By Any Means Necessary” show. He available for media comment on Latin American affairs, especially to discuss the “War on Drugs”, organized crime, human rights, US Hemispheric foreign policy, the Bolivarian process in Venezuela and the Colombian armed conflict.

He can be contacted at coha@coha.org.

Patricio Zamorano, Deputy Director and Senior Editor (Spanish)

Patricio Zamorano is an academic, political scientist, journalist and television and radio commentator on United States foreign and domestic policy. He is an experienced international consultant in academic development and political affairs, democracy, governance, and in hemispheric relations between Latin America and the United States. He is also a specialist in strategic communication, social media management, and online content development. He has experience as an adjunct professor, speaker, and consultant at various universities and institutions in the Americas, including Georgetown University (Center for Latin American Studies and Center for Intercultural Education and Development), The George Washington University (Graduate School of Political Management), Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) foundation, National University of Panamá, National Autonomous University of Honduras, Catholic University of Guayaquil (Ecuador), Catholic University of Córdoba (Argentina), Institute of Journalism José Martí (Havana University, Cuba), and the National University of Argentina, among others.

He is also the founder and executive director of InfoAméricas LLC. Patricio Zamorano actively engages in the media as an international analyst, and has published numerous news articles, reports, interviews and editorial pieces on various media in the Americas region, including COHA. He has collaborated as a political analyst for CNN en Español, Telesur, Univision, CNN Chile, NTN24, CCTV, Al Jazeera, RT News, France24, as well as newspapers as La Opinión (California), El País (Spain), El Telégrafo (Ecuador), ContraPunto (El Salvador), La Nación (Chile), and El Mostrador (Chile), among numerous others. He has served as an election observer in various Latin American countries and has developed academic projects in the field in Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. He holds an MA degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University, and a BA in Journalism and Social Communication from University of Santiago, Chile. During his graduate studies at Georgetown University, he was the recipient of the Beeck Graduate Student Stipend Award, awarded to outstanding Latin American students.

Daniel Kovalik, Editor-in-Chief

Daniel Kovalik teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  He also serves as Associate General Counsel of the United Steelworkers, AFL-CIO (USW). He has worked for the USW since graduating from Columbia Law School in 1993. While with the USW, he has served as lead counsel on cutting-edge labor law litigation, including the landmark NLRB cases of Lamons Gasket and Specialty Health Care. He has also worked on Alien Tort Claims Act cases against The Coca-Cola Company, Drummond and Occidental Petroleum – cases arising out of egregious human rights abuses in Colombia. The Christian Science Monitor, referring to his work defending Colombian unionists under threat of assassination, recently described Mr. Kovalik as “one of the most prominent defenders of Colombian workers in the United States.” Mr. Kovalik received the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford University School of Law and was the recipient of the Project Censored Award for his article exposing the unprecedented killing of trade unionists in Colombia. He has written extensively on the issue of international human rights and U.S. foreign policy for the Huffington Post and Counterpunch and has lectured throughout the world on these subjects.

Frederick B. Mills, Senior Editor (English)

Frederick B. Mills, Ph.D.,  earned his doctorate in Philosophy at American University and BA in Classics (Greek and Latin) and Philosophy at SUNY Buffalo. He is professor of philosophy and a member of the Philosophy of Liberation Association, the American Association of University Professors, and the American Philosophical Association. He has received awards for excellence in teaching and international outreach from Bowie State University. Mills has published articles on philosophy of mind, ethics and public policy, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Mario Bencastro, Enrique Dussel as well as political analysis on contemporary Latin American politics. He has contributed articles to Counterpunch, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Open Democracy, Monthly Review, Eurasia Review, and other independent media. He co-authored, with Larry Birns, a book chapter for a political science textbook; an introduction to philosophy textbook; and a book: Enrique Dussel’s Ethics of Liberation: An Introduction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Mills is an assessment editor and former editor in chief of Humanities and Technology Review. He is a participant in the Foro Sao Paulo of Washington, DC, and a founding board member of the non-profit Association for Educational Development in El Salvador (ADEES, Inc.). For a list of publications and links, see www.frederickbmills.com.

Aline Piva, Senior Editor (Portuguese)

Aline Piva was COHA’s Assistant Deputy Director for the tenure of 2017-2018. She was the founder of COHA’s Brazil Research Unit and directed it from 2016 to 2018. Piva earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the State University of Londrina in Brazil, where she earned a postgraduate degree in International Law. She also has a postgraduate 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.

Larry Birns, Director In Memoriam

Larry Birns was the director of COHA since its founding in 1975 until his death on August 30, 2018, at the age of 89. A former defense researcher, strategist and member of the Institute for Strategic Studies in London and the All Souls College, Oxford’s military seminar, he was a senior grade public affairs officer of the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America in Santiago, Chile. Birns also taught and lectured for 15 years in the fields of Latin American studies, comparative government, and international law at a number of U.S. and British colleges and universities.

Educated at Bates, Columbia, and St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, he authored and edited a study on the overthrow of the Allende government and has published hundreds of articles on U.S.-Latin American relations for a number of publications, including The Nation, New York Review of Books, Ottawa Citizen, the Guardian, The Independent (of London), The Village Voice, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Chronicle, Atlanta Constitution, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The New York Times and Foreign Policy. He has made frequent appearances on foreign and U.S. network radio and television programs, including the Voice of America and National Public Radio (“Talk of the Nation,” “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” and “The Diane Rehm Show”), as well as regular analyses for the BBC. He also makes frequent appearances on Radio Havana, Canadian Television (CTV), the CBC radio and TV networks (“As It Happens,” “Newswatch,” “The National,” “Counterspin” and “Morningwatch”), and has made repeated appearances on “The McNeil-Lehrer Newshour,” “Crossfire,” as well as ABC’s “Nightline,” and the CBC’s “Newsworld.” On numerous occasions, he has been quoted by Reuters, AP, UPI, EFE, and Agence France Press news wires.

Birns also appeared on “This Week With David Brinkley,” C-SPAN, “Firing Line,” CBS’s “Nightwatch,” NBC’s “Today Show,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” INN, CBS, ABC, NBC Evening News and repeatedly on CNN, along with many local TV and radio programs, as well as serving as a special news consultant to ABC. In addition, his analyses of Latin American issues have been widely cited by the U.S., Canadian, British and Latin American wire services, as well as by scores of foreign and domestic newspapers and newsweeklies. His views and analyses also have been cited by almost every major newspaper, radio, and television network in Latin America, particularly on their world services.

He co-authored (with Jessica Leight) an article on the Bush White House’s Latin American policy for the American Foreign Service Journal, and also co-authored (with Jessica Leight) the afterword to Dr. Paul Farmer’s The Uses of Haiti, for which Jonathan Kozol contributed the foreword and Noam Chomsky wrote the introduction (Courage Press).

Birns leaves behind a great legacy of scholarship, mentorship, and advocacy. For decades COHA provided an indispensable progressive voice on hemispheric affairs. The COHA internship program, meanwhile, launched the careers of countless Latin America-focused scholars, journalists, activists and policy specialists.