Established in 2001, the Center for Brazilian Studies was created to offer a place to scholars where they are able to pursue research on Brazil utilizing all the facilities available at Columbia University. The Center's rich curriculum offers engaging content and a wide variety that continues to attract an increasing number of students. Sponsored seminars and lectures are offered that focus not only on contemporary developments, but history, culture, economics, and political science as well.
The Center is dedicated to innovative teaching at the graduate level on numerous topics of relevance to the economic and political development of Brazil. The Center also serves as a regular forum for lectures and conferences by visiting Brazilian government officials, business leaders, politicians, and representatives of civil society. Past guests have included renowned economist Edmar Bacha, former Central Bank Presidents Arminio Fraga and Henrique Meirelles, Ambassadors Antonio Patriota and Alfredo Graça Lima, and Brazilianist scholars Werner Baer and Riordan Roett.
Through its visiting scholars program, the Center offers Brazilian academic and policy experts the opportunity to be in residence on the Columbia campus and to interact with members of the Columbia faculty with expertise on Brazil and Latin America. The Center also provides a place for rising young Brazilian scholars to spend up to a year at Columbia while conducting their own research. The Center's Ruth Cardoso Visiting Faculty Fellow program brings leading Brazilian scholars to the campus for one-year residencies during which they participate actively in the teaching mission of the Center.
Serving as the key focal point for all students and faculty at Columbia with interest in Brazil, the Center's largest constituencies are students and faculty from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, the Columbia Business School, and from the numerous academic units of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Students are guided to the most relevant literature on Brazil through not only courses and seminars but through connections with leading Brazilian universities as well where they often can also conduct research. Research at Brazilian universities is promoted as well as travel and interships in Brazil so that students can master the Portuguese language on a firsthand basis.
In carrying out its academic mission, the Center stimulates new research and debate on Brazil. In its devotion to teaching, the Center is committed to training future leaders (Brazilians, Americans, and others) for careers in research, government, and in all areas of business related to Brazil.
The Center of Brazilian Studies is supported by generous donors and is especially grateful to Brazilian entrepreneur Jorge Paulo Lemann who has been a dedicated advocate of Brazilian studies in the United States for many years.