CLALS | Research Fellows


  • Latin American/Latino Studies
    Fax: 202-885-6430
    4545 42nd Street, Room 308

    Stinchcomb, Dennis A
    Program Manager

Mailing Address

CLALS Research Fellows Program

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.

Download the Research Fellow application.

Current Fellows

Fulton Armstrong

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.


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Patrick Breslin

Patrick Breslin

Photographer and writer Patrick Breslin grew up in the immigrant communities of New York City’s South Bronx. After college, he worked as a newspaper reporter, then as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia before earning Master’s and PhD degrees in political science from NYU and UCLA. Concurrently, he worked as a Peace Corps trainer, a journalist, and a research director at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He studied photography at the Corcoran Gallery and the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Breslin has published two books, Interventions, a novel set in the turbulent period of the 1973 military coup against President Allende in Chile, and Development and Dignity, on the Inter-American Foundation, a semi-independent U.S. government agency. In 1987, Breslin joined the IAF staff, where he directed research, wrote numerous articles, handled country portfolios in Honduras and Colombia, and was principal staff photographer for the IAF Journal. From 2000-2007, as vice president for external affairs, he oversaw publications and represented the Foundation before Congress. Breslin’s articles and book revlews have appeared in major U.S. magazines such as Smithsonian and several newspapers, principally the Washington Post. His photography documenting aspects of the struggle for a better life by poor people in Latin America still plays a prominent role in IAF publications.

As a CLALS Research Fellow, Breslin is working on a study of the impact of grassroots development projects on the empowerment of local grantee organizations in Latin America.

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Michael Danielson

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. His report for the Kino Border Initiative, "Documented Failures: The Consequences of Immigration Policy on the U.S.-Mexico Border," is available here.

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Steven Dudley

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.


  • Breaking down security issues on-the-ground in conflict situations (PDF)  
  • Studying trends and tendencies of organized crime (PDF)  
  • Analyzing political crises (PDF)  
  • Reporting on corporate social responsibility (PDF), environmental subjects (PDF), human rights issues (PDF)  
  • Investigating international (PDF) and local justice systems (PDF)

Steven Dudley Resume (PDF)


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Yazmín A. García Trejo

Yazmín A. García Trejo is a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Political Science. Her areas of specialization are in comparative politics and American politics. Ms. García Trejo’s dissertation examines the gender gap in political knowledge: why surveys find that women know less about politics when compared to men. In particular, she focuses on the origins of the gender gap in political knowledge and its implications for women’s political participation and representation in Mexico. Ms. García Trejo employs a research strategy by developing a gendered theoretical framework to the study of the acquisition of political information. For her dissertation she conducted fieldwork (surveys of high school students in two Mexican states) and an analysis of 20+ years of public opinion data.

Ms. García Trejo is currently an American Dissertation Fellow (2013-2014) from the American Association of University Women and was a visiting scholar (2011) at El Colegio de Sonora (Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico). She worked at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research where she collaborated in the supervision of the Latin American Databank. Ms. García Trejo has taught at the University of Connecticut’s El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, Latin American Studies and within the Department of Political Science. Ms. García Trejo received her BA in economics from the Instituto Politécnico Nacional. After graduating, she worked at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE). She then continued her graduate studies, earning Master’s degrees in Survey Research and Latin American Studies from the University of Connecticut.

Yazmín Garcia Trejo CV


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CLALS Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy specializes in Venezuela, citizen participation, and U.S.-Latin American relations. He is completing his dissertation, "Venezuela's Chavismo: A Case of Infrastructural Populism," at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Political Science. Research for the dissertation received support from the Fulbright Foundation, the Inter-American Foundation, and the Ford Foundation and involved a year and a half of fieldwork with grassroots-level organizations situated in Caracas shantytowns.

Before coming to AU he was a Professorial Lecturer with the Latin American Program at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS and a Senior Researcher for the Carter Center in Venezuela. He wrote the Carter Center's Study Mission Report on the 2012 Presidential Election and contributed as co-author to the 2013 Presidential Election Study Mission Report.

He began his career as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations and continues to publish on public affairs, recently contributing commentary on U.S. sanctions against the Maduro Government in Venezuela and on Pathways for the U.S. to regain leadership in South America amid new geopolitical realities. 

He graduated with honors from Bates College with a dual B.A. in History and Political Science, and earned an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University. He speaks fluent Spanish and has working knowledge of Portuguese.


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Inés M. Pousadela

Inés M. Pousadela holds a PhD in Political Science (Universidad de Belgrano, Argentina), a Master’s Degree in Economic Sociology (IDEAS-UNSAM, Argentina), and a Bachelor’s Degree (Licenciatura) in Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires. Former professor and researcher at the University of Buenos Aires, she has alternated for the past few years between academic research in Latin American Studies at institutions such as Georgetown University (CLAS) and the University of Maryland (LASC), and independent political consultancy with NGOs and international organizations (IDB, UNDP).

She has published several books on political representation and participation in Argentina and Latin America, as well as a number of journal articles and book chapters on political theory, democratization and social mobilization, political culture, corruption, transparency, and accountability. The former include Entre la deliberación política y la terapia de grupo, La experiencia de las asambleas barriales-populares en la Argentina de la crisis (2011), Ver a través. Poder, rendición de cuentas y sociedad civil (2008, co-authored with Anabel Cruz), and Que se vayan todos. Enigmas de la representación política (2006).

Dr. Pousadela’s current project at CLALS explores the relationships between social protest, art and performance, and is based on previous research on the experiences of the Chilean student movement, the women’s movement in Uruguay, and the LGBT movement in Argentina.


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Héctor Silva Ávalos

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.


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Barbara Stallings

Barbara Stallings is the William R. Rhodes Research Professor at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies, co-director of Brown's Graduate Program in Development, and editor of Studies in Comparative International Development. She is past director of the Institute and of its Political Economy and Development Program. Dr. Stallings has a PhD in economics from Cambridge University and a PhD in political science from Stanford University. Prior to joining the Institute in 2002, she was director of the Economic Development Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile, and professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is author or editor of 12 books and numerous book chapters and articles. She has served on the editorial boards of Studies in Comparative International Development, Oxford Development Studies, Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, International Studies Quarterly, American Journal of Political Science, and Latin American Research Review.

Dr. Stallings is currently collaborating on a CLALS research project examining emergent issues and challenges in Latin American and Caribbean economies.


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CLALS Ali Valenzuela HiRes

Ali Valenzuela

Ali A. Valenzuela is Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He received his PhD in political science from Stanford University, and has centered his teaching and research on American electoral politics, with a focus on Latino public opinion, immigrant socialization, voter turnout using field experiments, religion and politics, and the politics of racial and ethnic identity in the U.S. His current research uses surveys and geographic data to investigate contextual and institutional sources of politicized group identities. This work is complemented by field and survey experiments that test the consequences of identity-based political appeals on voter turnout and support for public policies. A third area of his research asks how regular churchgoing and church characteristics influence policy views, interest in politics, group attachments and party identification choices among religious individuals in the U.S. His research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, American Politics Research and Presidential Studies Quarterly.

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Alexander Wilde

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.)

Alexander Wilde's C.V.


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