Steering Committee


Dr. Klaus Bodemer, political scientist, is the Director of the Institute of Ibero-American Studies in Hamburg since 1996.  Between 1970-1984 and 1994-1996 he was researcher at the Universities of Mainz, Worms and Kaiserslautern; between 1984 and 1986 he was visiting lecturer at FLACSO, Buenos Aires and UERJ, Rio de Janeiro; between 1991 and 1994 he was Project Manager at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Montevideo.  His research areas are: Latin America: comparative politics, science and technology politics; planification, implementation and evaluation of international cooperation politics; re-democratization and foreign policies in the Southern Cone, state reform; communal and decentralization policies, education policies, and social politics.

Victor Bulmer-Thomas is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) in London and Emeritus Professor of London University. He was Director of ILAS from 1992 to 1998 and editor of the Journal of Latin American Studies from 1986 to 1997. He has been a Director of the Schroders Emerging Countries Fund since 1996. He has written extensively on Central America, including The Political Economy of Central America since 1920 (Cambridge, 1987); Studies in the Economics of Central America (St. Martins Press, 1988); and Reflexiones sobre la Integracion Centroamericana.

Fernando Durán, is Executive Director of the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress.  Formerly, he served as Rector, Academic Vice-Rector, Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, and Dean of the Graduate Studies System of the University of Costa Rica, and he was President of the Costa Rican Union of Writers also.  He receieved his Doctor of Science in Organic Chemistry from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and was Research Fellow in Chemistry at Harvard University.

Eduardo Gamarra, has been affiliated with Florida International University since 1986, where he is currently the director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center, a full professor in the department of political science, and the editor of Hemisphere, a magazine on Latin American and Caribbean affairs.  He is the author, co-author, and editor of several books including Revolution and Reaction: Bolivia 1964-1985 (Transaction Publishers, 1988); three volumes of the Latin America and Caribbean Contemporary Record (Holmes and Meier Press); Latin American Political Economy in the Age of Neoliberal Reform (Lyne Rienner Publishers 1994); Democracy, Markets and Structural Reform in Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico (Lyne Rienner Publishers, 1995); and Entre la Droga y la Democracia (Freiderich Ebert Foundation, 1994).  The author of over forty articles on Latin America, he has testified in the US Congress on drug policy toward Latin America.  His current research focuses on the political economy of narcotics trafficking in the Andean region and the Caribbean, democratization, and civil-military relations.  He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1987. 

Mendel Goldstein is official of the European Commission in Brussels since 1976, and since 1993 he is Head of Unit responsible for the political, economic and cooperation relations with Mexico, Central America and Cuba.  In this position, he is in charge of the negociation and follow-up of the new Partnership Agreement with Mexico and of the global relationship with Central America (San José Dialogue, Cooperation Programme).  He was previously responsible for the promotion of private flows to developing countries, and cooperation relations with some Asian countries  (China, Nepal, Burma), and with Mexico, Central America and Cuba.  He holds a BA degree in Political Science and History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Post-graduate degrees on European Integration from Amsterdam and Brussels Universities.

A. Douglas Kincaid is research director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center and associate professor of sociology at Florida International University, where he has worked since 1985. He holds a Ph.D. on sociology from the Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His research interests include public security, political change, and social movements, and his work has focused on Central American issues for more than 20 years.  Among his publications are "Demilitarization and Security in El Salvador and Guatemala: Convergences of Success and Crisis,"  Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, forthcoming, and Comparative National Development: Society and Economy in the New Global Order (coedited with A. Portes; University of North Carolina Press, 1994).

Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach, political scientist, is researcher at the Institute of Ibero-American Studies since 1993.  Before, she was researcher at the Unit on the Studies of War, Armament and Development at the University of Hamburg; and Consultant in development policies.  Her research areas are: peace and conflict studies, development policies, human rights, political development, and civil-military relations, with a main regional focus on Central America, Colombia and Mexico (Banco Centroamericano de Integracion Economica, 1997).

Carlos Rosales is communications secretary in the government of El Salvador.  Prior to holding public office, he was an Associate and Central America Program Director at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C.  He was an International Elections Observer for the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) to Panama’s 1999 general elections, and for the Organization of American States (OAS) in Nicaragua’s 1996 general elections.  He has published numerous articles on Central American affairs and inter-American issues in, Canada, Central America, and the United States.

Margaret Sarles, U.S. Agency for International Development.

Michael Shifter is Senior Fellow and Program Director at the Inter-American Dialogue since April 1994, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University.  Since 1993, he teaches Latin American Politics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  He directed the Latin American and Caribbean Program at the National Endowment for Democracy and the Ford Foundation’s Governance and Human Rights Program in the Andean region and Southern Cone.  He writes and talks widely on US-Latin America relations and hemispheric affairs, democracy and human rights, multilateralism, drug policy, security issues, press freedom and Colombian and Peruvian politics.  He is a consultant on issues of police reform, human rights, social and domestic violence, and leadership and philanthropy in Latin America and the Caribbean.