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Latin American Studies

Contact Us

Latin American Studies
Michael Weiner, Academic Program Coordinator
1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Suite 502
Washington, DC 20036
+1 (202) 663-5731


The policy-oriented curriculum of the Latin American Studies program provides the perfect laboratory to learn about the world’s most pressing problems. From the rise of populism, to trade and US foreign relations, to financial crises and development, the region is rich in lessons not just for those interested in Latin America, but more importantly for those who wish to apply these lessons to other countries facing similar challenges.

Become an Expert

Develop analytical tools and deep knowledge of key political and economic issues affecting the region and the world. Gain practical experience through a program-sponsored internship in Latin America and join an extensive network with a global reach in banking, consulting, government, diplomacy, and international development.

Featured Courses

Gain a broad understanding of Latin America as a global player while simultaneously developing functional expertise through a policy-oriented curriculum that integrates a practical approach to learning.


Financial Crises, Emerging Markets, and Policy Dilemmas

This course addresses policy issues in emerging markets with a particular focus on financial crises and their implications.

Over the last several years, we have witnessed a number of episodes of financial distress often leading to macroeconomic chaos, particularly in emerging markets. Financial fragility and market distress can come in many forms: Currency crises, banking crises, debt crises, or a mix of two or more of these crises. The purpose of this course is to provide students with frameworks and tools for analyzing the causes and consequences of financial fragilities and crises, as well as the policy responses they entail. To this end, the course will mix economic theory, country experiences, and actual policy responses to provide an in-depth understanding of the boom-bust cycles characteristic of emerging market economies. The course will also address the 2008 financial crisis, drawing on aspects that make this particular episode stand out from previous instances of turmoil. Emerging market policy responses to the 2008 crisis, as well as the effects on these countries of unconventional policy stimulus adopted by developed economies will also be discussed.


Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean: New Challenges Amidst Growing Insecurity

This course introduces students to the changing political economy of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Students will examine the political and economic institutions, political culture, social and political conflict, market liberalization in the region’s countries, and a case study of Cuba.


Drugs, Walls and Aging Guerillas: US-Latin America Relations Today

This course examines current US foreign policy towards Latin America allowing students to go beyond “sound bites” and trace how US policy towards the region shifted and diversified after the end of the Cold War and turned more inward after 9-11.

The course begins at the fall of the Berlin Wall, examining distinct policy directions to re-frame relations towards free trade, economic cooperation and democracy, while seemingly overwhelmed by domestic pressures reshaping drug and immigration policies in security terms, today simplified by one presidential candidate as fixable by building a “wall”. Students will discuss the role played by changes within Latin America itself, its political maturation (e.g. aging guerrillas), as well as growing violence and crime. Despite perceived negative security trends, students will examine how the United States is achieving an opening towards Cuba and support for peace negotiations in Colombia.


Latin America & the World: Changing Global Dynamics

As economic protectionism, nationalism and rising authoritarianism roil domestic and international politics, this seminar will explore how the changing global landscape is creating challenges and opportunities for Latin America.

Topics will include the region's efforts to seize trade opportunities in the Pacific, including Chile's unsung role in resurrecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership following the US withdrawal, and the widening ambitions of the Pacific Alliance; Mercosur's bet on a free trade agreement with the European Union; the opportunities and risks of Chinese investment, as the United States aggressively discourages the region from over-dependence on Beijing; the role of Russia, including in arms sales and energy investment; and the region's position as a natural resources juggernaut, from unconventional oil and gas in Argentina to the lithium triangle (Argentina, Bolivia and Chile) that accounts for more than half of the world's supply of the key ingredient in batteries for mobile phones and electric cars.

Learn from the Best

Study with world-class experts who are renowned for their scholarship, influence, and networks.

Monica de Bolle

Adjunct Lecturer, Latin American Studies Program

Francisco González

Associate Professor of International Political Economy and Latin American Politics

Christopher Sands

Senior Research Professor, Director of the Center for Canadian Studies, Acting Director of the Latin American Studies Program

Jacqueline Mazza

Adjunct Lecturer, Latin American Studies Program

Advance Your Career

Gain the intellectual framework and analytic skills necessary to enter a variety of roles across the public, private, multilateral, and nonprofit sectors.

Recent Internships

  • Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Colombia
  • Control Risks, Brazil
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Invenergy, Colombia
  • US Commercial Service, Mexico
  • UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Chile
  • Compass Group Asset Management, Chile

Recent Employers

  • Beacon Global Strategies
  • Tesla
  • Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • BlackRock
  • TechnoServe
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit
  • US Department of State
  • World Bank Group

Build Your Network

Join a diverse, accomplished, influential community of scholars, practitioners, alumni, and students working across sectors in 140 countries around the world.

Johns Hopkins SAIS students in Colombia

During a recent study trip to Colombia, students attended meetings with senior officials (many of whom were Johns Hopkins SAIS alumni) from the public, private, and multilateral sectors. The group also had time between meetings to enjoy beautiful sites like the historic Plaza Bolivar.

Johns Hopkins SAIS students

Our talented students presented their original research on Mexican plant-based businesses run by female entrepreneurs to senior stakeholders at the Inter-American Development Bank and the Aspen Institute.

Johns Hopkins SAIS alumni

Our students were able to deepen their understanding of Sino-Latin American relations in the context of an evolving global trade environment through a research trip to China.

A Strong Sense of Community and Enriching Opportunities in the Latin American Studies Program

"Access to individualized career coaching and internship placement as well as a tight-knit community within my program makes me feel incredibly in place."

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Developing Expertise in Global Energy

"I was instrumental in bringing together students and alumni to discuss critical issues in global energy and infrastructure for the 2018 Infrastructure Conference."

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Check back soon for upcoming events.

Beyond the Classroom

Explore Latin America up close through study treks, internships, and exciting research opportunities.

Internships and Research Fellowships

The program provides funding to allow students to pursue internships and fellowships with leading organizations in Latin America. Recent placements include Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mexico), Thomson Reuters (Brazil), World Bank (Colombia), and Poliarquía Consultores (Argentina).

Study Treks

Each year more than two dozen study treks are organized by academic programs, providing valuable opportunities to conduct field research, engage with partner organizations, and gain new perspectives on major global issues. Recent Latin American Studies study treks have taken students students to Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and China.

Networking Events

Whether you travel to Argentina or Zambia - or countless other locations in the US or around the world - there are LASP alumni with whom you can connect for personal or professional networking.

Latin American Studies Club

Bringing together classmates school-wide interested in Latin America, this extracurricular club offers networking opportunities with alumni and professionals active in the region's markets, culture, and policy.