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 S. Danielson is Visiting Faculty at the University of California Washington Program (UCDC) and Research Fellow at CLALS. Since receiving his Ph.D. in political science from American University, he has taught Latin American politics and international affairs at George Washington University and the NYU and Pepperdine University programs in Washington, DC. His book, A Wave That Didn’t Break: The Puzzling Inertia of Mexican Politics in the Face of Migration (working title), is under contract with Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2017). His research has been published in numerous peer reviewed and policy-oriented venues and he received Fulbright, National Science Foundation, and Gill Family Foundation grants to fund his dissertation survey and field research. He also holds an MA in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (now the Middlebury Institute of International Studies) and Spanish and Philosophy degrees from Santa Clara University. As a practitioner, he has consulted for the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States and the Kino Border Initiative and previously 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 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.
Michael McCarthy is a Research Fellow at CLALS and Adjunct Professor at George Washington University’s Elliot School for International Affairs. He specializes in South American politics, U.S.-Latin American relations, democratization, populism, contentious politics, and media balance and bias. He founded and manages Caracas Wire, a newsletter on Venezuelan politics. Previously, he taught in the Latin American Studies Program at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and as a practitioner consulted as a Senior Analyst for the Carter Center's Venezuela Presidential Election Study Missions in 2012 and 2013. His research has been supported by Fulbright and the Inter-American Foundation fellowships, and a Ford Foundation grant. His first job in Washington was as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations Latin America Program. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in history and political science from Bates College. @MikeCaracasWire
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, DC). He formerly directed the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and has taught at Georgetown, George Washington, Notre Dame, Lawrence (Wisconsin), Haverford College, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Most recently, Professor 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 (Wisconsin)
Fábio Kerche is a Doctor of Political Science at the University of São Paulo and tenured researcher at Casa de Rui Barbosa Foundation in the Law Sector in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His work focuses on democracy, judicial systems, and the Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office. Professor Kerche has published several articles, in addition to the edited volume Reforma Política e Cidadania (Editora Fundação Perseu Abramo, 2003) and Virtude e Limites: Autonomia e Atribuições do Ministério Público no Brasil (Editora da Universidade de São Paulo, 2009). He was Deputy Press Secretary and Press Secretary of the Presidency of Republic among others positions in the Brazilian government.
Marcio Cunha Filho holds a Bachelor degree in Law and a Masters degree in Political Science, both from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (UFRGS). He is currently a PhD candidate at the Law School of the University of Brasília. As a Federal Auditor at the Office of the Comptroller General, he has participated in the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act in Brazil. Marcio is also a former lecturer at Centro Universitario de Brasília (Uniceub).
M.A., Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (UFRGS)
LL.B., Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (UFRGS)
Ana Isabel Rodríguez Iglesias is a Ph.D. candidate in International Politics and Conflict Studies at the University of Coimbra (Portugal). Her dissertation examines the power-resistance dynamics surrounding the struggle for peace in the recent peace negotiations in Colombia. She holds three M.A. degrees, including in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University (2014), in International Relations (2010), and in Studies of the European Union (2012), both from the Universidad CEU San Pablo in Madrid. She has been awarded the FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) Scholarship from the Government of Portugal to complete her Ph.D., and also received a Fulbright Scholarship for her work at Georgetown University. In 2016, she was awarded the Curriculum Fellowship Awardee for teaching a seminar on Civil Resistance at the University of Coimbra by the International Center on Non-violent Conflict.
During her studies and before pursuing her Ph.D., she worked as a researcher and consultant at various international organizations, think tanks, and universities, including the Inter-American Development Bank, Human Rights Watch, CSIS, and the Institute of European Studies of the University CEU San Pablo.
Gilberto Marcos Antonio Rodrigues holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil, in addition to a Law Degree from the same institution. He was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Center for Civil and Human Rights at University of Notre Dame in 2010 and completed a M.A. in International Relations at the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Professor Rodrigues is a tenured Adjunct Professor at the Federal University of ABC (UFABC) in São Bernardo, Brazil, where he teaches International Relations and works with the graduate program in Human and Social Sciences. He is also a researcher at the National Scientific and Technological Council (CNPq). His research interests include International Organizations, Human Rights, Civil Society, International Refugee Law, Brazilian Foreign Policy and Federalism. Professor Rodrigues is a member of the IADB’s Civil Society Consultative Group in Brazil and a Board Member of the Regional Coordinator of Economic and Social Research (CRIES) in Buenos Aires. Among his recent publications are “Concurrent Powers in Brazil’s Federal System” in Concurrent powers in Federal Systems (Brill-Nijhooff, 2017) and “Regional implementation of Peacekeeping: Notes and Lessons from the Brazilian Experience in the MINUSTAH” in Perspectives on Peacekeeping and Atrocity Prevention. Expanding Stakeholders and Regional Arrangements (Springer, 2015).
Stefano Palestini is Postdoctoral Fellow the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the Freie Universität Berlin. He holds a Ph.D. from the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) and a Licenciatura in Sociology from the Alberto Hurtado University in Santiago de Chile. He has been consultant at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP-Chile), visiting researcher at the Institute of Social and Political Studies at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and lecturer at the Universidad de Chile and Diego Portales University both in Santiago de Chile.