Professor John Coatsworth, director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS), recently announced that the center will open an office in São Paulo, Brazil, on July 1. According to Coatsworth, the purpose of the office will be to strengthen ties between Harvard and Brazilian academic and research institutions, increase opportunities for Brazilians to study at Harvard, and facilitate the research and learning activities of Harvard faculty and students in Brazil.
“Brazil is half of Latin America and a key player on the international stage,” noted Coatsworth, the Monroe Gutman Professor of Latin American Affairs. “But Brazil is too little studied and understood in the United States,” he added. “Developing Brazilian studies at Harvard has been a top priority of the David Rockefeller Center since it was founded in 1994.”
The DRCLAS Brazil office will help to implement a new program of scholarships and fellowships, funded by a gift from Harvard graduate Jorge Paulo Lemann A.B. ’61, which will enable Harvard to recruit Brazilian students to the undergraduate College as well as the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the School of Public Health, and the Kennedy School of Government, without regard to the students’ ability to pay. The first Brazilian students with Lemann awards will enroll in the University in fall 2006. Lemann is also supporting the Brazil office and Harvard College students and doctoral candidates engaged in studying Brazil.
The DRCLAS Brazil office will have a small staff responsible for developing collaborations throughout Brazil. Jason Dyett, a former DRCLAS staff member with an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and six years of experience working in Brazil for the Economist Intelligence Unit and other firms, will lead the office.
Later this spring, Harvard plans to announce the creation of a new Brazil program in the David Rockefeller Center to promote teaching and research on Brazil at the University. Visiting Professor of History Kenneth Maxwell, the eminent historian of Brazil whose books are widely read in both the United States and Brazil, will direct the new program.
President Lawrence H. Summers became the first Harvard president to make an official visit to Brazil when he traveled to São Paulo in March 2004 to speak at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas and at a Harvard alumni event.