Leading experts from academia, journalism, and the worlds of policy and advocacy come to CLALS as Research Fellows to advance scholarship and contribute to public debate. Fellows carry out research independently and participate in Center-sponsored initiatives, bringing their expertise to bear on a wide range of issues in Latin American and Latino Studies.
In addition, doctoral candidates planning to undertake research in Washington D.C. related to Latin American or Latino studies are welcome to apply to affiliate with the Center as Research Fellows. The Center cannot provide stipend support, but students accepted to the program receive access to work space at CLALS, to the library and to other research infrastructure at American University.
Rodrigo Amaya Piñeros is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Universidad de los Andes (Colombia), where his dissertation focused on the decision-making process of Colombia’s foreign policy. He also holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the same institution, and a Master’s degree in Analysis of Contemporary Political, Economic, and International Problems from the Institute of Development Studies (Colombia). Rodrigo is a career diplomat with 12 years of experience at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Colombia), and has been a Professor of International Relations at Universidad Externado de Colombia. His research interests include theories of international relations, foreign policy analysis, decision-making processes, and Colombian foreign policy. His most recent publication is a book chapter entitled “The Features of Colombia’s Foreign Policy: Revisiting What We Know of the Country’s External Conduct” in New Approaches to the Study of Colombia’s International Relations (Universidad de Los Andes, 2017).
Fulton T. Armstrong directs the Center’s blog, AULABLOG; contributes to the Cuba Initiative; and an in-depth examination of security programs in Central America. Before joining the Center, he followed Latin American affairs for almost 30 years in a number of U.S. government positions. He served as a senior professional staff member responsible for Latin America on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from July 2008 to October 2011, where he also worked closely with the committee’s investigations team. Prior to that, he served in the Executive Branch in a series of policy and analytical positions. Among other senior positions, he was National Intelligence Officer for Latin America – the U.S. Intelligence Community’s most senior analyst – in 2000-2004, and for six months he was the chief of staff of the DCI Crime and Narcotics Center. He served two terms as the Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council (1995-97 and 1998-99), between which he was Deputy NIO for Latin America. From 1980-84 he worked for U.S. Representative Jim Leach (R-Iowa). He has spent 12 years studying and working in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He speaks Spanish and Chinese.
Paulo Alexandre B. de Castro is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of Brasilia (Brazil), where his dissertation focuses on the political action of the Brazilian Supremo Tribunal Federal. He also holds a Masters degree in Latin American Politics from the same institution. Paulo is an adjunct professor at the Brasilia Institute for Public Law and an independent consultant in Brazilian politics. He has served as General Coordinator of Cooperation and Education at the Ministry of Justice and as an adviser to the National Secretary for Consumer Protection. In the private sector, Paulo was a senior analyst at Instituto Brasileiro de Estudos Politicos (IBEP) and co-founder of C.A.C. Consultoria, a political risk consultancy in Brasilia. He has consulted for the United Nations and for the Brazilian Presidency.
Michael S. Danielson is Visiting Faculty at the University of California Washington Program (UCDC) and Research Fellow at CLALS. Since receiving his Ph.D. in political science from American University, he has taught Latin American politics and international affairs at George Washington University and the NYU and Pepperdine University programs in Washington, DC. His book, A Wave That Didn’t Break: The Puzzling Inertia of Mexican Politics in the Face of Migration (working title), is under contract with Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2017). His research has been published in numerous peer reviewed and policy-oriented venues and he received Fulbright, National Science Foundation, and Gill Family Foundation grants to fund his dissertation survey and field research. He also holds an MA in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (now the Middlebury Institute of International Studies) and Spanish and Philosophy degrees from Santa Clara University. As a practitioner, he has consulted for the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States and the Kino Border Initiative and previously served as a policy analyst for the Children's Defense Fund and the Center on Policy Initiatives.
Steven Dudley is a Senior Research Fellow for American University who specializes in organized crime and citizen security issues. In addition to managing InSight Crime Foundation, which is co-sponsored by CLALS, Dudley is a principal investigator on the Center's project to study street gangs in the United States and El Salvador, and a contributor to the Center's Elites and Power project. He has also contributed to the Center's Religion and Violence project.
Dudley is the former Bureau Chief of the Miami Herald in the Andean Region and the author of Walking Ghosts: Murder and Guerrilla Politics in Colombia (Routledge, 2004). Dudley has also reported from Haiti, Brazil, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Miami for National Public Radio and The Washington Post, among others. Dudley has a B.A. in Latin American History from Cornell University and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He was awarded the Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 2007, is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Marguerite Rose Jiménez holds a Master’s degree in Foreign Policy and a Ph.D. in Political Science from American University’s School of Public Affairs. Since moving to Washington, DC in 2005, Marguerite has worked as a consultant for the Council on Foreign Relations and the Institute for Policy Studies and served as program coordinator for Executive Training programs for the U.S. Department of State. From 2014-2015, she served as a White House Fellow.). After serving as a White House Fellow, she spent 18 months serving as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce. Currently, she is a Senior Associate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), in addition to teaching classes at AU and at Georgetown.
Her research focuses on policy innovation and diffusion, and comparative public policy in lower and middle-income countries with a specialty in public health policy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Additional research interests include policy implementation, diplomatic history, global health, international organizations, and vaccine diplomacy. Marguerite recently completed a second edited volume on contemporary Cuba, a monograph on vaccine diplomacy for the National Academy of Sciences, and was named an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow for 2014-2015.
Michael McCarthy is a Research Fellow at CLALS and Adjunct Professor at George Washington University’s Elliot School for International Affairs. He specializes in South American politics, U.S.-Latin American relations, democratization, populism, contentious politics, and media balance and bias. He founded and manages Caracas Wire, a newsletter on Venezuelan politics. Previously, he taught in the Latin American Studies Program at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and as a practitioner consulted as a Senior Analyst for the Carter Center's Venezuela Presidential Election Study Missions in 2012 and 2013. His research has been supported by Fulbright and the Inter-American Foundation fellowships, and a Ford Foundation grant. His first job in Washington was as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations Latin America Program. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in history and political science from Bates College. @MikeCaracasWire
Laura de Oliveira is a Professor in the Department of History and Graduate Program in History at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA, Brazil). She is currently a Fellow at CLALS and conducts research at the Smithsonian Institution. She completed postdoctoral training in the Graduate Program in Education at the University of São Paulo (USP) in 2016, and recently published the volume Guerra Fria e Politica Editorial (Cold War and Editorial Politics) (EDUEM, 2015). Laura holds a Ph.D. in History from the Federal University of Goiás (UFG), and completed a doctoral internship at Georgetown University. Her thesis won the 4th Manoel Salgado - ANPUH Thesis Award (2015), and received honorable mention in the Capes Thesis Prize (2014). She also holds a MA in History from the Federal University of Goiás (UFG), where her Master's dissertation won in the Academic Expression Award - UFG (2011). Her research interests include such topics in contemporary history as ethics and human rights; Brazil-United States relations; Cold War and cultural warfare; and diplomacy and propaganda.
Marcus Rocha is a Ph.D. Candidate in Public Policy at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). He holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the same university. His dissertation research explores the internal controls in the Brazilian executive branch and the control of corruption in Brazilian municipalities. His research interests include institutions, federalism, public planning, control of corruption, and research methods. Marcus is also the current Chair of the Students Section of Latin American Studies Association.
Ana Isabel Rodríguez Iglesias is a Ph.D. candidate in International Politics and Conflict Studies at the University of Coimbra (Portugal). Her dissertation examines the power-resistance dynamics surrounding the struggle for peace in the recent peace negotiations in Colombia. She holds three M.A. degrees, including in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University (2014), in International Relations (2010), and in Studies of the European Union (2012), both from the Universidad CEU San Pablo in Madrid. She has been awarded the FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) Scholarship from the Government of Portugal to complete her Ph.D., and also received a Fulbright Scholarship for her work at Georgetown University. In 2016, she was awarded the Curriculum Fellowship Awardee for teaching a seminar on Civil Resistance at the University of Coimbra by the International Center on Non-violent Conflict.
During her studies and before pursuing her Ph.D., she worked as a researcher and consultant at various international organizations, think tanks, and universities, including the Inter-American Development Bank, Human Rights Watch, CSIS, and the Institute of European Studies of the University CEU San Pablo.
Héctor Silva Ávalos is the former Deputy Chief of Mission at the El Salvador Embassy in Washington, DC. Silva Ávalos holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from the Universidad Centroamericana, El Salvador; a Master's in TV production, Ayuntamiento de Vitoria, Spain; and a Masters in journalism from Universidad de Barcelona and University of Columbia. He has 15 years of experience as an investigative reporter in La Prensa Gráfica, a major Salvadoran newspaper. As an expert on Salvadoran organized crime he has researched and authored journalistic pieces quoted in U.S. and Salvadoran publications on the topics of Los Perrones, one of the main DTOs in El Salvador; Mexican cartel penetration in Central America; and the influence of the Colombian FARC in drug trafficking in Central America. He authors two blogs on organized crime and U.S.-El Salvador-Central America relations. As a Research Fellow, he has undertaken one year of research resulting in the publication Infiltrators: A Chronicle of Corruption in the National Civil Police of El Salvador.
With support from the Arca Foundation, he is currently conducting research for a book-length project on the 1989 Jesuit Massacre and the case's enduring influence on the fortunes of El Salvador's justice system following the 1992 Peace Accords.
Alexander Wilde was Vice President for Communications at the Ford Foundation and headed Ford’s regional office for the Andes and Southern Cone. He was also a senior fellow at the Helen Kellogg Institute (Notre Dame) and the Latin American Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center (Washington, DC). He formerly directed the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and has taught at Georgetown, George Washington, Notre Dame, Lawrence (Wisconsin), Haverford College, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Most recently, Professor Wilde directed the CLALS project on Religion and Violence in Latin America, supported by a two-year grant from the Luce Foundation. His scholarly research has addressed religion, human rights, democracy and historical memory in Latin America. He is the co-editor of The Progressive Church in Latin America and author of Conversaciones de caballeros: La quiebra de la democracia en Colombia. He serves on several international advisory boards and has advised various award-winning documentary films related to the themes of his research.
Ph.D., Political Science, Columbia University
B.A., Government, Lawrence University (Wisconsin)