Marc Castillo

Marc Castillo is a recent alumni from the Elliott School of International Affairs where he received an M.A. degree in Latin American Studies with concentrations on Brazilian Studies and international business. He is currently employed by International Shareholder Services where he is a Portuguese language analyst.

He served as a U.S. Naval Officer for nearly seven years with experience at sea, shore and forward deployed. He has invested in Brazil and Colombia achieving substantial returns in each market.

Marc embarked on an over two year sabbatical to Brazil to study Brazilian culture and Portuguese language whilst doing volunteer work before graduate school at GW. Marc has interned at The Treasury Department in the Western Hemisphere Office (Washington D.C.) and has also interned at Global Urban Development in Porto Alegre. He has traveled profusely around Latin America and lived, worked, and studied in several countries throughout the region.



Alex Fried

Alex Fried is a junior at the Elliott School of International Affairs majoring in International Affairs and Economics with a concentration in International Politics. Particularly interesting in emerging markets and agriculture, he looks forward to engaging with the Brazil Initiative and its discussions surrounding challenges to sustainable development and in Brazil.



Christopher Harden

Christopher Harden is a sophomore at the Elliott School of International Affairs majoring International Affairs with concentrations in International Development and International Environmental Studies.

He is currently serving as president of the GW Brazil Club and, in his studies, exploring questions of good governance and sustainable development particularly in Brazil and other "emerging markets."The Brazil Initiative has been a priceless forum for Chris to examine Brazilian politics with a range of experts, other similarly interested students and even important actors in the Brazilian scene.


Jonathan Madison

Jonathan is in his last semester of the M.A. in the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program at the  Elliott School. His research focuses on democracy and education in Brazil. His interests include the evolution of democracy and understanding the way democracies use education policy to define citizenship.

He produced a working paper for the Brazil Initiative focusing on the reform of upper-secondary education in Brazil. 

Jonathan lived in the state of São Paulo for two years on a service mission. During this time, he resided in São Bernardo do Campo, São Vicente, Santo André, Cubatão, and São Caetano do Sul. He worked with hundreds of individuals in many poor communities and favelas across these cities. He loved his experience and developed a profound respect for the potential Brazil has as a nation.
Jonathan will begin his Doctorate of Philosophy in History this fall at the University of Oxford.



Fidel Márquez

Fidel Márquez is a Venezuelan second-year graduate student at the Elliott School of International Affairs’ Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program. He focuses on Brazilian foreign policy and climate change in South America. He is currently researching on Brazil’s engagement toward the Paris Agreement for the Brazil Initiative.

Aside from his academic activities, Fidel interns at the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program in the Inter-American Dialogue. He also interned at the Trust for the Americas (an OAS-related non-profit organization), at the British Embassy in Caracas, and completed a trainee program at the Venezuelan rum company Ron Santa Teresa.

After finishing his B.A. on International Studies in the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Fidel travelled to Rio de Janeiro to learn Portuguese, later earning a CELPE-Bras proficiency certificate. Through the Brazil Initiative, Fidel has expanded his understanding of the country’s politics and socioeconomic themes by taking the courses Brazil in the Global Arena, and Energy and Environmental Policy in Latin America.


Foto profissional Gabriela Oliveira.JPG

Gabriela de Souza Oliveira

M.A. Candidate of the International Development Studies program at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Having worked for the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), she is experienced with the environment and economic development agenda in Latin American countries. 

Gabriela specifically worked for the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development indicators in Brazil.

She has a degree in International Relations from the University of Brasília (Brazil) where
she conducted researches about the BRICS and their New Development Bank. Her interests are
in financing for development, South-South cooperation, and emergent economies.



Sebastian Maag Pardo

Sebastian is an undergraduate senior from Quito, Ecuador, interested in Latin American political economy.He has performed research on Brazil’s capital markets, energy, trade policy, and the China-Latin America economic relation.

The Brazil Initiative’s events and course opportunities have enabled Sebastian to explore these topics actively by connecting students to policymakers and influential voices in Brazilian affairs.