CLALS | Previous Research Fellows


  • Latin American/Latino Studies
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John Ackerman

Fall 2012-Summer 2013

John Ackerman is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (IIJ-UNAM) and Vice President of the International Association of Administrative Law. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his B.A. in Philosophy from Swarthmore College. He is an expert in the topics of democratic transition, accountability, election law, state reform, public policy and citizen participation. Ackerman is Editor-in-Chief of the Mexican Law Review and a bi-weekly columnist for the newsweekly Proceso and the daily La Jornada.

Ackerman has been a Senior Consultant for the World Bank and was coordinator of the National Working Group on Transparency, Oversight and Accountability of the National Fiscal Convention in Mexico. He has also been a consultant with USAID, OECD, UNDP, Global Integrity, International Budget Project, Open Society Institute and in Mexico with the Secretary of the Public Function, the Supreme Court, the Chamber of Deputies and the Government of Mexico City. He has received funding for his research from the Fulbright Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the University of California Institute on Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS).

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Victor Armony

Fall 2011

Victor Armony is a Professor of Sociology and Director of the Observatory of the Americas at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). During 2011-2012, he holds a Canada-US Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at American University and at the University of Texas at Austin. He was the Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies between 2004 and 2011 and he is a regular commentator on Radio Canada International’s Latin American Section. He has published and lectured extensively in the field of identity, citizenship, and political discourse. His latest book is Le Québec expliqué aux immigrants (VLB Éditeur, 2007). Most recently, he contributed chapters to New Perspectives on Democracy in Latin America: Actors, Institutions and Practices (Blackwell, 2009), The New ISA Handbook of Contemporary Sociology: Conflict, Competition, Cooperation (Sage, 2009), and Identity Politics in the Public Realm: Bringing Institutions Back (University of British Columbia Press, 2011). Dr. Armony currently holds a 3-year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to study the Latino population in Canada.

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Benjamin Francis-Fallon


Benjamin Francis-Fallon (Ph.D., Georgetown University) is a historian and teacher whose interests center on the politics of immigration and ethnicity in the United States of America. His doctoral dissertation, currently being revised for publication, explores the origins and development of the “Hispanic Vote.” It examines how leaders from grassroots activists to U.S. presidents approached the task of convincing Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latino populations to act as one, and shows that political organizing was crucial in defining and institutionalizing Latino identity in the United States in the decades after World War II. It demonstrates how pan-Hispanic politics altered both Democratic and Republican strategies, transformed public policy, made “Hispanic” an official category of American citizen, and helped redefine the United States as a multicultural nation.

Dr. Francis-Fallon teaches courses on U.S. immigration and ethnic history, Latino history, and U.S. political history at Georgetown University. Previously, he taught social studies and Spanish language to the charming and hopeful students of Canarsie High School in Brooklyn, New York.

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Nilda Garay Montañez

Fall 2013

Nilda Garay Montañez is a Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Alicante, Spain, where she obtained her PhD. Her dissertation analyzed the status of indigenous peoples in Peruvian constitutionalism. She has been a visiting researcher and faculty member at the University of Bologna and the University of Lima, lecturing in equal rights and gender issues; and an invited professor of comparative constitutional law in the PhD program of the Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú. She is a co-founder and member of the Red Feminista de Derecho Constitucional of Spain, and a member of the Asociación Peruana de Derecho Constitucional. She received a BA in law from the University of Lima, Peru, and has practiced as a specialist in alien and immigration law.

Her principal themes of investigation include gender studies, anti-discrimination law, and alien law, all from a comparative constitutional perspective, mainly between the Spanish and Latin American law systems. She has published articles in Crítica Jurídica, Feminismo/s, Cathedra. Revista de la Facultad de Derecho de los estudiantes de derecho de la Universidad Mayor de San Marcos, Pensamiento Constitucional and Cuadernos Constitucionales de la Cátedra Furió Ceriol. As a fellow with CLALS, Garay Montañez will conduct a comparative study of discrimination towards Latinos in Spain and in the United States, from the perspective of constitutional law.


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Dennis Gilbert

Fall 2010

Dennis Gilbert is a Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College, and spent the Spring semester of 2011 as a Visiting Fellow with the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies. His primary research interests are Latin American society and history and the American class system. Gilbert is the author of The American Class Structure in an Age of Growing Inequality (Sage, 2011), Mexico's Middle Class in the Neoliberal Era (University of Arizona Press, 2007), Sandinistas: the Party and the Revolution (Blackwell, 1988), and La Oligarquía Peruana: Historia de Tres familias (Horizonte, 1982). In 1990, he was research director to the successful congressional campaign of Bernard Sanders (Independent-VT) and later served as legislative assistant in Sanders' congressional office. In collaboration with the polling firm Zogby International, Gilbert and his Hamilton students have conducted a series of widely reported national surveys, most examining the views of high school students, on such topics as gun control, gay rights, abortion, Muslims in America, and patriotism. Gilbert earned his PhD in 1976 in sociology from Cornell University.

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Patricia Legarreta

Patricia Legarreta is a PhD candidate at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico. Her dissertation, Culture, Development and International Cooperation in the Papaloapan Basin: From Inter-American Indigenismo to Global Multiculturalism, focuses on the dynamics of international cooperation between Mexican and American anthropologists and national, multilateral, public and private institutions in Cold War development programs, as well as the continuities and transformations in the neoliberal era. She has a Masters degree in Social Anthropology (Centro de Investigación y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, Mexico), with a specialization in public policy and the political, economic, cultural and generational transformations that infrastructure (highways, dams, electricity, etc.) carried to the Chinantec region of Oaxaca, Mexico. She has worked as a researcher on indigenous and cultural legislation for the Centro de Estudios Sociales y de Opinión Pública of the Mexican Congress, and has been a professor of rural studies, Mexican political economy, and fieldwork methodologies at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

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Javier Meléndez


Javier Meléndez has more than 15 years of experience in governance, and is a specialist in the areas of national security and citizen security. In 2004, he founded the Institute for Strategic Studies and Public Policies (Instituto de Estudios Estratégicos y Políticas Públicas, IEEPP), an independent Nicaraguan think-tank and advocacy organization dedicated to security reform and public sector transparency in Nicaragua and Central America. As the Executive Director of IEEPP from 2004 to 2009, he led investigations on security-sector reform measures in Nicaragua and throughout Central America, managed budget transparency programs, and trained Nicaraguan legislators on budget analysis. Before taking on the executive direction of IEEPP, Mr. Meléndez served as an advisor to the Nicaraguan Defense Ministry and helped organize the citizen consultation process for the White Book of Nicaragua’s Defense and National Security. He also worked as a program officer for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Washington, D.C. and as a coordinator for the Center for Strategic Studies in Nicaragua. Mr. Meléndez has published, coordinated and edited more than a dozen research works on defense, public security, international affairs, organized crime and public sector transparency. He has also advised and served as a consultant for the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress in Costa Rica, the British Department for International Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-LIREC), and the Organization of American States on citizen security, governance, political party modernization and transparency issues. In 2009, Mr. Meléndez was part of the executive committee for Human Development Report, “Opening spaces to citizen security and human development for Central America.” Since September 2010, he has served as a consultant for the Center for Naval Analysis, and collaborator for the research center “Insight Crime” of the American University in Washington DC.

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Caroline Moser


As an urban social anthropologist and social policy specialist, Caroline Moser has more than forty years of experience relating to urban development and social policy on a range of issues, including academic and policy-focused research, teaching and training. She has undertaken primary field-based research on urban poverty, urban violence, household asset vulnerability and accumulation strategies, gender and development and the informal sector in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Jamaica. Moser has taught at the London School of Economics, the New School and University College London. Prior to coming to the University of Manchester, she worked at the World Bank, the Overseas Development Institute and the Brookings Institution. She has also served as Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol, a Research Fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York and an Advisor to the Ford Foundation's Global Urban Research Initiative. Moser currently leads research projects exploring the tipping points of urban violence and asset planning.

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Antoine Perret


Antoine Perret is a PhD candidate in Law at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy), and his dissertation is on the role of the Inter-American System of Human Rights in facing the challenges posed by private military and security companies in Latin America. He has collaborated with the Geneva Center for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the UN Working Group on Mercenaries, and has taught courses in international relations at the Universidad Externado de Colombia. Antoine received an LLM from the European University Institute, an MA in International Affairs from the Universidad Externado de Colombia (Bogotá, Colombia) in collaboration with Sciences Po (Paris, France) and Columbia University (New York, USA), and a BA in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva, Switzerland).


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Fernando Rojas


Fernando Rojas earned his Master's degree in Public Administration (M.P.A.) at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; his LL.M. at Harvard Law School; International Tax Program Certificate at Harvard Law School; and completed Law Studies at the Law School, Rosario University in Bogota, Colombia. Prior to joining CLALS, Rojas worked for 12 years with the World Bank as a Lead Public Sector Management Specialist for the Latin America and the Caribbean (LCR) Region, working on a wide range of topics such as state reform, fiscal decentralization, public management and institutional development, both at national and subnational levels in countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

Fernando Rojas’ publications include Elementos de Finanzas Publicas en Colombia, Temis, Bogotá 1985 (with O. Alviar); "Economia Publica Contemporánea: Restructuración Gradual e Imperceptible de una Disciplina” (ESAP, Bogota, 1996); “The Demand for Governance and Quality of Government”, “At the Crossroads of Decentralization: Recentralization, Federalization”, “Reform of Public Administration and of the State in Colombia”, in Colombia: The Economic Foundations of Peace (The World Bank 2003); and “Partnering for Services in Santa Cruz, Bolivia” and “Partnering for Services for Planning and Management in Cali, Colombia”, in Leadership and Innovation in Subnational Government, Case Studies from Latin America (WBI Development Studies, The World Bank 2003).

Maria Antonieta del Tedesco Lins

Spring 2012

Maria Antonieta del Tedesco Lins is a Professor at the Institute of International Relations at the University of São Paulo. She holds a Master's degree in Public Administration and Government from the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a Master's in Gestion et Adminstration Publiques from the Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from FGV-SP. 

Her expertise is in monetary and financial economics, international finance and regional financial integration. Her research at CLALS focused on the implications of monetary, foreign exchange and captial account policies for regional financial integration in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico from 1990-2010. Another study compares the role played by public financial institutions in Brazil and India. 

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Irma Sandoval

Fall 2012 - Summer 2013

Irma Sandoval is a Professor at the Institute for Social Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and an international expert in transparency, corruption control and political economy. She currently serves as Director of the Laboratory for the Documentation and Analysis of Corruption and Transparency at UNAM and was the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Manuel Espinosa Yglesias award for her academic work in political economy. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz as well as an M.A. in Latin American Studies from UNAM. She has two B.A.s, one in Economics from UNAM and the other in Sociology from the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico City (UAM).

Her most recent books include: Contemporary Debates on Corruption & Transparency: Rethinking State, Market & Society (IIS-UNAM/World Bank, Mexico City/Washington, DC, 2011) and Crisis, Rentismo e Intervencionismo Neoliberal en la Banca: México, 1982-1999 (Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias, Mexico City, 2011). She has published over two dozen book chapters and journal articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the Administrative Law Review, Revista Mexicana de Sociología, Revista Argumentos, Perfiles Latinoamericanos and Fondo de Cultura Económica. She has worked as a senior consultant to the World Bank, UNDP, Global Integrity, the Open Society Institute and the Budget Accountability Project. Sandoval's current research focuses on public sector accountability in the wake of decades of orthodox economic policies.

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Luciano Vaz Ferreira

Spring 2013

Luciano Vaz Ferreira is a Ph.D. candidate in international strategic studies at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS in Brazil. He received a Bachelor's degree in law from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, and a Master's degree in law from the University of the Sinos Valley.

Vaz Ferreira has taught international law and human rights at Faculdade Porto-Alegrense and Faculdade de Desenvolvimento do Rio Grande do Sul at the Laureate International Universities, two educational institutions located in Porto Alegre. He also has been a civil servant, working with public policy at the state government. He holds the position of legal advisor at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

His current project is about the “role of Brazil in transnational bribery," which explores the implementation of international anti-corruption law in the Brazilian context, with a particular focus on international business. He has published several articles about international and comparative law in Brazilian journals.

His research areas of interest include globalization, governance, control of corruption, human rights and international and comparative law.

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