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About the Dialogue



Name Title E-mail
Michael Shifter President michael at
Peter Hakim President Emeritus phakim at
Genaro Arriagada Senior Fellow  
Sergio Bitar Senior Fellow sbitar at
Erik Brand Publisher, Latin America Advisor & Director, Corporate Program ebrand at
Joan Caivano Deputy to the President & Director of Special Projects jcaivano at
Karen Castro
Database and Staff Assistant
kcastro at
Megan Cook Reporter & Assistant Editor, Latin America Advisor mcook at
Murat Dagli Program Assistant mdagli at
Maria Darie Director of Finance and Administration mdarie at
Caroline Dolan
Associate, Development & External Relations
cdolan at
Ariel Fiszbein Director of Education afiszbein at
Humberto Galvan Manager, Development & External Relations hgalvan at
Gene Kuleta Editor, Latin America Advisor gkuleta at
Claudio Loser Visiting Senior Fellow closer at
Nora Lustig Senior Fellow nlustig at
Margaret Myers Program Director mmyers at
Rebecca O'ConnorProgram Assistant
roconnor at
Manuel Orozco Senior Fellow morozco at
Laura Porras Associate lporras at
Jeffrey Puryear Senior Fellow jpuryear at
Ben Raderstorf
Program Assistantbraderstorf at
Caitlin Reilly Program Assistant creilly at
Yesenia Rivas Operations Manager yrivas at
Federico Sucre Program Assistant fsucre at
Lisa Viscidi Program Director lviscidi at
Julia Yansura Program Associate jyansura at




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 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 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 the 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.

Karen Castro is database and staff assistant of the Dialogue. She is pursuing a MA in Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University and has a BA in International Studies with Spanish and Business Administration from Otterbein University. Prior to joining the Dialogue, Castro worked in state and federal politics with elected officials in Central Ohio. She is a recipient of the US Department of State’s Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship.

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.

Murat Dagli is program assistant in the Office of the President. He graduated cum laude from Yale University, majoring in Religious Studies with a concentration in Latin America. He wrote his senior thesis on liberation theology in Mexico. Murat grew up in Mexico where he lived for 18 years prior to attending Yale. He has studied abroad and worked in Peru, Jordan, and Chile.

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. 

Caroline Dolan is an associate in the office of development and external relations. She received her MA in Latin American studies from Georgetown University in May 2011 and holds a BA in communications from the Pontifical Catholic University of Brazil. Previously, Caroline worked for 6 years at the World Bank and the German Development Agency GIZ.

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.

Peter Hakim
is president emeritus and senior fellow of the Inter-American Dialogue. He served as president of the Dialogue from 1993 to 2010. Hakim writes and speaks widely on hemispheric issues and has testified more than a dozen times before the U.S. Congress. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Financial Times, and in newspapers and journals in Latin America, Europe, China, and India. From 1991 to 2001, he wrote a monthly column for the Christian Science Monitor, and now writes regularly for the Brazilian newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo, the China Policy Review, and the Spanish daily Infolatam. He also serves as a board member of Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica. 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, Columbia University, and Brazil’s Fundacao Armando Alvares Penteado. He has served on boards and advisory committees for the World Bank, Council on Competitiveness, Washington Office of Latin America, the Spanish Education Development Center, Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute, the Inter-American Development Bank, Canadian Foundation for Latin America (FOCAL), Partners for Democratic Change, Human Rights Watch, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been decorated by the governments of Brazil, Chile, and Spain. Hakim earned a B.A. at Cornell University, an M.S. in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.

Humberto Galvan is development and external relations manager of the Dialogue. He previously worked in the risk and compliance practice of Kroll Associates. He has also been a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank and conferences manager of the Dialogue. Galvan received a BA in international affairs and social enterprise from Wake Forest University. He has worked and studied in Mexico, Geneva, London, Buenos Aires, and Santiago.
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 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.

Rebecca O’Connor is a program assistant in the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries program and the Corporate Membership program at the Dialogue. She graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University, where she received her B.A. in International Relations and Spanish. Her senior thesis focused on Latin American dystopian fiction. Prior to joining the Dialogue, Rebecca interned at the Council of the Americas and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, and worked at the Central American Refugee Center of New York.

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).

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.

Ben Raderstorf is a program assistant with the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program at the Dialogue. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a BA in Social Studies, focusing on globalization and democracy in Latin America. His senior thesis analyzed conditional cash transfers and intra-party dynamics in Argentina’s Peronist party, and his broader research interests include political parties, machine politics, social policy, and social movements in the Southern Cone. Ben previously worked for the Chilean Ministry of Finance in Santiago, and has spent time in Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico.

Caitlin Reilly is a program assistant in the office of the president. She received her Master’s degree in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies from the George Washington University in May 2014 and also holds a bachelor’s degree in Government with a minor in Spanish from Georgetown University. Previously, Caitlin worked for four years at a corporate immigration law firm and interned at the Inter-American Foundation and Atlas Service Corps, Inc. She has had the opportunity to study abroad in Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, and Spain.

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.

Federico Sucre is a program assistant for the Education Program (PREAL) at the Inter-American Dialogue. He graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College, where he received a B.A. with a triple major in Political Science, French, and Latin American Studies.  His senior thesis analyzed the influence of politics on the lives and works of Venezuelan poets during the last thirty years. Prior to joining the Dialogue, Federico was an Admission Fellow at Amherst College. He was responsible for recruiting high school students in Latin America, which allowed him to visit Chile, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Costa Rica. He also did a summer internship at Fundacion Poder Ciudadano, the chapter of Transparency International in Argentina.

Lisa Viscidi is Director of the Inter-American Dialogue’s program on Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries. A specialist in Latin American energy, Viscidi has written numerous reports and articles on energy policy and regulations, climate change, social and political impacts of natural resources development, and the geopolitics of energy, among other topics. Previously, she was Latin America Team Leader and New York Bureau Chief for Energy Intelligence Group and a Manager for Deloitte’s energy practice. She also served as Director of EntreMundos, a nonprofit organization based in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Viscidi 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.

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.