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Can Obama and Rousseff Find Strategic Synergies?

WHO:  American University experts available to analyze Rousseff’s White House visit

Analysis, discussion of U.S.-Brazilian relations

April 4 - ongoing

In-studio, via telephone, American University
American University experts on U.S.-Brazilian relations, Brazil, and foreign policy are available to provide insight and analysis on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s April 9 White House visit.  The U.S.-Brazil relationship is complex. At any moment it can seem tense, provocative, and competitive, even as the two countries publicly pursue strategic partnership and constructive engagement. American University experts can help navigate the issues the two countries have in common, where they diverge and where they are outright divisive.  

Among the topics American University experts can discuss are:

•    Brazil’s desire for a permanent UN Security Council seat and the U.S.’s lack of support;
•    Why the White House is not giving Rousseff’s trip state visit status;
•    U.S. frustration with Brazil’s inconsistency on issues ranging from Iran to human rights issues;
•    The U.S.’s decision to cancel a $355 million Embraer order;
•    Disagreement on how to deal with the authoritarianism of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez;
•    Opportunities for consensus building;
•    Potential synergies Obama and Rousseff could find before the Summit of the Americas meeting in Colombia;
•    The U.S. repeal of the tax on ethanol imports;
•    Economic, investment, and energy opportunities; and,
•    Easing trade/tourism hurdles.

Brazil Experts

Matthew Taylor,
assistant professor in the School of International Service, focuses on Brazil and more broadly Latin American political economy.  He has lived in Brazil for more than a decade and most recently served as an assistant professor at the University of São Paulo.  Judging Policy: Courts and Policy Reform in Democratic Brazil (Stanford University Press, 2008) earned Taylor the Brazilian Political Science Association's Victor Nunes Leal Prize for best book, and he co-edited Corruption and Democracy in Brazil: The Struggle for Accountability (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011). He is fluent in Portuguese.

Clarence Lusane is the co-chair of U.S. Civil Society Committee of the Brazil-U.S. Joint Action Plan for the Elimination of Racism, a government-to-government project to address the issue of racism in Brazil. Lusane is the program director for Comparative and Regional Studies in the School of International Service. He teaches courses in comparative politics of the Americas, comparative race relations, and modern social movements.  

Eric Hershberg, director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and professor of government, focuses his research on the comparative politics of Latin America, and on the politics of development. Hershberg is an expert on Brazilian political economy and Brazil’s relations with the Western Hemisphere. He is especially interested in the state of democracy in Latin America.

Emilio Viano, professor in the Department of Justice, Law and Society, is an expert on U.S.- Brazil relations including international cooperation in education and social policy.  Prof. Viano is frequently invited to speak in Brazil and participates as an international advisor on judicial reform and international law.  He is fluent in Portuguese.

Economics/Finance in Brazil, Latin America

Arturo Porzecanski, distinguished economist-in-residence, is an expert in international finance, emerging markets and Latin American economics. Porzecanski carries out and publishes research in international finance; provides consulting services to legal and financial firms, as well as to U.S. government agencies and multilateral institutions.  Among the positions he held before entering academia were chief economist for emerging markets at ABN AMRO Bank; chief economist for the Americas at ING Bank; chief emerging-markets economist at Kidder, Peabody & Co.; chief economist at Republic National Bank of New York;senior economist at J.P. Morgan Bank; and research economist at the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies in Mexico City.  He speaks Portuguese.

Latin America & Foreign Policy Experts

Philip Brenner, professor in the U.S. Foreign Policy program and former chair of American University's Council on Latin America, is an expert on Latin America with an emphasis on the Caribbean and Cuba, U.S.-Cuban relations, Congress and foreign policy, and presidential decision making on foreign policy.  Since 1985, Brenner has served on the advisory board of the National Security Archive and he is also a member of the advisory boards of the Center for Democracy in the Americas.

Louis Goodman, professor and dean emeritus of American Universities School of International Service, focuses on social change and politics in Latin America.  Goodman’s current research focuses on civil-military relations, foreign investment in developing countries and on determinants of career success for blue-collar workers. 

Robert Pastor,
professor of international relations, director of the Center for North American Studies and co-director of the Center for Democracy and Election Management.  He served as the U.S. National Security Advisor on Latin America (1977-1981), was a consultant to the State and Defense Departments during the Clinton Administration, and was the founding director of the Carter Center’s Latin American Program.  Pastor is a well-known authority on U.S. foreign policy and the Western Hemisphere.  Pastor is the author of The North American Idea: A Vision of a Continental Future (Oxford, 2011).  

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