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About the Dialogue

STAFF

 

Name Title E-mail
Michael Shifter President michael at thedialogue.org
Peter Hakim President Emeritus phakim at thedialogue.org
Genaro Arriagada Senior Fellow  
Sergio Bitar Senior Fellow sbitar at thedialogue.org
Erik Brand Publisher, Latin America Advisor & Director, Corporate Program ebrand at thedialogue.org
Joan Caivano Deputy to the President & Director of Special Projects jcaivano at thedialogue.org
Cameron Combs Program Associate ccombs at thedialogue.org
Megan Cook Reporter & Assistant Editor, Latin America Advisor mcook at thedialogue.org
Maria Darie Director of Finance and Administration mdarie at thedialogue.org
Ariel Fiszbein Director of Education afiszbein at thedialogue.org
Humberto Galvan Conferences & Website Manager hgalvan at thedialogue.org
Gene Kuleta Editor, Latin America Advisor gkuleta at thedialogue.org
Claudio Loser Visiting Senior Fellow closer at thedialogue.org
Nora Lustig Senior Fellow nlustig at tulane.edu
Margaret Myers Program Director mmyers at thedialogue.org
Scott Odell Program Associate sodell at thedialogue.org
Manuel Orozco Senior Fellow morozco at thedialogue.org
Tamara Ortega Goodspeed Senior Associate tgoodspeed at thedialogue.org
Laura Porras Associate lporras at thedialogue.org
Jeffrey Puryear Senior Fellow jpuryear at thedialogue.org
Yesenia Rivas Operations Manager yrivas at thedialogue.org
Paul Shortell Program Assistant pshortell at thedialogue.org
Lisa Viscidi
Program Director
lviscidi at thedialogue.org
Mengyi Wu Accounting Assistant mwu at thedialogue.org
Julia Yansura Program Associate jyansura at thedialogue.org

 

 

 

Michael Shifter is president of the Dialogue. Shifter previously served as the organization’s vice president for policy, and managed the Dialogue’s programs on the Andean region and democratic governance.  Since 1993 he has been adjunct professor of Latin American politics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Before joining the Dialogue, Shifter directed the Latin American and Caribbean program at the National Endowment for Democracy and the Ford Foundation’s governance and human rights program in the Andean region and the Southern Cone, where he was based in Lima, Peru and then Santiago, Chile.  Prior to that, he served as a representative at the Inter-American Foundation for the Brazil program. Shifter writes and comments widely on US-Latin American relations and hemispheric affairs and has frequently testified before the US Congress. He is co-editor, along with Jorge Dominguez, of Constructing Democratic Governance in Latin America (Johns Hopkins University Press). He is contributing editor to Current History and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Shifter graduated summa cum laude from Oberlin College and received a MA degree in sociology from Harvard University.
Genaro Arriagada was appointed senior fellow of the Dialogue in January 2008. Arriagada has served as minister of the presidency of Chile, ambassador of Chile to the United States, chairman of the Board of Radio Cooperativa, and national director of the “NO” Campaign, which defeated General Augusto Pinochet in the plebiscite of October 1988. Arriagada served as ambassador-at-large and special envoy of the president of Chile to the Second Summit of the Americas in Santiago, Chile in April 1998. He was head of Ricardo Lagos’ 1999 presidential campaign and of Eduardo Frei’s 1993 presidential campaign. Arriagada is on the Board of Universidad de las Américas; senior advisor to the president of the Club de Madrid; and editor of www.asuntospublicos.org. In January and February of 2007, he was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Arriagada has published a dozen books and numerous articles and columns regarding political, social, and economic issues, including Pinochet: The Politics of Power (Boston: Unwin & Hyman, 1988) and with Carol Graham, “Chile: Sustaining Adjustment during Democratic Transition” in Voting for Reform. Democracy, Political Liberalization and Economic Adjustment (Oxford University Press, 1994). He has been a fellow of The Woodrow Wilson Center (1978-79) and The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1990).
Sergio Bitar is nonresident senior fellow at the Dialogue and president of Fundación por la Democracia in Chile. Most recently he served as minister of public works under President Michelle Bachelet. Before that he was minister of education, minister of mining, a senator, and president of the Party for Democracy (PPD) on two occasions. He also founded the Latin American Center for International Economics and Politics (CLEPI), serving as its president from 1987 to 1993. An engineer and economist, Bitar heads the Dialogue's Global Trends and Latin America's Future Initiative. He has published dozens of books and articles, including Chile Mas Allá del Bicentenario (Editorial Planeta, Santiago, 2009), Educación Nuestra Riqueza, Chile Educa para el siglo XXI  (Editorial El Mercurio- Aguilar, Santiago, 2005), and Chile 1970-1973 (Editorial Pehuén, Chile, 1996 and 2001). His recent books include: El Gobierno de Allende, 3rd edition, 2013; Chile, Bolivia, Peru. Un Futuro Común, 2011; Dawson Isla 10, 13 ed, 2010; y Chile Mas Allá del Bicentenario, 2009.
Erik Brand publishes the Latin America Advisor newsletters at the Dialogue and directs its Corporate Program. He worked previously at the International Advisory Group, a publishing and public affairs firm in New York City. Earlier in his career he worked at the Advisory Board Company in Washington and, briefly, at the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. He graduated with a double major, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Wheaton College and has undertaken master's degree coursework in international management and public affairs at the University of Maryland and University of Minnesota.
Joan Caivano is deputy to the president and director of special projects. She directs the Dialogue's project on press freedom issues and its work on women's leadership in the Americas. She manages a range of institutional responsibilities, including the Dialogue's Sol Linowitz Forum, its publications program, outreach to the press, and membership issues. She worked previously at the Overseas Development Council and the Brookings Institution, and managed several small business enterprises. She has been a frequent guest lecturer on issues of concern to women in Latin America at the Foreign Service Institute. She holds a MA degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University, where she also completed her undergraduate studies.
Cameron Combs is program associate in the Office of the President. He graduated summa cum laude from Carleton College, majoring in Latin American Studies and concentrating in Political Economy. He has studied abroad in Panama, Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil, and wrote his senior thesis on the interplay between race, soccer and Brazilian nationalism.
Megan Cook is reporter and assistant editor of the Dialogue's Latin America Advisor newsletters. She received a BA in Latin American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis in 2012. While at Washington University, she studied in Bolivia where she completed research on sustainable development projects. Before joining the Dialogue, she interned for her university's Office for International Students and for the YMCA in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Maria Darie is director of finance and administration for the Dialogue. Before joining the Dialogue she served as the vice president of finance and administration for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools where she provided strategic leadership and tactical support for the organization's fiscal operations and business compliance. Before that, Darie served as the executive director and CFO for Presidential Classroom, a non-profit organization providing civic education programs for gifted high school students from the US and abroad. From 2000 to 2007, she was the accounting manager for New Horizons Computer Learning Center of Washington, D.C. Darie holds a Bachelors of Science in Economics from the University of Ploiesti and an International Executive Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University. 
Ariel Fiszbein is director of the education program at the Dialogue.  Prior to joining the Dialogue, Fiszbein was chief economist for the World Bank's Human Development Network, where he has helped develop strategies for work worldwide on education, health, nutrition, population, social protection, and labor. Fiszbein has over 20 years of experience working on education and other social policy issues in Latin America and globally. A native of Argentina, he has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Humberto Galvan is conferences and website manager of the Dialogue. He joined the Dialogue in June 2013 as a program assistant in the Office of the President after graduating from Wake Forest University with a BA in International Affairs and Politics and minors in Latin American and Latino Studies as well as Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise. He has studied and worked abroad in Geneva, London, Buenos Aires, and Santiago de Chile, and wrote his senior thesis on innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development in Mexico and Chile.
Peter Hakim is president emeritus and senior fellow of the Dialogue. From 1993 to 2010, he served as the organizations president. Hakim writes and speaks widely on hemispheric issues and has testified more than a dozen times before the US Congress. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, and Financial Times, and in newspapers and journals in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Italy, Mexico, Peru, and Spain. From 1991 to 2001, he wrote a monthly column for the Christian Science Monitor, and now serves as a Board member of Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica and editorial advisor to the Chilean-based Américaeconomia. Prior to joining the Dialogue, Hakim was a vice president of the Inter-American Foundation and worked for the Ford Foundation in New York, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru. He taught at MIT and Columbia, and served on boards and advisory committees for the World Bank, Council on Competitiveness, Inter-American Development Bank, Canadian Foundation for Latin America (FOCAL), Partners for Democratic Change, and Human Rights Watch. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Hakim earned a BA at Cornell University, an MS in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania, and a MA of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.
Gene Kuleta is the editor of the Dialogue's Latin America Advisor newsletters. He has worked in both print and broadcast journalism in locations including Washington, Chicago and Latin America and for news organizations including National Public Radio, WAMU Radio and the Chicago Tribune. He covered several economic and political issues during his time as a correspondent based in Guatemala. He earned BA degrees in journalism, broadcasting and Spanish at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois and a MA degree in Latin American Studies at George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Claudio M. Loser is a visiting senior fellow at the Dialogue, working on financial, macroeconomic and trade issues, focusing particularly on the management of financial crises in Latin America. A native of Argentina, Loser led the International Monetary Fund's activities in Latin America since 1994, where he was most recently the head of the Western Hemisphere department. He graduated from the University of Cuyo in Argentina and received his MA and PhD from the University of Chicago.
Nora Lustig is Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics at Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) and a Nonresident Fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue (Washington, DC). Her current research focuses on assessing the incidence of taxation and social spending in over twenty countries around the world, and on the determinants of income distribution dynamics in Latin America. A sample of her most recent publications include ‘The Impact of Taxes and Social Spending on Inequality and Poverty in Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay,’ in Public Finance Review (2014); ‘Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: The Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico,’ World Development, Vol. 44, 129-141, 2013. (lead author); ‘Multidimensional Indices of Achievements and Poverty: What Do We Gain and What Do We Lose?’ Journal of Economic Inequality (2011); and, Declining Inequality in Latin America. A Decade of Progress? (Brookings Institution, 2010 and Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2012).  She is a founding member and past president of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) and was a co-director of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2000/1, Attacking Poverty.  She is currently the director of the Commitment to Equity project (CEQ), editor of the Journal of Economic Inequality ‘s Forum and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Development Network (GDN). Lustig received her doctorate in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. 
Margaret Myers is director of the China and Latin America program. She received a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and conducted her graduate work at The George Washington University, Zhejiang University of Technology, and the Johns Hopkins University/Nanjing University Center for Chinese-American Studies. Prior to arriving at the Dialogue, she worked as both a Latin America and China analyst for the US government, which required her to travel throughout Latin America and East Asia. Margaret also worked as a Senior China Analyst for SAIC and a Spanish and Chinese teacher for Virginia Public Schools. While at the Dialogue, Margaret has published numerous articles in US, Latin American, and Chinese journals and news outlets.
Scott Odell is program associate for the education (PREAL), Commitment to Equity, and Long-term Global Trends programs. He graduated from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University with a BSFS in Science, Technology and International Affairs and a certificate in International Development. While at Georgetown, Scott completed a summer abroad program at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador and participated in research on Bolivian inflation rates. He also interned at the Inter-American Foundation and worked with Latin American immigrant communities in the United States during a two-year Latter-day Saint mission in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Manuel Orozco is a senior fellow with the Inter-American Dialogue. He has conducted extensive research, policy analysis and advocacy on issues relating to global flows of remittances, and migration and development worldwide. He is chair of Central America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute and senior researcher at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University. He frequently testifies before Congress and has spoken before the United Nations. Orozco holds a PhD in political science from the University of Texas at Austin, a  MA in public administration and Latin American studies, and a BA in international relations from the National University of Costa Rica. Orozco has published widely on remittances, Latin America, globalization, democracy, migration, conflict in war torn societies, and minority politics. His recent publications include reports for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. His books include Remittances: Global Opportunities for International Person-to-Person Money Transfers (London: Lafferty Group, 2005) and International Norms and Mobilization for Democracy (London: Ashgate Publishers, 2002).

Tamara Ortega Goodspeed is a senior associate in education at the Inter-American Dialogue. Her work focuses on monitoring and evaluating education policy, including producing more than 30 education report cards in conjunction with Latin American partners as part of the Dialogue's Partnership for Educational Revitalization in the Americas activities. She holds a Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, with a concentration in international development, and an undergraduate degree in political science from Yale University. She is the author of numerous articles on education policy in Latin America. Prior to working with PREAL, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching English in Equatorial Guinea, and as a family educator for a local literacy project in Nebraska.


Laura Porras joined the Dialogue in November 2013 as an associate in the Remittances and Development Program. Prior to that, Porras worked on economic development for ten years with private and nonprofit organizations. She was head of Corporate Social Responsibility at BAC bank in Costa Rica, focusing on financial education and environmental projects. Since 2011, she has been a consultant on migration, remittances, and development for international organizations. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica and a Masters in Project Management from the Central American Institute on Public Administration.
Jeffrey M. Puryear is a senior fellow at the Dialogue. Until 2014 he was vice president for social policy, and directed the Dialogue's education program, the Partnership for Educational Revitalization in the Americas (PREAL). He previously served as head of the Ford Foundation's regional office for the Andes and the Southern Cone, and as a research scholar at New York University and at Stanford University. He received his PhD in comparative education from the University of Chicago and has authored numerous articles on inter-American affairs. His book on intellectuals and democracy in Chile was published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.

Yesenia Rivas is operations manager at the Dialogue.  She joined the Dialogue in 2003. Previously, she worked in administration at ConAgra Foods, Inc. and Sears, Roebuck and Co. She studied mechanical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

Lisa Viscidi is director of the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program at the Dialogue. She is a specialist in Latin American energy with experience in research, analysis and business development in oil and gas, mining and clean energy. She was Latin America team leader and editor for Energy Intelligence Group, and has also led research projects for public and private sector clients as a manager for Deloitte’s energy practice. Viscidi has written numerous reports and articles on energy policy, climate change, social and environmental impacts of natural resources development, and the geopolitics of energy, among other topics. She has a bachelor’s degree in History from the George Washington University and a master’s degree in Latin American studies with a focus on economic development and public policy from New York University.
Mengyi Wu is the accounting assistant at the Dialogue. She joined the Dialogue in February 2013 as an accounting intern after earning her BS degree in Economics from Qingdao University in China. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Accountancy degree at George Washington University. Before joining the Dialogue, she worked as a tax preparer and interned at various national banks in China.
Paul Shortell is a program assistant for the Energy Policy and China and Latin America programs. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College, where he received a BA with Honors in Political Science. Prior to joining the Dialogue, he analyzed a broad range of regional affairs while working with the U.S. Department of State, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Generación Política Sur (GPS). Paul has lived and studied abroad in Argentina, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Julia Yansura
is a program associate for Remittances and Development. Before joining the Dialogue, Julia taught high school Spanish for five years in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Julia graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell College, where she studied Russian, Spanish, and history. She also had the opportunity to study abroad in Valparaiso, Chile and St. Petersburg, Russia. Julia received her Masters in Latin American Studies, with a concentration in International Migration, from Georgetown University.