Originally conceived by Dean Bruce Magid, the initiative has already received significant grassroots support. It is funded entirely through donations by alumni and friends, who have also been instrumental in connecting Brandeis IBS to leading universities and companies throughout Mexico, Central and South America.
According to Magid, Latin America is a burgeoning economy that is gaining an increasing foothold in the business world. “Latin America is rapidly making its mark in the global economy,” says Magid, who worked extensively in the region. “It’s rich with opportunities and Brandeis IBS is eager to be part of the efforts to build alliances in the region across business, academia and government.”
The program is meant to promote greater understanding and study of the region by organizing student activities, putting on international alumni events, connecting with Latin American community members domestically and abroad, and bringing to campus distinguished speakers to discuss Latin American issues. The school’s chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) was just named one of four “Student Chapters of the Year” across the country for its active engagement with Latin American students on campus.
The Latin America Initiative focuses on promoting a well-networked Latin community among students, faculty and alumni. Assistant Professor of Economics Ricardo Lopez, who worked for several years as an adviser to the Ministry of Economy in his native Chile, explains that one of the school’s most attractive attributes is the constant effort to maintain a global community filled with different cultures.
“Brandeis IBS is a very exciting place to be because it’s so international,” he says. “We have students from more than 70 countries [and] most professors have professional experience in other countries.”
To date the initiative has, among other things, helped fund a business trip to Mexico and Panama in the summer of 2012 involving select members of the faculty and administration, as well as a trip to Ecuador and Peru in November 2012. The initiative has also been highlighted on the Bloomberg Businessweek website .
To learn more about how to contribute, contact Matt Magida, assistant director of external relations and the Latin America Initiative, at 781-736-4010 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the “Get Involved” section of the Latin America Initiative webpage.