The 2020 election season goes into full swing on Wednesday June 26, 2019 with 20 democratic hopefuls taking the stage for the first democratic debate in Miami.
Experts believe that voter turnout for the 2020 election can reach its highest levels in decades and that voters for this election will be the most diverse in history.
FIU experts will be available during this election season to discuss a wide range of topics such as immigration, health care, foreign policy, economics and voter turnout.
For questions or assistance in contacting any of the following experts, please call the Office of Media Relations:
- Maydel Santana, director: 305-348-1555, email@example.com
- Madeline Baro, assoc. director: 305-310-9665, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dianne Fernandez, broadcast media specialist: 305-608-4870, email@example.com
- Amy Ellis, communications manager, Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs: 305-348-5360, firstname.lastname@example.org
- JoAnn Adkins, director of marketing & PR, College of Arts, Sciences & Education: 305-348-0398, email@example.com
- Ileana Varela, assoc. director, marketing & PR, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine: 305-348-4926, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jessica Drouet, account manager, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work: 305-348-4670, email@example.com
Director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center
Prior to coming to FIU, Mora served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere. During the last twenty years Mora worked as a consultant to the Library of Congress, U.S. Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), the National Democratic Institute, U.S. State Department, the Organization of American States, and U.S. Southern Command. Mora is the author or editor of five books and numerous academic and policy articles, book chapters, and monographs on hemispheric security, U.S.-Latin American relations, civil-military relations, Cuban politics and military, and Latin American foreign policy. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Public Service Award, Department of Defense (2011). He is available for Spanish language interviews.
Political Science Professor
Eduardo Gamarra has conducted two polls on Hispanic voters in the United States and Florida. He also has done research on the regional dynamics of Latin America, including Cuba’s role. As an expert in Bolivia and the Andean region, he has followed closely the alliances formed by Fidel Castro, Bolivian President Evo Morales and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Gamarra has also studied drug trafficking in the Caribbean and the effects of American policies in the regional dynamics. He has testified in front of the U.S. Congress several times and is the author of more than half a dozen books and more than forty academic articles on Latin America. Gamarra is available for interviews in English and Spanish.
Director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy
Fonseca serves as the institute’s technical expert for national security and foreign policy. He has been featured in local and national media analyzing the 2016 U.S. general elections. He joined FIU after serving as the senior research manager for socio-cultural analysis at United States Southern Command. Fonseca holds degrees in international business and international relations from FIU and has attended Sichuan University in Chengdu, China and the National Defense University in Washington D.C. From 1997 to 2004, he served in the United States Marine Corps and facilitated the training of foreign military forces in both hostile theaters and during peacetime operations.
Assistant Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives at the Jack D. Gordon Institute
Pestana specializes in international relations with a focus on U.S. foreign policy, electoral politics, global security and U.S.-Latin American relations. His work examines governance and security in the Western Hemisphere including U.S. national security strategy, civil-military relations and rule of law. Pestana is charged with leading the Gordon Institute’s 2016 Presidential Election coverage and has conducted numerous interviews with both local and national media. Pestana is an adjunct professor for the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs and the Honors College. He holds an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies with a graduate certificate in National Security Studies from FIU.
Associate professor in FIU’s Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies
Gladwin has been one of the lead researchers of the FIU Cuba Poll since 1991. Gladwin is professor of sociology and anthropology and concentrates on statistical analysis of opinions and political trends. His work also includes analysis of sociological impacts of hurricanes and consumer preferences.
Assistant professor of Latin American history specializing in modern Cuba, Cuban America and the Caribbean
Bustamante previously served as a research associate for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. He comments frequently on contemporary Cuban and Cuban-American affairs for publications like Foreign Affairs and media outlets like Al-Jazeera America. Since 2013, he has served as a study leader the Smithsonian Institution’s people-to-people trips to Cuba.
Professor of sociology and lead researcher in charge of the FIU Cuba Poll
FIU’s Cuba Poll measures the attitudes and opinions of Cuban-Americans in South Florida on issues ranging from their support for the U.S. embargo, to their party preference. In addition to the poll, he is the author of books such as “Miami Now: Immigration, Ethnicity and Social Change;” “Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States;” and “This Land is Our Land: Newcomers and Established Residents in Miami,” in which he is a co-author. He has also written numerous articles on labor and ethnic issues in the United States. He is available for Spanish language interviews.
Adjunct professor at the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy
Latell served 35 years with the CIA and National Intelligence Council, advising the White House and Congress on Latin American and the Caribbean. He frequently advised U.S. and foreign government policy making organizations and leaders, including presidents and ministers. He has authored several books on Cuba and Fidel Castro, including History Will Absolve Me: Fidel Castro: Life and Legacy (2016), Castro’s Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, the CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (2012), and After Fidel: Raul Castro and the Future of Cuba’s Revolution (2005). Before coming to FIU, he taught Latin America and American foreign policy at Georgetown University and was a Senior Research Associate in Cuba studies at the University of Miami.
Dario Moreno, Ph.D.
Associate Professor in the Department of Politics & International Relations
He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He conducts research on Miami politics, Florida politics, and Cuban-American politics. He has published over 20 scholarly articles, book chapters, and two books. Dr. Moreno is a nationally recognized expert on Florida and Miami politics and is often quoted in both the national and local media. He has been a Pew Scholar at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Fulbright scholar in Costa Rica. He teaches courses on Miami politics, Cuban politics, Florida politics and urban politics.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Instructor in FIU’s Department of Politics and International Relations
Moats has an interest in group politics and studies group interactions from several perspectives. Her research analyzes how and why organized interests become involved with foreign governments and intergovernmental organizations, and why a group would expand beyond the domestic political arena to lobby additional venues. Moats is currently examining group involvement in several different policy areas, including environmental policy and human rights.
Kathryn A. DePalo
Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations
DePalo has extensive experience in state and local government processes and elections both in Connecticut and Florida. She has managed several campaigns, including a successful countywide judicial campaign in Broward County, Florida. Her teaching focus is American politics, including judicial process, gender and politics, and state and local government. DePalo’s primary research interest is in Florida politics, and has published on topics such as state judicial selection, the effects of gender in state legislative politics, and career paths of term-limited legislators. For a video of DePalo please click here.
Please see bio above.
Phillip M. Carter
Assistant professor in the Department of English
He is a sociolinguist and a scholar of language and culture in U.S. Latino communities specializing in issues related to language in U.S. Latino communities, including Spanish in the United States, Spanish/English bilingualism, Spanish in U.S. politics, and popular discourses about language. Carter most recently published a chapter for a book titled Spanish as a Heritage and Minority Language in the United States about the use of Spanish in American politics that is set to be published in 2016. Carter teaches courses at FIU on sociolinguistics, language in U.S. Latino communities, languages and cultures and the world, gender and language, and others. Carter is affiliate faculty in FIU’s Cuban Research Institute, Latin American and Caribbean Center, African and African Diaspora Studies Program and Women’s and Gender Studies Program.
José M. Gabilondo
Professor of law at FIU’s College of Law
Prior to joining FIU Law, Gabilondo worked in the financial market regulation at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the World Bank. Gabilondo teaches tax and corporate finance. His scholarship focuses on debt markets and (separately) heterosexual subject formation in law. He has presented his research at the Universities of Chicago, Buffalo, Columbia, Maryland, DePaul, Emory, Florida State, Georgetown, and Wake Forest, and American University. He is co-author of Corporate Finance: Debt, Equity, and Derivative Markets and their Intermediaries in the American Casebook Series. He has been a featured speaker at meetings of the American Society for International Law, the American Association of Law Schools, the Latin American Law and Economics Association, the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy, the Georgetown University Conference on Socio-Economics, Law and Society, the American Association of University Professors, LatCrit, and the Latin American Studies Association. He is a nationally recognized commentator in the Spanish-language media on financial and economic matters.
Professor of management and international business
Haar was Director of Washington Programs for the Council of the Americas, a New York-based business association of over 200 corporations comprising a majority of U.S. private investment in Latin America, and served as Special Assistant to two cabinet secretaries. He can address issues of international business, politics, and economics including the economies of Latin America, financial markets, and competitiveness.
Professor of economics and director of FIU’s Center of Economic Research
Salazar is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a consultant for both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). His areas of interest include economic integration, international trade and finance and labor economics. He has conducted research on Venezuela’s oil sector and Latin America’s capital markets in the 1990s. He has also published two books on Cuba and has a third coming out this fall from Transaction Press. He is available for Spanish language interviews.
José M. Gabilondo
Please see bio above.
Please see bio above.
Please see bio above.
Please see bio above.
For our Cuba experts list, please click here.
Europe and Russia
Professor in the department of Politics and International Relations
Dr. Kostadinova’s research and teaching interests include Central and Eastern European political institutions with a special emphasis on elections, electoral systems and electoral behavior; institutional reform; democratic transition; political corruption; comparative public policy; and public support for foreign policies. Kostadinova’s book Political Corruption in Eastern Europe: Politics After Communism(2012) analyzes the emergence of corruption as a major obstacle to successful democratic transition. Kostadinova teaches undergraduate courses in Russian and Eastern European politics, electoral behavior, and research methods, and graduate courses in institutional choice, democratic transitions, political parties, and advanced research. She has also conducted field work in Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia. Kostadinova has authored and co-authored articles, book chapters and book reviews. Kostadinova can talk about U.S. diplomatic relations with Russia. She is fluent in English, Bulgarian and Russian.
Director of EU/Jean Monnet Center of Excellence in the Department of Politics and International Relations and Associate professor of politics and international relations
Dr. Thiel’s areas of expertise include the politics of the European Union and Western Europe, as well as its political sociology and identity. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on international relations, comparative Western European politics, European Union Politics, international relations of Europe, and international organizations. He has published several articles and book chapters at the European Union Center of Excellence, as well as in Transatlantic Monthly, International Studies Compendium, Journal of Human Rights, Perspectives on European Politics & Society, and the Journal of European Integration. He has also published The Limits of Transnationalism: Collective Identities and EU Integration (2011) and co-edited three volumes, including Diversity and the European Union (2009), Identity Politics in the Age of Globalization (2010), and European Identity and Culture: Narratives of Transnational Belonging (2012). Thiel is a research associate at the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence and is an affiliated faculty member of the FIU European Studies Program. Thiel is available for interviews for European-Union related questions on the immigration crisis in Europe and other topics.
Assistant professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations
Lob’s research focuses on the intersection of development and politics in the Middle East. His research specifically examines how state and non-state actors in the region use development to further their political interests domestically and internationally. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. Lob teaches courses on Middle Eastern politics and international relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and political violence and revolution. He has traveled extensively throughout the region and is proficient in Arabic, Persian, and French. Lob can speak about about the Middle East’s historical and contemporary issues, events, policies, developments, and trends, such as America’s allies and local governments, popular uprisings and regional instability (Iraq, Syria, and Yemen), the US invasion of Iraq and rise of ISIS/ISIL, the Saudi-Iranian rivalry and Iranian nuclear program, and Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace.
Cyra Akila Choudhury
Professor of Law
Prior to joining the FIU Law faculty, Choudhury worked for The National Academies advising the federal government on international labor standards and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, one of the largest international law firms in the world, in their corporate finance practice. Choudhury’s expertise is in international and comparative family law; gender and postcolonial theory; subjectivity and legal theory; and international labor law and labor migration. She has written and lectured on Islamic law and Muslims as minorities and national security law. In 2012,Choudhury was awarded a grant from the Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School to study domestic migrant workers from South Asia to the Gulf. She has served as a docent for the IGLP workshops for the past three years. She is part of a number of research groups including the Ottoman Legacies in Post-conflict societies, an initiative started at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK; a network of TWAIL scholars whose reach is global; and a critical human rights study group funded by IGLP at Harvard Law School. Choudhury’s work has appeared in the Michigan Journal of International Law, Akron Law Review, and the University of Colorado Law Review. She has appeared as an expert witness in a number of transnational family law cases and has been interviewed by national media outlets on both the Middle East and Islamic law as well as on family law matters. She is a member of the Middle East Studies faculty at FIU and is able to speak about Islamophobia and Muslims in the United States.
Senior fellow in the Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy at the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs
An internationally known expert on Russia and U.S.-Russia relations, the Ukraine and human rights, Kramer is the former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor under President George W. Bush. Kramer is available to speak on all aspects of U.S. foreign policy toward Russia, including Russian cyberattacks, the spread of “fake news,” and Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Crimea and Syria. He has written extensively for The Washington Post, Politico, Foreign Policy and The American Interest.
Law professor with an interest in immigration law and reform
Ediberto Román is a nationally-acclaimed scholar and an award-winning educator with broad teaching interests and an extensive scholarship portfolio. Before entering academia, he specialized in securities and antitrust litigation at several Wall Street law firms. His teaching experience includes contracts, torts, corporations, comparative corporate law, products liability, agency and partnership, antitrust, citizenship studies, law and accounting, race and the law, remedies and street law. He has written dozens of articles, essays and book chapters. He has kept a particularly hectic schedule, which has often led him to provide television and radio interviews for local, state and national media outlets. His essays, op-eds and interviews have appeared in virtually every newspaper in the state. He has been asked to testify before governmental bodies on immigration reform, and has visited the White House on several occasions to address matters related to immigration policy, and the judicial vacancy debate. His principal research interest involves analyzing the construction and interpretation of constitutional law and immigration policy. His work may be best described as traditional in its structure and use of authority, but critical in its perspective. His research necessarily deals with the intersection of, on the one hand, citizenship law, immigration law, public international law, and constitutional law and, on the other hand, theoretical perspectives based on classic philosophy, neo-liberal theory, critical race theory, post-colonial studies, diaspora literature, and social theory generally. Areas of interest and expertise include constitution law, civil rights and diversity issues.
HEALTH CARE POLICY
Eneida O. Roldan, MD, MPH, MBA
CEO of the FIU Healthcare Network, Associate Dean for Internal Affairs and Associate professor
She is the Immediate Past CEO and President for the Jackson Health System in Miami, one of the largest safety net health systems in the country. Prior to this role, she was court-appointed as President and CEO of Pan American Hospital, a Miami-Dade community hospital under Chapter 11 that successfully emerged from bankruptcy under her leadership.
Roldan has over 30 years’ experience in the health care industry having served in multiple roles both in the private and public sector including administrative roles in the non-for-profit and for-profit sectors; private practice; consulting and in academia (nationally and internationally). Roldan is a known national and international speaker in the areas of obesity, health policy, health care reform, health care management and systems and leadership. In addition to her medical, public health and business degrees; she has attended executive education at Harvard University, Thunderbird School of Global Management and most recently completed the General Management Program for senior executives at the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania and attained Wharton alumni status. She is available for interviews in English and Spanish.
Please contact Ileana Varela to speak with Dr. Roldan.
Pedro José “Joe” Greer, Jr., M.D.
Chair of the Department of Humanities, Health and Society, Associate Dean FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine community Engagement and professor
Dr. Greer has brought health care to the poor and the disadvantaged. His autobiography, “Waking Up in America: How One Doctor Brings Hope to Those Who Need It Most”, details his early years as a physician delivering care to patients living under highway overpasses in Miami. Recognized by Presidents Clinton, Bush, Sr., and Carter for his work with Miami’s poor, Dr. Greer, a native Miamian, is the founder of Camillus Health Concern, an agency that provides medical care to the city’s homeless, and the St. John Bosco Clinic, which assists undocumented immigrants. He is also the recipient of three Papal Medals as well as the prestigious MacArthur “genius grant.” In 2009, Dr. Greer accepted the nation’s highest civilian honor – the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dr. Greer is available for interviews in English and Spanish.
Assistant Professor and Graduate Director
Tobias Pfutze is a professor of economics whose research focuses on health, labor and institutional economics, primarily in middle income countries in Latin America. His research has been published in leading academic journals in these fields. His current work is focused on Mexico’s tax financed health insurance program. He is available for Spanish language interviews.
Associate Professor and Graduate program director of the Department of Health Policy and Management
Timothy Page joined the faculty of the Department of Health Policy & Management in 2008 after completing a Ph.D. in economics at the University of New Hampshire. His areas of research include health economics, health policy & program evaluation, econometric modeling & data analysis, and economic evaluation of patient outcomes & healthcare costs. Page’s research in the economic evaluation of patient outcomes and healthcare cost encompasses several topic areas, including chronic disease management, community-based healthy aging initiatives, managed care models for chronically ill patients, HIV/AIDS prevention, long-term care for the elderly and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. When speaking about his work in South Florida, Page always emphasizes that “it has been a privilege to partner with so many wonderful organizations in the community, academia and industry to find solutions for the healthcare challenges facing our nation in the 21st century.”
See bio above under Middle East.
José M. Gabilondo
Please see biography above.
FAMILY PLANNING & WOMEN’S HEALTH
Purnima Madhivanan, M.D.
Associate professor in the department of epidemiology
Purnima Madhivanan, an infectious disease epidemiologist, is an associate professor and the director of the Epidemiology Ph.D. Program. Dr. Madhivanan serves as an advisor to a number of state departments of public health, as well as non-profit and governmental research organizations. In 2007, she received the prestigious International Leadership Award from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation for her work on prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV. Her current research focuses on women’s health across their lifespans. Her research areas include reproductive health as well as primary and secondary prevention of cervical cancer.
Professor, Department of Earth and Environment
Stephen Leatherman is a coastal scientist who is an expert in sea-level rise, storm impacts, beach erosion and rip currents. Leatherman is internationally known as “Dr. Beach” for his annual selection of the “Top 10 Beaches” in the United States.
Office: 305-348-6304 or 305-348-1339
Director of Marine Science Program and Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Joel Trexler is currently the director of the Marine Sciences Program at FIU. He earned a Ph.D. in Biological Science from Florida State University and holds the rank of professor of Biological Science at FIU, where he has worked for 24 years. He is an ecologist who has studied the Everglades for over 20 years. His research covers population and community ecology, as well as evolutionary ecology. He has published articles on the controls of population and community dynamics, spatial ecology, life history evolution, and spatial ecology of aquatic animals, mostly fish. He has published over 115 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and co-edited a book on monitoring ecosystems. Trexler has extensive editorial experience and is currently the editor-in-chief of Aquatic Ecology for the journal Oecologia, as well serving on the editorial boards of the journals Ecology and Biological Invasions. Trexler has contributed to efforts to restore and manage the Everglades by monitoring fish and macroinvertebrates throughout the ecosystem and has served as a co-principle investigator and collaborator in the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research (FCE LTER) program.
Co-Director of the FIU Global Energy Security Forum
He has over four decades of experience in the energy field, including 25 years as an executive in the private sector. Glab is an expert on various aspects of the global energy industry, including political risk analysis and government relations, and he has conducted business and academic work in every country of Latin America and dozens of other around the world from Asia and Africa to Europe and Australia. Glab speaks Spanish and has published in the area of bilingual/bicultural education.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Assistant Director, Trial Advocacy Program, FIU College of Law faculty fellow and advisor to the Pre-Law Association through the Honors College at FIU
Fingerhut has more than 16 years of law teaching experience and 23 years as an AV-Preeminent Peer Review Rated criminal trial and appellate litigator. In 2000, he accepted a four-year appointment in FIU’s School of Policy and Management, teaching Criminal Constitutional Law and Procedure, Criminal Law Theory, Law and Social Control, and Judicial Process and Policy in the undergraduate and Master’s Degree criminal justice programs. For the past six years, Fingerhut has served as Assistant Director of the FIU College of Law’s Trial Advocacy Program, teaching Trial Advocacy, Pretrial Litigation (criminal and civil), Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and the Criminal and Civil Law Externship Clinic. To maintain his undergraduate ties, Fingerhut was made a Faculty Fellow in The Honors College at FIU, and, recently, was named Director of The Honors College Pre-Law Programs. A frequent lecturer and writer on criminal justice matters, Fingerhut is called upon often to pen amicus briefs on behalf of local, state, and national organizations in defense of our liberties.
Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice
Goddard studies criminal justice and crime policy trends in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. He can speak to the subject of releasing non-violent offenders. Although his current research focuses on youth offender interventions and community-based crime prevention, much of his research overlaps with the subject of releasing non-violent offenders. Dr. Goddard teaches courses in criminal justice and public policy, criminal justice policy analysis, and punishment and society.
Besiki Luka Kutateladze
Assistant Professor Criminology and Criminal Justice
Kutateladze’s research focuses on prosecution, inequality, racial justice and LGBTQ hate crimes. Kutateladze is an internationally recognized expert in the development of performance indicators. He played a crucial role in the development of the United Nations Rule of Law Indicators, a tool developed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, for assessing the rule of law in post-conflict situations. He is currently researching the nature and scope of hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals in Miami.
RACE, GENDER AND GAY AND LESBIAN POLITICS
José M. Gabilondo
Please see biography above.
Suzanna Rose, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for the Office to Advance Women, Equity & Diversity and Professor of Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies
Dr Rose is the lead investigator for FIU’s NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant that is aimed at improving the recruitment, promotion and retention of women and underrepresented minority faculty at FIU. A key research project associated with the grant includes the development of an evidence-based Bystander Leadership Program to reduce gender and race bias in faculty hiring, promotion, and retention. Her previous administrative roles included serving at FIU within the College of Arts, Sciences & Education as Executive Director of the School of Integrated Science and Humanity, Senior Associate Dean for the Sciences, Chair of Psychology, and Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. Prior to that she served as Women’s Studies Director and Professor of Psychology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dr Rose has published extensively on issues related to gender, race, and sexual orientation, including professional networks, career development, leadership, friendship, and personal relationships. She has consulted with many universities both nationally and internationally concerning strategies for recruiting and retaining women faculty in science and engineering.
BABY BOOMERS & AGING
Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
Elena Bastida’s research focus is gerontology; specifically behavior, expectation, aging norms and aging stereotypes. She led the 12-year Border Epidemiologic Study on Aging (NIH-BESA). Bastida also conducts NIH supported community based participatory research on Latino health. Her teaching has received statewide and national recognition with two national role model awards for research mentoring of minority students. She works closely with Pan American Health and Latin American universities in advancing research and training throughout the region. In 2009 she received the Public Health Hero Award from Research America.
Director of the Extreme Events Institute, Director of the International Hurricane Research Center and Professor, Politics and International Relations
Richard Olson is a professor of political science and director of the Extreme Events Institute. Olson specializes in disaster research, arguing for understanding disasters and catastrophes as inherently political. He has studied extensively the politics of disaster, disaster risk reduction, genocide and Latin American politics. Olson is one of FIU’s foremost experts on natural disasters. He is available for Spanish–language interviews.