CLAS Official Newsletter: Events, Job Opportunities, and More!
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CLAS Chronicles

February 16, 2023

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Alumni Highlight

Charlene "Charly" van Dijk (CLAS ‘08) is a senior adviser on the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Community and Economic Development team, based out of the Miami Branch. Her focus is on community development finance, place-based initiatives, capacity building, small business and microfinance, and Community Reinvestment Act implementation. She works across the six states in the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s District including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and parts of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Previously, while working at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, she collaborated with Reserve Banks to strengthen their community development strategies, research, and programs across the country, and she supported the Board’s participation in the Central Bank Network for Indigenous Inclusion and the Financial Stability Board. Before that, van Dijk held positions at the US Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and the US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship; A2F Consulting; and the Latino Economic Development Center.

Reflecting upon her experience at CLAS she said: “My time was condensed as a one joint year master’s student through a partnership with Mount Holyoke, my alma mater. That one year, however, shaped me in immeasurable ways,—professionally, academically, and personally. My political economy concentration (shout out to Robin King, Barbara Kotschwar, and Luis Jacome) exposed me to macroeconomic and monetary policy concepts that resonate with me every day in my role at the Atlanta Fed (part of the U.S. central bank) as I strive to ensure that the American economy works for everyone. I have lifelong friendships with wonderful, brilliant humans from all over the world who I met at Georgetown, and I can always tap into the Hoya network
whenever I need to make a connection in a new city or field.”

Faculty Highlight

Dr. Gonzalo Paz appeared on France 24 en Español to speak on the recently found "spy balloons." Watch the interview here. 
Dr. Gonzalo Paz was also interviewed by El Comercio, the oldest Peruvian Newspaper, where he also spoke of the balloon. Find the article here

Apply to our program! 

Join CLAS at our top M.A. Program in Latin American Studies. Applications are open!

We seek applicants with a proven commitment to Latin American Studies. Housed in the School of Foreign Service, our M.A. Program offers a wide variety of options to our students, including a rich and diverse intellectual environment and a location that allows them to be exposed to and participate in cutting edge research, internships, and policy issues affecting the hemisphere. 

Interesting Reads

Navigating Vulnerability: A Study of Socioeconomic Integration of Migrant Populations

Amelia Espinosa (CLAS ’22) and Jordan Lloyd (CLAS ’22) recently published their M.A. Capstone Project, Navigating Vulnerability: A Study of Socioeconomic Integration of Migrant Populations with Georgetown's Institute for the Study of International Migration
CLAS congratulates them on their recent publication!

Read Publication Here 

 Upcoming Events


Reckoning with Indigenous and Afro Descendant Truth: the Ethnic Chapter of Colombia’s Truth Commission Report Webinar

Wednesday, February 22, 2023
12:30-2:00 PM ET
Online Event 

Event description
Descripción del evento

Opening remarks by Dr. Angelo Rivero Santos, Interim Director, Georgetown University’s Center for for Latin American Studies

Patricia Tobon Yagari, former Truth Commissioner

Leyner Palacios,   former Truth Commissioner

Armando Wuoriyu Valbuena, Technical Secretary, Ethnic Commission for Peace

Richard Moreno, Coordinator, National Afro-Colombian Peace Council (CONPA)

Moderation by Gimena Sanchez-Garzoli, Director for the Andes, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

12:30pm – 2pm

 This webinar will be in Spanish with simultaneous English translation.


Turning up the Heat on Geothermal Energy in Latin America

Tuesday, February 21, 2023
6:00-7:30 PM ET
Online Event 
With its vast network of volcanoes and prevalent geologic fault lines, Latin America is naturally positioned to benefit from harnessing the geothermal energy stored under the surface of the Earth. Geothermal energy has risen as an indigenous alternative renewable that could allow countries, particularly those located on the Ring of Fire, to produce electricity and meet domestic demand. However, in spite of the promising energy production that geothermal energy presents, geothermal sources in Latin America are largely underexplored, barely comprising 5% of their assessed geothermal potential. For countries in Latin America to fully take advantage of this resource, they will need to raise awareness of the resource’s benefits, create appropriate regulations and policies, and develop key partnership for de-risking investment and cultivate the necessary human capital to equip the next generation of geothermal experts.

This event will identify the challenges and opportunities harnessing geothermal energy in the region, particularly in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Peru. In addition, the discussion will seek to lay out pathways for these countries to achieve their energy, economic and social goals through the development of geothermal energy. This event will also explore policies for growing investment in the region and strengthen the Latin American geothermal energy industry.

Peaceful Borders and Illicit Transnational Flows: The Case of the Americas

Thursday, February 23, 2023
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST 
Hybrid Event
In Person: Mortara Center Building Conference Room
In their book The Unintended Consequences of Peace: Peaceful Borders and Illicit Transnational Flows (2021), Arie Kacowicz and his co-authors argue that international peace creates an environment that facilitates the illicit flow of goods and services due to less strict security measures between the borders of peaceful countries. The authors find that increased illicit flows can destabilize regions as they experience periods of peaceful democracy. How can this phenomenon be explained, and what examples can be found in the Americas? In the book Kacowicz and his coauthors explore how the physical traits of a border, the strength of rule of law in a country, and regional socioeconomic conditions contribute to increased illegal flows. 

The Georgetown Americas Institute is pleased to welcome Arie Kacowicz, Chaim Weizmann Chair in International Relations and full professor of international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, to discuss settled borders and illicit transnational flows in the context of the Americas. The discussion will be moderated by GAI managing director Denisse Yanovich.

Student Opportunities

Call for Papers: Democracy & Society Vol. 20 (2022-23) 

Deadline: February 17, 2023 

The Democracy and Governance Program at Georgetown University is seeking well-written, interesting submissions of 1,500 – 2,000 words for the 2022-23 edition of its publication — Democracy & Society. The submissions can be new publications, summaries, excerpts of recently completed research, book reviews, and works in progress. Graduate and undergraduate submissions of high academic rigor are also accepted. Submissions for this issue are due by February 17, 2023. Please email all submissions to with ‘Journal Submission’ in the subject-line. Democracy & Society reviews submissions on the basis of merit and deeply encourages intellectual and ideological diversity.  

GAI Student Research Grant Applications Now Open
Deadline: March 1, 2023
Applications for the Georgetown Americas Institute 2023 spring student research grants are now open. GAI supports interdisciplinary research on Western Hemisphere affairs around four critical challenges: governance and the rule of law; economic growth and innovation; social and cultural inclusion; and sustainability and the environment. Applications will close March 1, 2023. Questions may be directed to
Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Program 

Deadline: March 2023

The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Program is a grant program under the U.S. Department of State. The program enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. It is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Pell Grant funding and planning to study or intern abroad during any term.

Successful applicants will receive awards up to $5,000 to defray eligible study/intern abroad costs. Awards amounts vary depending on the length of study and student need. Applicants who are studying a critical language such as Swahili, Portuguese, or Arabic while abroad in a country where the language is spoken will be automatically considered for the Critical Need Language Award, for a total award of $8,000. 


The Pitch 2023: A Competition of New Ideas

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is hosting The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas, its annual premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Selected applicants will make their pitch for innovative policy ideas to meet new challenges in U.S. national security policy in front of a distinguished panel of judges.


Professional Opportunities

Program Associate, Latin America and the Caribbean, Center For International Private Enterprise

This full-time, regular, non-exempt position is based in the Washington D.C. . The Program Associate, Latin American and Caribbean (LAC), will have the responsibility of providing administrative support to the CIPE team working on programs in Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The position requires a dedication to assisting a large team and its programs, including staff in Washington D.C., field offices, and international consultants.
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