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.
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.
Michael Danielson is a Visiting Assistant Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University. He received his PhD in Political Science from American University. His dissertation, "Politics At Home Abroad: The Engagement of Mexican Migrants in their Home Towns" has been supported by Fulbright, National Science Foundation, and Gill Family Foundation awards. He holds an MA in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Spanish and Philosophy degrees from Santa Clara University. As a practitioner, he has consulted for the Kino Border Initiative and 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 BA in Latin American History from Cornell University and an MA 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.
Michael McCarthy is a political scientist specializing in South America and U.S.-Latin American relations. His research focuses on questions of democratization, elections, populism, and media balance and bias. He received his PhD in political science from Johns Hopkins University. His dissertation, “Populism in Power: Venezuela’s Chavismo from Mobilization to Party-Building,” was supported by field research grants from Fulbright and the Inter-American Foundation. Previously, he taught in the Latin American Studies Program at Johns Hopkins SAIS and consulted as a Senior Analyst for the Carter Center's Venezuela Presidential Election Study Missions in 2012 and 2013. His first job in Washington was as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations Latin America Program. He holds an M.A. in political science from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in history and political science from Bates College. @macmac79
Christopher Moore is a PhD candidate at Indiana University-Bloomington, a research fellow at the Smithsonian Institution's Human Studies Film Archives, and a documentary filmmaker with Sol Productions. As a documentarian, he has written and directed four feature-length films. His work has screened at major international film festivals such as Boston and Sarasota; at other venues including the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and the Smithsonian Museum of African Art; and at over one hundred and twenty colleges and universities on four continents, where Chris has often lectured about film, politics, and the creative process. In 2008 he and his co-directors received the “Media that Matters” award from Al Gore’s Current TV for their online series, Democracy in Dakar. Currently, Chris is a doctoral candidate in the history of film at Indiana University, where he is writing a dissertation on ethics and the “politics of presence” in Argentine documentary filmmaking between 1948 and 1978. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his partner, Mary.
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, D.C.). He formerly directed the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and has taught at Georgetown, George Washington, Notre Dame, Lawrence (Wis.), Haverford College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Most recently, Dr. 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 (Wis.)