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

January 26, 2023

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Alumni Highlight


For over a decade, Martin Austermuhle (CLAS 2004) has been a reporter with the National Public Radio (NPR) station in Washington, D.C. where he covers the DC politics and government beat. After graduating from CLAS, Martin joined the Embassy of Venezuela as a political and communications advisor, working with the ambassador and senior diplomats on outreach to academic institutions and advocacy groups, as well as helping shape the embassy's communications strategy and taking the lead on drafting everything from op-eds to fact sheets for Congress. This experience led Martin to a similar position at the Embassy of Afghanistan, after which he made something of a career pivot and jumped into the world of local journalism.

About his time in CLAS and SFS, Martin recently stated that his professional career “has been an unexpected journey, and CLAS helped me build the skills to manage pretty much any challenge thrown my way. Not only did the M.A. program help me learn to better consume and engage critically with lots of information from different sources, but it also fine-tuned my ability to shape and support arguments. The skills and knowledge I picked up through CLAS have helped me immensely, even in the moments when my professional career veered away from Latin America and the Caribbean.”

You can hear Martin’s reporting on Washington’s NPR station, 88.5 FM.

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

Venezuela in 2023 and Beyond: Charting a New Course
Abraham F. Lowenthal, Wilson Center 

A new report published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’s Latin American Program, “Venezuela in 2023 and Beyond: Charting a New Course,” urges strong international support for negotiations between the Venezuelan authoritarian government and the democratic opposition.

The report, authored by Abraham F. Lowenthal, a leading scholar of democratic transitions, discusses the importance of the recently resumed negotiations in Mexico City for resolving Venezuela’s prolonged political crisis and addressing the human rights and economic conditions that have led to the region’s worst migration crisis in modern history.

“The talks and potential agreements are unlikely to produce a rapid transfer of power,” Lowenthal writes, but they could improve the daily lives of millions of Venezuelans and begin rebuilding the country’s fractured institutions.

This is the latest report from the Wilson Center’s Venezuela Working Group, a diverse collection of experts, including scholars and former senior government officials from several countries. The group issued its first major report in November 2021, “Democratization in Venezuela: Thoughts on a New Path,” by Michael Penfold, a prominent Venezuelan political scientist and Wilson Center global fellow.

 Upcoming Events


Latin America and the Caribbean in 2023: What to Expect?

Georgetown Americas Institute
Monday, January 30, 2023
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST 
Hybrid Event
In Person: Leavey Program Room, Leavey Center
Latin America and the Caribbean enter 2023 with preexisting challenges worsened by a global growth slowdown, tightened international financial conditions, and a contentious geopolitical landscape. Democracy continues to be threatened across the region due to increased polarization and weakened institutions, exemplified by the January 8 attacks on Brazilian democratic institutions. Elections in Argentina, Paraguay, and Guatemala will test recent trends of anti-incumbent voting and democratic regression. On the economic front, S&P Global predicts that the high inflation experienced in 2022 will recede below 10% in 2023, although the IMF predicts lower overall growth rates for the region, falling from 3.5% in 2022 to 1.7% in 2023.

What political, economic, and social challenges and opportunities lie ahead for Latin America and the Caribbean in the coming year? What will the financial implications of these challenges be? The Georgetown Americas Institute (GAI) will host a panel discussion on the 2023 regional forecast featuring Monica de Bolle, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics; Michael Shifter, adjunct professor at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Georgetown University; Shantall Tegho, managing director at Goldman Sachs; and Alejandro Werner, GAI founding director.


Georgetown Parlor: How does Democracy Die?

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
7:30 pm
Car Barn 4th Floor Grad Lounge

The Democracy & Governance program invites graduate students to its first Georgetown Parlor event of 2023. Graduate students from various disciplines and diverse backgrounds rarely have opportunities to engage peers from different departments in an open academic setting. Georgetown Parlor will bring together grad students for a two-hour, student-led, open conversation on contemporary issues. 

Our January Georgetown Parlor gathering will focus on the topic of: How Does Democracy Die? The student-moderated event will invite participants to share their predictions before leading a discussion between various ideas. 

Friday Music Series: Elena La Fulana

Georgetown University Dept. of Performing Arts
Friday, January 27, 2023
12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. EST 
In Person Event: McNeir Hall, New North Building
The Georgetown University Music Program’s Friday Music Series features free concerts on Friday afternoons beginning at 12:30 p.m. in McNeir Hall, New North Building, located on Georgetown University's main campus in Washington, DC.
This Friday's performance features Elena La Fulana. She is a singer-songwriter and leader of the D.C.-based bilingual Latinfolk band Elena & Los Fulanos. Originally from Managua, Nicaragua, Elena identifies as both American and Nicaraguan and her music, which ranges from twangy, heartbreak-themed folk Americana, to soothing, introspective, violin-infused Latin cumbia, reflects this dual identity. Her band, Elena & Los Fulanos, has twice been nominated for a Wammie Award, and their most recent album, "Volcán," was hailed as "bilingual folk album for the resistance" by Washington City Paper, a publication that also selected Elena for their People Issue 2017 highlighting notable Washingtonians. Most recently, Elena has been touring with the LatinGrammy winning and Grammy nominated band Flor de Toloache, and with them performed at The Kennedy Center Honors in 2019 and the Latin Grammys in 2021.

Is Fake News Destroying Democracy?
Brazilian Elections and the Role of Misinformation

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
4:00 p.m. EST 
Online Event
The 2022 Brazilian elections were decisive for the future of the country, as the leftist former president Lula defeated the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. But beyond the actual vote, the election threw into relief the deep polarization that has recently come to characterize Brazilian politics, family relations, consumer behavior, and media habits. Underlying all this is a huge machine of fake news that we still barely understand that is sustaining the division and threatening Brazilian democracy.

Student Opportunities

Fulbright Mexico 

Este otoño, lanzamos por primera vez en la historia de COMEXUS la beca de Estudios de Posgrado para Candidatos Afrodescendientes, dirigida a estudiantes/egresados afromexicanos interesados en estudiar cualquier maestría o doctorado (con la excepción de medicina clínica) en Estados Unidos. Esta convocatoria es para estudiantes que cuenten con un nivel medio de inglés, y se dará preferencia a candidatos originarios del interior de la República que no sean residentes de las grandes ciudades (CDMX, Monterrey y Guadalajara). 

Aquí se pueden revisar los requisitos y apoyos de esta convocatoria, lanzada en el marco del bicentenario de las relaciones diplomáticas México-Estados Unidos:

La fecha límite de la convocatoria es el 9 de febrero de 2023. Muchas gracias por considerarla y difundirla con contactos relevantes.


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

Deadline: February 10, 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 10, 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.  


Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar Program

Deadline: February 15, 2023 

Every year, HSF selects 10,000 outstanding students as HSF Scholars from a broad and talented pool of applicants. HSF Scholars have access to a network of over 65,000 HSF Alumni. HSF Alumni are leaders in their professions, communities, and the nation; many now serve as HSF mentors, career coaches, and volunteers. HSF Scholars are eligible to apply for all Scholar Conferences including, the STEM Summit, Finance Conference, Media & Entertainment Summit, Entrepreneurship Summit, Healthcare Summit, and Alumni Symposium


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. 


Internship, William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies

The Perry Center’s internship program is an opportunity for highly motivated undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates to gain valuable experience working on defense and security issues affecting the Americas. Interns will work in a multicultural and multilingual environment, regularly interacting with civilian and military officials from the Americas and other regions of the world. Interns will also have the opportunity to sit in on various lectures, courses, and professional development sessions hosted by the Perry Center and the National Defense University.

The Perry Center offers two types of internships: research and communications/multimedia. Applicants may apply to both internships if interested.


Professional Opportunities

Office of Language Services, U.S. Department of State

The Office of Language Services (LS) supports the interpreting and translating needs of the State Department, the White House, and other federal agencies, primarily at the diplomatic level. 

Our office is seeking a contract Program Officer to support recruiting, testing, and training efforts as part of a special initiative to expand these important elements of the office’s work. LS is looking for a detail-oriented project manager who can work effectively in teams and individually. 

The position will support multiple teams by coordinating and managing administrative details related to recruiting, testing, and training. The ideal candidate will have experience in coordinating and tracking multiple ongoing projects, ensuring projects meet timeline and budget goals, organizing and synthesizing information from multiple sources, and communicating needs and progress in support of achieving project goals. 

The position is eligible for up to 100% telework and requires a candidate to obtain a Secret level clearance.

Contact Information: Interested parties should contact Jennifer Cole ASAP at

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.
Internship Opportunity, Politico Tech Global

The PTG Internship is designed to bring highly qualified and motivated students with diverse backgrounds into the Organization to work on projects linked to the PTG Popularity (PTR) and Vote (VTR) Trend Report Programs and to support the corporate functions of the Organization. Goal. The main goal is to give successful candidates the opportunity to improve their analytical and technical skills in an international environment. Interactions are set to occur across all levels of the PTG, with employees, clients and potential clients, and are designed to set successful interns on an internal track.

Applications. The PTG Internship is open on a rolling basis. Selected interns are on-boarded and will work remotely. Interested students should send a letter of interest, CV/résumé and a list of 3
references to (or via LinkedIn).
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