Senior Research Fellows
Dr. James A. Baer
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. Roland Benedikter
Dr. Roland Benedikter is a European Public Intellectual, Political Scientist and Sociologist serving as Research Scholar at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Benedikter holds two doctorates from the Free University of Berlin and one from the University of Innsbruck. He is also a Full Academic Fellow of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., as well as a Trustee of the Toynbee Prize Foundation in Boston. Furthermore, he serves as an Affiliate of the Edmund Pellegrino Center of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and as a Full member of the Club of Rome. Previously he served as Research Affiliate (2009-2013) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He has authored more than 200 publications which have been translated into seven languages. He has been 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 German newspaper Die Welt Berlin and the international commentary magazine, The European. He is co-author of two Pentagon and U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff White Papers on the ethics of neurotechnology and neurowarfare (February 2013 and April 2014) and of Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker’s Limits of Privation (Report to the Club of Rome, 2003).
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.
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.
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 Amazon.com 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. Steven J. Hirsch
Dr. 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.
Louise 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. Lynn Holland
Lynn Holland received her PhD in political science from the University of California at Los Angeles and teaches at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies (JKSIS) at the University of Denver where she specializes in international political economy and Latin American Studies. She has written on violence and conflict in Central America, land rights in rural areas of Honduras and Peru, authoritarianism in Honduras, the politics of deportation in the U.S., and the origins and transnational impacts of the war on drugs. Her research has taken her to Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Bolivia and Peru. Her articles have appeared in Contemporary Justice Review, Journal of Latin American Studies, International Affairs Forum, Carnegie Ethics Online, Foreign Policy in Focus, and History News. Her courses include International Political Economy, Political Economic Development in Latin America, Democracy and Militarism in Latin America and Illicit Markets in the Americas. She is an editorial member of the recently founded Journal of Trafficking, Organized Crime and Security, a faculty fellow at the Human Trafficking Center at JKSIS, and member of the Denver Justice and Peace Committee (DJPC). She was the recipient of the Ruth Murray Underhill Teaching award in 2011.
Dr. Odeen Ishmael
Dr. 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. Mark S. Langevin
Mark S. Langevin is the director of BrazilWorks, an adjunct Professor at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs and George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government and International Affairs, and a visiting Professor at UniCEUB in Brasília. Dr. Langevin researches and writes extensively on Brazilian energy policymaking and United States-Brazil relations. He is a regular contributor to such publications as: American Diplomacy, Boletim Meridiano 47, Brazil, the Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin American Advisor, Journal of Energy Security, the Labor Studies Journal, Review of Renewable Energy Law and Policy,and Universitas: Relações Internacionais. Dr. Langevin earned a Ph.D. in Political Science and a M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He also graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Public Health from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.
Cynthia 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.
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.
Terrence E. Paupp J.D.
Terrence 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.
Dr. Kirwin Shaffer
Dr. 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.
Dr. Michelle Switzer
For 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.
Peter Bolton is a journalist and activist based in Washington, DC. He has worked as a freelance journalist in Colombia and has had work published in The Guardian, Upside Down World, Colombia Politics and various human rights blogs. He has also worked for Colombia Reports on its Medellin and Bogota desks and has produced research for human rights organizations such as Witness for Peace and PASO International. He holds a bachelors degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Durham University and is currently working toward a masters in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs at American University where he is an Edward B. Lewis Fellow. In addition to his work with COHA, he is an activist with the Latin America and Caribbean Network and the Democratic Socialists of America.
As one who travels to Cuba and other Latin American countries often, Mr. Cores possesses a unique perspective and strong desire to help establish stronger ties between our government and those of Latin American countries. He supports a U.S. policy toward these countries based on mutual respect, while fostering constructive dialogue with their governments for the sake of bringing stability and prosperity to the region. Mr. Cores also shares COHA’s goal of promoting a humanitarian focus on Western Hemisphere studies. He has continued to promote awareness on issues within Latin American countries that can be improved as a result of better policies by the United States toward those nations.Richard Cores was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. He attended Florida International University (FIU) where he majored in International Relations and minored in Psychology. He later earned his Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Affairs from Norwich University in Vermont. In late 2014, Mr. Cores completed an assignment at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in New York, where he covered the 69th Session of the U.N. General Assembly. During that time, he actively participated in intergovernmental deliberations and inter-agency meetings within the United Nations related to the Post-2015 Development Agenda. He also did substantive work on matters related to international trade and development; information and technology; debt sustainability and development strategies. Mr. Cores has also worked in administrative positions within various law firms, NGOs, and governmental agencies. His interests vary widely, and include development, international law, human rights, democracy, education, environmental issues and technology.
Clément Doleac is a French citizen and worked for the Council on Hemispheric as Research Associate from October 2014 to February 2015 and as Research Fellow since then. He is also working with the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) since April 2015. He graduated from the Université Lumière Lyon 2, in France, in June 2012 with a Master Degree in Political Sociology and from the Institut d’EÉudes Politiques in Grenoble, in France, in September 2014, with a Master Degree in International Relations/Latin American Studies. During his studies, he has focused on security issues and the fear of crime in Mexico and in Colombia, two countries he lived in for nearly three years. He also studied Western Hemisphere cooperation and diplomacy and relationship between the Western Hemisphere and the European Union. Clément has an interest in Latin American affairs, foreign policy, civil and human rights, as well as sustainable development and climate change issues. Prior to joining Rights and Resources, he worked at the French embassy in Mexico, the Organization of American States in Washington D.C., as well as the international security firm Geos, in Mexico. Clément is fluent in French, Spanish and English.
Rachael Hilderbrand is COHA’s current Office Manager. She previously worked as a Program Analyst for the Western Hemisphere programs at the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program. Rachael has also worked for the non-proft Catalytic Communities, based in Rio de Janeiro, where she developed a series of articles that discuss and analyze the current security situation with regards to recent violence, the implementation of the Pacifying Police Units (UPP), perceptions on favelas, and the role of youth development programs. For the past two-years, Rachael led American University’s Alternative Break program to Rio de Janeiro focused on Community Organizing in the Favelas and coordinated meetings to understand the perspectives of various community leaders, scholars, and government officials on social justice issues such as education, youth development, evictions, police brutality, gentrification and security in Brazil. Rachael is a current Master’s candidate in American University’s Global Governance, Politics, and Security program.
Gvaram Khandamishvili joins the Council on Hemispheric Affairs as a career diplomat, having previously served at the Georgian embassies in Sweden and México. Since August 2014, Gvaram has been a Head of the Latin American and Caribbean Section of the Department of Americas, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. Gvaram joined COHA as a result of the good offices of the U.S. State Department’s Professional Fellows Programme, administered by the Washington-based American Councils. Gvaram’s primary areas of interests in the hemisphere have been longstanding and include relations between the United States and México, US policies towards Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as security and drug issues in Central America. Regional integration mechanisms in the Western Hemisphere are also a subject of his interest.
Michael S. Wilson is a Mexico City native and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he focuses on peace and conflict in Latin America. He is also a Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs and a Ph.D. Fellow at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. As an undergraduate, Wilson was a co-host of a news radio show, student body president, and News Editor of the campus newspaper. He currently lives in Peru, where he is conducting long-term, immersive fieldwork for his dissertation and a documentary film. His research centers on extractive industries, indigenous and rural communities, political violence, nonviolent resistance, and the politics of media.
While he has studied the Andes and Amazon most intensely, he has researched several other countries in the region and conducted fieldwork in Costa Rica, Guyana, and Mexico. Some of his academic and journalistic works have appeared in Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, COHA’s Washington Report on the Hemisphere, the North American Congress on Latin America Report on the Americas,Waging Nonviolence, Human Rights Review, AlterNet, Tikkun, Counterpunch, and others.