Past Event

Brazil in Crisis: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Latin Americas Giant

October 19, 2016
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Columbia University

Brazil is currently struggling with seemingly unending political and economic crises, which have taken hold of the country’s present and may alter the course of its future. In this panel, five Columbia experts from a wide array of disciplinary perspectives will engage in spirited conversation on what went wrong, what is happening now, and what the future may hold for Brazil.

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Chair: Safwan Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development, Columbia Global Centers

Moderator: Tom Trebat, Director of the Rio Global Center

Gustavo S. Azenha received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University, with an interdisciplinary background in the biology and social sciences (sociocultural anthropology & development sociology).  Gustavo's primary disciplinary expertise is development anthropology with a thematic specialization on globalization, social movements, and public policy. His academic and professional projects have been fairly diverse:  He has conducted ethnobotanical research with indigenous groups in the Venezuelan Amazon (Piaroa, Guahibo, and Ye'kuana ethnicities). His dissertation focused on the political ecology of sustainable development in Brazil, through research on the conflicts between indigenous/traditional resource use, environmental conservation, and economic development (i.e., tourism and agribusiness).  He subsequently conducted postdoctoral research on globalization and new technologies, with a specific emphasis on “digital inclusion” policies and programs in Brazil.  In addition, he has years of applied experience in international public health, including advocacy, policy analysis, research, and NGO capacity building in Brazil and Latin America.

Rodrigo R. Soares is Lemann Professor of Brazilian Public Policy and International and Public Affairs. Professor Soares’ research centers on development economics, ranging from labor, human capital, and demographic economics, to crime. His work has appeared in various scientific journals, including American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of Development Economics, among various others. Before joining Columbia, Soares taught at the Sao Paulo School of Economics-FGV, PUC-Rio, the University of Maryland, and the Harvard School of Public Health.  In 2006, he was awarded the Kenneth J. Arrow Award from the International Health Economics Association for the best paper published in the field of Health Economics. Soares is research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Germany), research affiliate at J-PAL Latin America, and associate editor of the Journal of Human Capital, of the Journal of Demographic Economics, and of the IZA Journal of Labor & Development. He has acted as consultant for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and state governments in Brazil on issues related to crime and violence, health, and development.  He received his Ph.D. in Economics under the guidance of Gary S. Becker at the University of Chicago in 2002.

Kartik Chandran, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, was a 2015 MacArthur Fellow for his work in “transforming wastewater from a pollutant requiring disposal to a resource for useful products, such as commodity chemicals, energy sources, and fertilizers.” He has also won the Water Environment Research Foundation Paul L. Busch Award (2010), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2009), and a National Academies of Science Fellowship (2007). His appointments prior to joining Columbia include his role as a senior technical specialist (2001–2004) with the private engineering firm Metcalf and Eddy of New York, where he contributed to New York City’s efforts to achieve significant improvements to its water quality.

Annika Sweetland, DrPH, MSW is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences in Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons/Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Sweetland is on the faculty of an NIMH-funded T32 Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Global Mental Health, an NIMH/Fogarty-funded D43 Implementation Research Training Program in Mozambique, and the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. Her research is focused on increasing access to mental health services in low- and middle-income countries where there are few mental health specialists. Her areas of expertise include tuberculosis (TB) and depression, dissemination and implementation science, cross-cultural measurement of psychiatric disorders, social network analysis, mobile health, and sustainable development.