Meet the Staff

Eric Hershberg

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.

Robert Albro

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.

Dennis Stinchcomb

Dennis Stinchcomb joined the CLALS staff in May 2012 after completing graduate work in Spanish and Latin American Studies at American University. He currently manages several CLALS projects, including the Center’s portfolio of research on immigration-related issues and Central American gangs.

Fulton Armstrong

Fulton T. Armstrong is a Senior Research 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.

Steven Dudley

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 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.

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.

Alexandra Vranas

Alexandra Vranas holds a M.A. in Spanish: Latin American Studies from American University and a B.A. in History and Spanish from Loyola University Chicago. A former Graduate Assistant at CLALS, Alexandra is the Program Coordinator, managing partnerships and communications, in addition to assisting with research administration and editorial projects. Before pursuing a graduate degree, Alexandra lived and worked in southern Chile.

 

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