European Commission’s Directorate-General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
Javier Ochoa (CLAS ‘20) is an Emergency Response Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). Following graduation, he joined the Brussels-based institution to work on humanitarian EU-funded projects implemented by UN agencies and NGOs in Latin America and the Caribbean. After a challenging 2021 marked by the Haiti earthquake, Javier moved laterally to ECHO’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), where he currently helps coordinate EU Member States’ response in case of major disasters around the world. Before the European Commission, he spent some years in the IMF, the OAS, and the U.S. Embassy in Argentina.
Reflecting upon his experience in CLAS he stated the following: “Being a graduate student in CLAS was an eye-opening experience, both academically and personally. Coming from a legal translation background, CLAS master’s program allowed me to explore other topics of interest. During my three years as a part-time student, not only did I obtain a good understanding of Latin America’s history and political economy, but I was also able to delve deeper into issues of forced displacement and human rights, which ultimately helped me re-direct my career towards the humanitarian field. An essay I wrote for my class on “Politics of Human Rights” drew my recruiter’s initial attention and secured me an interview to join ECHO’s Latin American team in Brussels. Personally, my time in CLAS helped me embrace a more pluralistic and less “Argentine-centered” perspective on many recurrent social issues affecting Latin America and beyond. Engaging with so many excellent professors and students from diverse backgrounds and nationalities certainly contributed to my own personal growth and development, for which I remain very grateful.”