Bios of Staff and Volunteers


Tom Barry, Senior Policy Analyst and Americas Policy Program Fellow: As senior policy analyst, Tom Barry participates in assigning, writing, and editing major pieces as well as defining strategic objectives of the Americas Policy Program. He began his career as a political activist and analyst at Georgetown University in the late 1960s. He worked as an investigative journalist for the Navajo Times in New Mexico and in 1971 founded an investigative newspaper. In 1979 he co-founded the Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC), and joined CIP in 2007. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 books on Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, food aid, the United Nations,
free trade, and U.S. foreign policy. These include The Great Divide: Challenge of U.S.-Mexico Relations in the 1990s (Grove Press), Feeding the Crisis: U.S. Food Aid and Farm Policy in Central America (University of Nebraska), The Next Fifty Years: The United Nations and the United States, and the award-winning Zapata’s Revenge: Free Trade and the Farm Crisis in Mexico (South End Press). He has also edited volumes on foreign policy such as Global Focus: U.S. Foreign Policy at the Turn of the Millennium (St. Martin’s Press).

Laura Carlsen, Director of the Americas Policy Program: Laura Carlsen holds a B.A. in Social Thought and Institutions from Stanford University and a Masters degree in Latin American Studies, also from Stanford. In 1986 she received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the impact of the Mexican economic crisis on women and has lived in Mexico City since then. She has published numerous articles and chapters on social, economic, and political aspects of Mexico and recently co-edited Confronting Globalization: Economic Integration and Popular Resistance in Mexico, and co-authored El Café en Mexico, centroamerica y el caribe: Una salida sustentable a la crisis. Before joining the Americas Policy Program, Carlsen was a correspondent for Latin Trade magazine, editor of Business Mexico, freelance writer, and researcher. As program director, she is responsible for writing, assigning, and editing materials; representing the organization in public forums; seeking out and maintaining collaborative relationships; and administering the Mexico City office and staff.

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Monica Wooters, Americas Program Associate: Monica lives in Mexico City where she works for the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Southern California and has extensive experience in social movements and human rights issues in Mexico and Central America. She has lived two years in Guatemala and participated in anthropological field research in Guatemala as well as Panama. Prior to joining the Americas Program, Monica worked nearly two years on human rights issues in Chiapas and Guerrero with the International Service for Peace after volunteering with the CASA Chiapas Peace House. She has led international delegations to bring attention to the political situation in Southern Mexico, monitored U.S. foreign policy in Mexico with an emphasis on increased militarization and the criminalization of social protest, and conducted research on the impacts of U.S. military strategies on Chiapas’ state policies, and the effects of transnational corporations on the local economy. Monica is a native of Los Angeles California and is bilingual in English and Spanish.

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Michael Collins, Research Assistant: Michael Collins lives in Mexico City where he is a research assistant for the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy. He holds a B.A. (Hons) in Arts and Social Sciences from Strathclyde University in Glasgow. Born in Scotland, he has lived in London, Paris, Catalunya, and Madrid and speaks French, Spanish, and Catalan, as well as his native English.

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Chellee Chase-Saiz, Web and Production Manager: Chellee Chase-Saiz is our Web and Production Manager. She has over 10 years of experience in computer-based media production and information systems. Chellee is also a teacher and motivational speaker, a former business owner, and an activist. As a professional writer she has more than 50 published articles.


Thanks to our generous volunteers!

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David Alford is an experienced translator and editor of web content at the European Commission in Brussels, Europe. He is a passionate, if largely passive (translation work for the Americas Program excepted) supporter of progressive causes in general.

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Adriana Alvarez Andrade studied Biology at the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, where she participated in the environmental and anti-nuclear movement in the 1980s. She is currently a professor and researcher at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana, where she coordinates the Masters in Integral Environmental Management.

Patricia Black graduated from the University of California at Davis with a BA in Spanish, lived and taught in Colombia for three years, worked for the United Farm Workers for a year, retired from the
Social Security Administration after 23 years, and currently teaches Spanish at Del Norte High School in Crescent City, CA.

Maria Dolores Bolivar holds a BA in Political Science from San Diego State University (SDSU) and a PhD in Cultural Studies and Literature by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She is currently an independent journalist, translation consultant, and Assistant Professor at San Diego Mesa College.

Eliot Brockner is a freelance media analyst and writer covering Latin American Politics and US-Latin American Relations. His writing has been published on International Relations and Security Network and UpsideDownWorld. He is a regular contributor to He is a graduate of Amherst College with a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish, and currently lives in New York. See his website at

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Vicente Castañar Flores is an English teacher and independent professional translator from Mexico City. He is is available for other work when he’s not bike-riding or finding creative ways to recycle.

María de la Soledad Laura Cervantes Ramírez (Marisol for short). Born in Mexico City. 49 years old and counting. Voracious reader since 4 years old. Degree in Translation obtained in 1979. First employed in the now-deceased right-wing paper El Heraldo de Mexico. Graduate course in Literary Translation at El Colegio de Mexico (1980-82). Employed and free-lance translator (English, French, Spanish) for about 30 years. Combined with acting on the stage (small-time) for about 12 years. Specialty in Legal Translation since 2000, diplomas from Escuela Libre de Derecho. For the last 12 years has worked as executive assistant / translator for big lawfirm in Mexico City. Fascinated with History of the world and of religions and almost all fields including Economy and Medicine. “Desk activist” since about 2000. Thinks love and humor are the best medicine, experience, curiosity, and common sense are the best teachers.

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Tracy Dreyer is a freelance translator based in Central America. A native speaker of English, he is fluent in Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Aside from ongoing translations for governmental and non-governmental agencies, universities, and research programs, he teaches English at the university and junior-high levels in El Salvador, where his wife and he are raising their three children. In his free time he
volunteers for the Bahá’í Faith as a member of a local board of directors.

Nalina Eggert is fascinated by words, among other things. When not studying for her degree in Latin American Studies, playing sax, dancing, or dabbling in languages, she loves the challenge of a good Spanish-English translation.

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Charlotte Elmitt has taught High School in the UK and lived in Central America and Mexico, where she spent time volunteering. She has a Masters in International Development, specializing in youth gangs in Central America. She currently works at a human rights research organization and volunteers in her free time.

Frances Lima Goodingham was born in Brazil, studied philosophy and sociology at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, and in 1993 moved to London. She graduated in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London and gained a Masters in Latin American Politics from the Institute of Latin American Studies, now the Institute for the Study of the Americas of the School of Advanced Studies, University of London. She currently works as a qualified social
sciences and literary translator.

Marina Muscan graduated from the National Defence College in Bucharest and the Faculty of Communication and Public Relations from the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration. She also has a Masters in International Project Management and now she is taking master courses in International Relations at the Department of International Relations at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest.

Tony Phillips Tony Phillips is an economic analyst specialized in South American Regional Economics (UNASUR/Mercosur/ALBA) and Ecological Economics (Energy/Climate Justice/Ecological Debt). He has two decades of international work experience in the information technology and financial sectors. He lives in Argentina and can be found in and or at

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Annette Ramos holds a masters in Spanish and Latin American literature, and is a freelance judicial interpreter and translator. She is interested in current events in the Spanish-speaking world, and in enabling alternative viewpoints to get disseminated as widely as possible.

Lorena Rodriguez Bojorquez-White is originally from Guadalajara (Mexico), has an International Business degree from ITESM and a Masters in International Development from EHESS in Paris (research on NAFTA’s impact on the Mexican sugar industry). For the last three years she has done evaluations of humanitarian aid projects for the Red Cross in the Caribbean. She lives on the French island Guadeloupe.

María Roof teaches Latin American Literatures and Cultures in the Graduate School at Howard University, Washington, DC. She is writing a book on unrecognized Chilean women novelists from the beginning of the 20th century.

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Lezlie L. Shackell Lezlie L. Shackell is a graduate student of Spanish at Howard University in Washington, DC. During
her eight years living in Latin America, she spent four years in Panama and four years in Ecuador working as an events coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Quito.

Gracia Tenorio-Pearl was born in Mexico but currently lives in Canada. She has a Masters in International Affairs from Carleton University. In addition to Spanish she speaks English and French.

Megan Tiano is a senior at Lehigh University pursuing a double major in international relations and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. She has studied abroad in Argentina at the University of Buenos Aires and Factultad Latino Americana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO).

Sonja Wolf has a BA in Modern European Studies from University College London and an MSc in International Politics from SOAS, University of London. She is currently writing her PhD thesis on the responses to the youth gangs in El Salvador. Prior to her doctoral studies, she held a variety of posts, including in the NGO sector and the United Nations.


Americas Policy Program Analysts

Eduardo Gudynas is an analyst at CLAES D3E, a center for the investigation and promotion of sustainable development (

Talli Nauman is co-founder and co-director of Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness, as well as working on many other environmental initiatives and collaborating with the Americas Policy Program.

Ariela Ruiz Caro is a Peruvian economist from Humboldt University in Berlin, with a masters is economic integration processes at the University of Buenos Aires. She is an international consultant on trade, integration, and natural resources at the CEPAL and adviser to Mercosur’s administration. She worked for the Andean Community between 1985 and 1994.

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Raúl Zibechi is an international analyst at Brecha, a weekly journal in Montevideo, Uruguay, professor and researcher on social movements at the Multiversidad Franciscana de América Latina, and adviser to grassroots organizations. He writes the monthly "Zibechi Report" for the CIP Americas Policy Program (



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