text: Master's Degree Program: Learn about the Elliott School's Latin American & Hemispheric Studies program



Esther Brimmer, Professor of Practice of International Affairs

Dr. Brimmer's career includes serving at the U.S. Department of State three times, most recently as the Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs in from April 2009 to June 2013. She was a member of the Policy Planning Staff from 1999-2001 and from 1993-1995 was special assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs.

Dr. Brimmer served as the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of International Affairs from 2013 through 2015. She was Deputy Director and Director of Research at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) from 2001-2009 and was a member of the SAIS faculty. She also taught at the College of Europe in Belgium. From 1995 – 1999 she was a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict. Earlier, she served on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Analyst for the Democratic Study Group in the U.S. House of Representatives. Immediately after earning her doctorate she spent two years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. She currently serves as an adjunct senior fellow for international institutions at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Brimmer has published several articles and monographs and edited eight books on transatlantic and international affairs.


Robert J. Cottrol, Professor of Law, of History, and of Sociology; Harold Paul Green Research Professor of Law

Robert J. Cottrol joined the law school faculty in 1995 as a visiting professor of law of legal history. Previously, he taught at Rutgers University and Boston College, and had visited at the University of Virginia. As well as specializing in American legal history, Professor Cottrol has also taught torts and criminal law. His writings on law and history have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, Georgetown Law Journal, American Journal of Legal History, Law and Society Review, Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies and American Quarterly, among others.

He is the author of The Afro-Yankees: Providence’s Black Community in the Antebellum Era (selected by Choice as an outstanding academic book for 1983), editor of Gun Control and the Constitution: Sources and Explorations on the Second Amendment (Book of the Month selection by the History Book Club), and From African to Yankee: Narratives of Slavery and Freedom in Antebellum New England (1998). Professor Cottrol’s book Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture and the Constitution (2003) won the Langum Project Prize for Historical Literature in 2003 and was a “Book-of-the-Month” selection of the History Book Club. Most recently, he has authored The Long, Lingering Shadow: Slavery, Race, and Law in the American Hemisphere (2013).

He is currently doing research contrasting the role of law in the development of systems of slavery and racial hierarchy in the United States and Latin America. He has lectured on American law at the Federal Universities of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and the University of Buenos Aires and La Universidad del Museo Social in Argentina.


Alexander S. Dent, Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs

Dr. Dent received his Ph.D. in 2003 from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. From 2003-04, he was Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, and he held the Earl S. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Chicago from 2004-05. He has done extensive fieldwork in Brazil, and comparative work in the United States in New Jersey, Oklahoma, Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL. In 2006, Dr. Dent was appointed the Associate Editor of the journal Anthropological Quarterly. He has published in journals such as Popular Music and Society, The International Journal of the History of Sport, and Anthropological Quarterly.

With support from the National Film Board of Canada and the Association of Independent Television Producers of Brazil, Dr. Dent is currently making a documentary film about the dramatic rise in popularity of rodeo in Brazil since redemocratization. He is also working on a research project called Pirate Wars: Intellectual Property and Digital Culture in Brazil, examines the illegal trade in music CD's and film DVD's in Brazil, focusing on how the sixth largest CD market in the world sustains itself on production that is 52% illegal. This project promises to contribute to understandings of intellectual property and cultural modes of consumption.


Luciana Duccini, Visiting Fulbright Scholar

Dr. Duccini possesses an undergraduate degre in Communications conferred by the Methodist Institute of São Paulo, and obtained her doctorate in Social Sciences at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). While also being the Spring 2017 Visiting Fullbright Scholar, she is also an adjunct professor at the College of Social Sciences at the Federal University of the Vale do São Francisco. With extensive knowledge and research projects in the fields of Sociology and Anthropology, most particularly focusing on religion, identity and corporality, Dr. Ducinni will be offering an undergraduate course during the Spring 2017 semester, IAFF3187: Brazil: Population, Ethnicity and Identity.


John Garrison, Adjunct Faculty Member

John Garrison has worked at the World Bank since 1996 as a Civil Society Specialist.  He spent the first five years working in the Bank’s office in Brasilia, Brazil where he carried out research, organized outreach activities, and helped supervise Bank projects geared to improving World Bank – civil society relations.   Since 2010 he has led the Bank’s Civil Society Team in Washington which coordinates the Bank’s civil society engagement efforts at the global level.  Before joining the Bank, Mr. Garrison spent most of his career working with international development and human rights issues.  He has worked with a variety of non-governmental, faith-based, and governmental organizations in Brazil and the United States.  Mr. Garrison holds a masters degree in Latin American Studies from Vanderbilt University and has published numerous reports, articles, and blogs on grassroots development and civil society.



James G. Hershberg, Professor of History and International Affairs

Professor Hershberg received an A.B. in American History from Harvard College in 1982; a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University in 1985; and a Ph. D. from Tufts University in 1989. After teaching at Tufts and the California Institute of Technology in 1989-91, he directed the Cold War International History Project (and edited the project's Bulletin) from 1991-96 before coming to George Washington University in 1997 and now edits the CWIHP book series co-published by the Stanford University and Wilson Center Presses. He received the 1994 Stuart Bernath Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Policy for James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima and the Making of the Nuclear Age (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993; Stanford University Press, 1995).

Currently working on various case studies of U.S. communications with Cold War adversaries (Cuba, China, North Vietnam, Iran), he is a co-founder of The GW Cold War Group, a Cold War studies group at GWU for both faculty and students, and works closely with the National Security Archive, a declassified documents repository and research institute based at the University. 


Stephen Kaplan, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

Stephen B. Kaplan is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs. Professor Kaplan's research and teaching interests focus on the frontiers of international and comparative political economy, where he specializes in the political economy of global finance and development, the rise of China in the Western Hemisphere, and Latin American politics.

Professor Kaplan joined the GWU faculty in the fall of 2010 after completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University and his Ph.D at Yale University. While at Yale, Kaplan also worked as a researcher for former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Prior to his doctoral studies, Professor Kaplan was a senior economic analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, writing extensively on developing country economics, global financial market developments, and emerging market crises from 1998 to 2003.


Dr. Mark Langevin, Director, Brazil Initiative

Dr. Langevin is Director of BrazilWorks, International Advisor to the Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Algodão (Abrapa) and consultant to Public Services International (PSI), in addition to his academic positions. Dr. Langevin researches and writes extensively on Brazilian energy policymaking and United States-Brazil relations. He is a regular contributor to such publications as: American Diplomacy, Boletim Meridiano 47, Brazzil, the Inter-American Dialogue's Latin American Advisor, Journal of Energy Security, the Labor Studies Journal, Review of Renewable Energy Law and Policy, and Universitas: Relações Internacionais.





Nicholas Vonortas, Professor of Economics and International Affairs

Professor Vonortas received his BA in economics from Athens University (Greece), his MA in Economic Development from Leicester University (UK), and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Economics from New York University (US). He joined the Elliott School in 1990. He has a joint appointment with the Center for International Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Economics (Columbian School of Arts and Sciences). He specializes in the economics of technological change, science and technology policy, international transfer of technology, and inter-firm cooperation in research and development.

At the Elliott School, Vonortas offers graduate courses on comparative science and technology policy, the creation and diffusion of technological advances, and technology and international competitiveness. Selected recent publications include "Research Joint Ventures: A Critical Survey of Theoretical and Empirical Literature" in Journal of Economic Surveys (2003); "Strategic Research Partnerships: A Managerial Perspective" in Technology Analysis and Strategic Management (2003); and "Science and Technology Policies Towards Research Joint Ventures" in Science and Public Policy (2002)