Campus & Community

David Rockefeller visits Harvard’s new office in Brazil

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David Rockefeller visited the new Brazil Office of Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) in São Paulo. The staff, directed by Jason Dyett and including Tomás Amorim, Marina de Moura, and interns Bruno Yoshimura and Allan Panossian, presented an overview of the activities and objectives of the new office, which was inaugurated earlier this year. Afterwards, Rockefeller and the group shared both an informal lunch and ideas during the Nov. 30 visit. Located on São Paulo’s Avenida Paulista, the DRCLAS/Harvard Brazil Office recently hosted its advisory group, composed of leading Brazilian businesspeople, scholars, and civil society leaders.

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A cross-University delegation of senior Harvard professors, led by Kennedy School of Government (KSG) professor Merilee Grindle, director of DRCLAS, also presented their research at the advisory meeting.

Visiting professor of history Kenneth Maxwell, director of the Brazil Studies Program at Harvard, along with the staffs of the two offices, presented an outline of the future activities of both the Brazil Program in Cambridge and the office in São Paulo. Initiatives at Harvard include the establishment this year of the Conversas series of lunch-time seminars and the New England Area Brazil Workshop, events that have already attracted student and faculty interest. The Brazil Office organized a number of lectures at leading Brazilian universities, including the University of São Paulo and the Fundação Getulio Vargas as well as meetings with Brazilian graduate students.

The Brazil Studies Program in Cambridge has brought together more than 40 faculty members to form a University-wide multidisciplinary faculty advisory committee, which recently held its first meeting. Particularly strong areas of interest that emerged at that event concerned research agendas in public health, environment, the sciences, and issues of law, public security, and citizenship. The advisory group in São Paulo responded enthusiastically to the idea that the first major Harvard-Brazil Symposium, to be held in May of next year, will focus on public health and the challenges of connecting research to effective public policy.

Grindle expressed “delight at the depth and scope of interest in Brazil across the University that has surfaced as a result of convening this multidisciplinary faculty group.”