Brazil Unit Staff

Aline Piva

picAline Piva is COHA’s Assistant Deputy Director and head of the Brazil Unit. 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.


Liliana Muscarella

Liliana MuscarellaLiliana Muscarella is Managing Editor of COHA’s Brazil Unit, led by Aline Piva, as well as a Research Fellow and former Associate at COHA. Having worked in peacebuilding and diplomacy in Washington, D.C., Liliana now lives in Paris, where she is a Master’s student in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at Sciences Po, Paris School of International Affairs. There, her studies focus on humanitarian law, diplomacy, and Latin American affairs. Liliana’s research for COHA centers around the intersection of political conflict, human rights, and U.S. intervention in the Americas, and her regional interests include Venezuela, Brazil, and Central America. While working with COHA, Liliana has published articles in English and Spanish, many of which have been recognized in media outlets from Cuba to Ukraine. Liliana is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she achieved bachelor’s degrees in Global Studies and Sociology and minored in Spanish.


Madeline Asta 

Madeline Asta interned as a Research Associate at COHA during the summer 2017, specializing in issues concerning Brazilian politics, economics, and human rights. Currently, Madeline studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is finishing her bachelor degrees in Economics and Global Studies, with an emphasis in Latin America. Madeline’s interest in Brazil began during her studies at Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro in the Fall 2016, where she studied Brazilian foreign policy, contemporary social issues, and Portuguese. Through her research, Madeline seeks to analyze political and economic policies through their social effects. After completing her degrees, Madeline hopes to live in Latin America and work in the field of Development Economics.


Brian Mier

brianCOHABrian Mier is a geographer, writer and development professional who has worked with ActionAid, Care and Plan. Author of Os Megaeventos Esportivos na Cidade do Rio de Janeiro e o Direito á Cidade, with Karla Moroso and Cristiano Muller (2016. CDES/Fundação Ford: Rio de Janeiro). Has lived in Brazil for 21 years, currently in São Paulo, where he edits Brasil Wire.  His interests include political economy, social movements and  the resurgence of the brazilian right.




Jose da Cruz

dacruz joseDr. Jose de Arimateia da Cruz is a Professor of International Relations/Comparative Politics at Armstrong State University, Savannah, GA, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in Latin American and African Foreign Policy, Third World National Security, Global CyberSecurity, and Insurgency/Counterinsurgency. Dr. da Cruz is also an Adjunct Research Professor at the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA. and Research Associate of the Brazil Research Unit at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) in Washington, D.C.. Dr. da Cruz has a visiting teaching appointment at the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the School of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic. He has served as visiting professor at the University of Stavanger, Norway, and La Serena Universidad in La Serena, Chile. Dr. da Cruz holds a B.A. in Philosophy & Political Science from Wright State University, Dayton, OH; an M.A. in Professional Communications and Leadership from Armstrong State University, Savannah, GA; a M.A. in Political Science/Political Philosophy from Miami University, Oxford, OH; an M.S. in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in cyber affairs and security from Armstrong State University, and he is completing a Master of Public Health (MPH) at Armstrong State University. Dr. da Cruz earned his Ph.D. in Political Science (African & Latin American Politics) from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.


Igor Drumond

IgorIgor Drumond is a Civil Servant and work in Brasília at Rio de Janeiro State’s Public Defender’s Office before the Superior and Supreme Courts. Has a bachelor degree in Law from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and has been conducting independent research in Human and Civil Rights,  particularly regarding Equality and the Rule of Law’s Coherence and Integrity, with interest in Theory of Law, and is pursuing the opportunity of a Master’s degree on how income inequality between powerful civil servants and unpowered ones affects society. He’s also part of Digital Culture and Democracy academic research group (Cultura Digital e Democracia – CDD) at Centro Universitário de Brasília (UniCEUB) about Democracy, Privacy, Net Neutrality and Internet rights. Igor also writes for his own blog Desarrazoado, on topics of Coherence, Integrity, Equality and the Rule of Law in an accessible way for the general public.


What is happening at COHA’s Brazil Unit?

We are proud to announce that João Lucas Coimbra Sousa will be joining our team. Mr. Sousa is a Brazilian criminal lawyer. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Universidade Federal do Maranhão and a postgraduate degree in Criminal Law from the Faculdade de Direito Damásio de Jesus. He is currently pursuing his Master of Laws degree at Arizona State University. With emphasis in human rights and constitutional guarantees, Mr. Sousa researches the demilitarization of the state police in Brazil. His academic work is based on the belief that the State and its powers must provide nourishment, comfort, and equality for the people.