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The Center for Latin American Studies was one of the first of its kind in the United States. Its core faculty bring together diverse scholarly interests with a focus on Latin America, and adjunct faculty drawn from the Washington, D.C. area supplement their offerings. 

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THE SFS DEAN’S OFFICE AND THE CENTER FOR LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE  the appointment of Fr. Matthew Carnes, S.J., as the Director of CLAS effective July 1

Fr. Carnes is an associate professor in the Department of Government and SFS. His research examines the dynamics of labor and social welfare policy in developing and middle-income countries. He has conducted extensive field research in Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia, and has worked on development projects in Honduras, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Ecuador. He is the author of Continuity Despite Change: The Politics of Labor Regulation in Latin America (Stanford University Press, 2014), and he has published articles in a wide range of the most prestigious professional journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University (2008), an M.Div. from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University (2003), an M.A. in Philosophical Resources from Fordham University (1997), and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University (1992). He is also the recipient of the SFS Faculty of the Year award and the university-wide Dorothy Brown Award.


CLAS Graduation Reception at the Brazilian Embas

The Center for Latin American Studies and the sfs dean's office celebrated Professor Marc Chernick's long and dedicated service to CLAS - May 13th, 2016

Professor Chernick announced several weeks ago that he will be stepping down  (June 30th) as CLAS Director and will be taking a leave of absence from Georgetown next year to conduct research and work on the peace process in Colombia. 

Professor Marc Chernick has served in multiple capacities and made countless contributions to the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) over the last 20 years, directing research programs, teaching our students, and playing key administrative roles.  Most recently, from 2010 to 2013, Professor Chernick served as MA Program Director, and from 2013 to 2016 as Director of CLAS.  In 2012, he founded the Georgetown-Los Andes Program on Conflict Resolution and Human Rights, in Bogotá. CLAS has benefited from Professor Chernick's deep engagement with the region and commitment to area studies, from his work in consolidating the Cátedra de la Memoria in Chile to security and human rights training in Central America, and in particular from the knowledge and experience gained from his involvement in peace efforts in Colombia.


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Georgetown recognized Professor Marc Chernick for their 20 years of service

On April 6, Georgetown recognized 55 faculty members and academic professionals for their 20 years of service to the university as well as ten distinguished donors who support the university’s academic enterprise during the Spring Faculty Convocation. Among those honored was the director of the Center for Latin American Studies, Professor Marc Chernick. Congratulations Dr. Chernick! Read more 

Bridging the Gap Between Global and Area Studies; Cambridge, Massachusetts 

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, AAAS organized a session and planning meeting on the topic “Bridging the Gap Between Global and Area Studies” on March, 7th 2016, at the House of the Academy in Cambridge, MA. Prof. Patricia Biermayr-Jenzano attended the event representing CLAS while bringing the Sustainable Development perspective to this event. The meeting stemmed from a sense of urgency and uneasiness about what is currently happening in the worlds of global studies and area studies. This event was a call to action to think collectively and creatively to forge new pathways to integrate and strengthen these fields to explore new ideas and outline next steps. It is expected that this first step will lead to the planning of a large international meeting that will be the basis for a special issue of Daedalus, the Academy’s journal. During the meeting, a fruitful discussion took place taking into account whether this issue merits a large-scale program to develop a longer and more comprehensive report on the relationship between global studies and area studies. 

Photo: Dr. Jonathan F. Fanton, AAAS president; Prof. Patricia Biermayr-Jenzano (CLAS) and Kathryn Moffat, (CLAS Alumni) Program Coordinator (Global Security and International Affairs)

CLAS student selected to participate in the World Trade Organization's negotiations Model in Geneva 

Nicolas Albertoni (MALAS, 16) was selected to participate in The World Trade Organization’s Negotiation Model, which is the biggest and most complete simulation of the debates of the World Trade Organization in the world. Taking place at St. Gallen University and the WTO Headquarters in Geneva, 60 high-profile students coming from all over the world have the chance to participate in The WTO Model provides an opportunity for future scholars and decision-makers to face important global issues in the simulation framework of the WTO ministerial negotiations. Every year since 1997, students from around the world have been invited to Switzerland to debate and exchange creative ideas in the realistic context of the World Trade Organization. The Model WTO offers a unique experience for graduate students to get involved in a high-level training which enables them to benefit from the expertise of WTO  professionals. The diversity of opinions reflected by students coming from a variety of continents and distinct backgrounds provides an exceptional environment to actively exchange and further cultivate the role of international institutions such as the WTO in the global transition towards a more sustainable development.

CLAS Professor Patricia Biermayr-Jenzano, participated in Global Engagement

Dr. Patricia Biermayr-Jenzano is a Sustainable Development and Agriculture professor in the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS). She explains that the overarching message of Global Goal 12: Sustainable Agriculture is to “do more with less.” This long-term goal will require us to rethink the consumption and production activities that are at the base of our economy, discourage overuse of fossil fuels, and empower our agricultural workforce to utilize more efficient methods. Such ambitions strategies will require cooperation from all sectors, including government, private, and individual choices.

To achieve this goal, Dr. Biermayr-Jenzano suggests investing in innovative agricultural practices, particularly regarding women in agriculture. She explains that understanding the motivations, strategies, consumption use, and production styles of the workforce will be crucial in any type of reform initiative. This relates to her own research on the intersection of agriculture and gender.

Learn more about Global Engagement here

CLAS students in a special of Tabula Rasa on Orlando Fals Borda

The special issue of Tabula Rasa on Orlando Fals Borda that includes articles by Nohora Arrieta, Alfredo Poggi, and Jafte Robles from Spanish and Portuguese, along with Douglas McRae from History and Valentina Pernett from Latin American Studies, is now available here.

CLAS Associate Professor Margaret Hayes discu Consolidated Appropriations Act Puts the Northern Triangle in Focus

Over the last several years, the United States has seen an influx of migration from Central America, including a high number of unaccompanied children. The majority of these migrants come from the ‘northern triangle’ (i.e., El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras). There, they face a range of issues including lack of economic opportunities, poverty, high levels of crime, drug trafficking and corruption. Some argue that the 750 million that has been appropriated to Central America in the recently passed federal budget will counter the underlying factors that have led to this surge in migration. James Carroll, Managing Director of the Inland Islands Society, therefore sat down with Margaret D. Hayes, Adjunct Professor at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, to discuss how these and other developments will shape American foreign policy in Latin America.

Read the interview here


The SFS Dean’s Office and the Center for Latin American Studies gratefully thank Professor Erick Langer for his long and dedicated service to CLAS.

Professor Erick Langer completed his term as MAinLAS Director on June 30, 2015.  Professor Langer has served CLAS in many capacities over the years, first as Center Director from 2009 to 2012, and more recently as MAinLAS Director from 2012 to 2015.  Professor Langer's contributions to CLAS have been many, including establishing the Cátedra Argentina,developing stronger links with CLAS alumni, and strengthening relationships among the many Latin Americanists and Latin American initiatives across the University. He also assembled a CLAS Advisory Board composed of important leaders from the private and public sectors in Latin America and the United States and charged with helping to maintain CLAS as a premier center for Latin American Studies. CLAS has benefited from Professor Langer's deep knowledge of Latin America, his extensive experience in the region, and his enduring commitment to area studies.  We wish him well as he returns to focus on his teaching and research!


The SFS Dean’s Office and the Center for Latin American Studies are pleased to announce that Professor Diana Kapiszewski has been appointed CLAS Academic Director. 

Diana Kapiszewski is Associate Professor in Georgetown's Department of Government. Her research interests include public law, comparative politics, and research methods. Her first book, High Courts and Economic Governance in Argentina and Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2012), received the American Political Science Association's C. Herman Pritchett Award for the best book on law and courts written by a political scientist and published in 2012. She has also co-edited Consequential Courts: Judicial Roles in Global Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Her ongoing projects include a co-edited volume exploring justice-sector institutions in Latin America; a project examining "constitutionalism with adjectives;" a project analyzing institutions of electoral governance in Latin America; and a project investigating the evolution in the legal infrastructure regulating informal employment in the Global South. In the area of research methods, Kapiszewski co-directs the Qualitative Data Repository; has co-authored Field Research in Political Science: Practices and Principles (Cambridge University Press, 2015); and in 2013 was awarded the APSA Qualitative and Multi-Method Research section's Mid-Career Achievement Award. Her work has appeared in Latin American Politics and Society, Law and Social Inquiry, Law & Society Review, Perspectives on Politics, and PS: Political Science and Politics.


CLAS is pleased to welcome Dr. Jenny Guardado to our faculty as Assistant Professor of Political Economy.  Please see a brief bio below.

Jenny Guardado will join the Center for Latin American Studies in Fall 2015 as an assistant professor of political economy.  Dr. Guardado completed her PhD in Political Science at New York University in 2014 and spent the 2014-2015 academic year at the Harris School of Public Policy – University of Chicago as a postdoctoral scholar. Her research focuses on the politics of economic development and armed conflict. In her dissertation she draws on original data on sub-national governance during the late 17th and 18th centuries to advance an explanation for why we observe substantial differences in the levels of economic development within former Spanish colonies in the Americas.  Dr. Guardado’s research on long-term economic development and corruption in Peru has been awarded the Pi Sigma Alpha Award for best paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting in 2013.  Her work on land tenure in Peru was awarded the Oliver A. Williamson  Prize for best paper presented at the International Society for New Institutional Economics Conference in 2014. 

Upcoming Events

Please join us April 15 and 16 for the 3rd Annual Georgetown University Latin American Film Festival, GLAFF!
RSVP here!