Robert Albro is a Research Associate Professor at CLALS. Dr. Albro received his Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1999. Since 1991 Dr. Albro has maintained long-term ethnographic research, and published widely, on popular and indigenous politics in Bolivia, with a particular focus on the changing terms of citizenship, democratic participation, and indigenous movements in this country. His current research is concerned with diverse intersections of culture with policy, including: the creative economy, public diplomacy, human rights, national security, and technology and innovation. Dr. Albro’s research and writing have been supported over the years by the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the American Council for Learned Societies, among others. Dr. Albro has also been a Fulbright scholar, and has held fellowships at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution. Additional information about Albro’s work can be found here: www.robertalbro.com.
Fulton T. Armstrong is a Senior Fellow at CLALS. Armstrong has 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 he served for six months as the chief of staff of the DCI Crime and Narcotics Center. He served two terms as a Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council (1995 97 and 1998-99), between which he was Deputy NIO for Latin America. In 1980-84 he worked for U.S. Representative Jim Leach (R-Iowa). He has spent 11 years studying and working in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He speaks Spanish and Chinese.
Ricardo Barrientos currently serves as Senior Economist at the Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies (Icefi), Mr. Barrientos is an expert in fiscal policy topics. He served as Vice-Minister of Public Finance of Guatemala during 2009-2010. During the period 1994-2005 he served as Director and Technical Advisor at the Fiscal Analysis Unit at the Ministry of Public Finance of Guatemala. As an independent consultant, he has conducted research on fiscal policy and evaluated public policies. He has published works on tax policy and tax evasion analysis in Guatemala. Mr. Barrientos has also served as an independent consultant for the last Fiscal Pact Commission in Guatemala, in charge of the indirect taxation study and proposal (2007). He has completed doctoral studies in mathematics at the University of Barcelona, Spain (2005-2006). He holds an International Tax Certificate from Harvard University, USA (2000) and a degree in mathematics from the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (1995).
CLALS Research Fellow Steven Dudley is Co-Director of InSight Crime, an investigative journalism think-tank that specializes in organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean. 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 forNational 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.
Currently Assistant Professor of International Development in American University’s School of International Service, Dr. Esser researches violence, governance and aid effectiveness in the context of urban development and global health. His interest in the Latin American region focuses on Mexico, El Salvador and Costa Rica (community responses to violence), Cuba (urban change and national health policies), and Argentina (slum governance). His research has been published in leading international journals such as World Development, Third World Quarterly, Global Public Health, Environment and Urbanization, and Urban Studies, as well as in several edited books. Most recently, Dr. Esser received research grants from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (jointly with fellow AULA blogger Dr. Juan Pablo Pérez Sáinz), the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council’s Drugs, Security and Democracy program.
Eric Hershberg is Director of CLALS and Professor of Government at American University. From 2007-2009 he was Professor of Political Science and Director of Latin American Studies at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver, Canada. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has taught at New York University, Southern Illinois University, Columbia, Princeton and the New School. His research focuses on the comparative politics of Latin America, and on the politics of development. Current research projects analyze the state of democracy and emerging development strategies in South America, and the ways in which elites exercise power in Central America. He has served as a consultant to numerous development and educational agencies, including the Ford Foundation, the World Bank and the Swedish International Development Agency.
William LeoGrande is Professor of Government in American University’s School of Public Affairs and a CLALS Faculty Affiliate. As a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America. Dr. LeoGrande has been a frequent adviser to government and private sector agencies. He has written five books, including Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977 – 1992. Most recently, he was co-editor of A Contemporary Cuba Reader: Reinventing the Revolution. Previously, he served on the staffs of the Democratic Policy Committee of the United States Senate, and the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Central America of the United States House of Representatives. Professor LeoGrande has been a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, and a Pew Faculty Fellow in International Affairs. His articles have appeared in various international and national journals, magazines and newspapers.
Luciano Melo is a doctoral student in American University’s School of Public Affairs. His research focuses on democratic enclaves in undemocratic countries, especially in Latin America. Prior to coming to the U.S. he was was an instructor in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, giving classes and lectures to more than 1,000 students from the tri-border area of Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.
Héctor Silva Ávalos
CLALS Research Fellow 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 Master’s 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 currently authors two blogs on organized crime and U.S.-El Salvador-Central America relations.
Matthew Taylor is Professor in American University’s School of International Service. Dr. Taylor’s research and teaching interests include state capacity, corruption, judicial politics, and Latin American political economy. He has lived and worked extensively in Brazil, most recently as an assistant professor at the University of São Paulo. Taylor is the author of Judging Policy: Courts and Policy Reform in Democratic Brazil (Stanford University Press, 2008), which was awarded the Brazilian Political Science Association’s Victor Nunes Leal Prize for best book, and co-editor with Timothy J. Power of Corruption and Democracy in Brazil: The Struggle for Accountability (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011). His scholarly work has been published in a variety of journals, including Comparative Politics, Journal of Latin American Studies, Latin American Politics & Society and World Politics.
Alexander Wilde is Senior Research Fellow at CLALS. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. He is co-editor of The Progressive Church in Latin America (with Scott Mainwaring, Notre Dame University Press, 1989) and author of Conversaciones de caballeros (Tercer Mundo, 1982), on the breakdown of Colombian democracy in the 1940s. Dr. Wilde has served as Vice President for Communications at the Ford Foundation and headed Ford’s regional office for the Andes and Southern Cone. He has also served as Senior Fellow at the Helen Kellogg Institute and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin America Program, and formerly directed the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Dr. Wilde directed the CLALS project on religious responses to violence in Latin America, a two-year initiative funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. Most recently, Dr. Wilde served as Scarff Distinguished Visiting Professor at Lawrence University in Wisconsin.