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Wilson Center Announces Retirement of Brazil Institute Director Paulo Sotero


Contact: Ryan McKenna
Phone: (202) 691-4217

April 13, 2020


WASHINGTON –The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars announced today that Paulo Sotero, Founding Director of the Center’s Brazil Institute, would retire this spring.

“Through Paulo’s stellar leadership of the Brazil Institute, it’s hard to overstate how much the Wilson Center has become a point of reference in Washington for high-level Brazilians in business, media, and government. And the Brazil Institute is superbly positioned to continue this essential institutional role moving forward,” stated Robert S. Litwak, the Center’s Senior Vice President.

“The Brazil Institute, which grew from an initiative I helped launch when I was president of Brazil, serves a vital role in creating space for dialogue and cooperation on the rule of law, innovation policy, and other areas of interest to Brazil and the United States. Under Paulo’s leadership, it has grown into one of the preeminent forums for expanding and deepening the connections between our two nations,” says former President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Before joining The Wilson Center, Sotero served as an award-winning journalist and Washington correspondent for Estado de S. Paulo, a leading Brazilian daily newspaper, covering the evolution of his native Brazil and its relationship with the United States. Sotero will continue at the Wilson Center as a Distinguished Fellow, working on a book examining the bilateral relationship between Brazil and the United States, and exploring potential paths of cooperation and conflict ahead. Its working title is “The Brazil-U.S. Disconnect.”

The Center is delighted that the Brazil Institute will continue its vital work under the stewardship of Senior Diplomatic Fellow and Interim Director Ricardo Zúñiga, former U.S. consul in São Paulo, as well as Senior Program Associate Anya Prusa. The Institute’s work will be incorporated into the broader regional framework of the Latin American Program.

 “The importance of the Brazil Institute reflects the commitment of the Woodrow Wilson Center to deepening cooperation and understanding between our Hemisphere’s two largest democracies.  I am confident that Paulo’s tremendous work will continue to flourish under the leadership of Ricardo Zúñiga and Anya Prusa,” stated Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., the co-chair of the Brazil Institute Advisory Council.

Since its founding in 2007, the Brazil Institute has served as a highly respected and authoritative source of research and debate on key issues of bilateral concern between Brazil and the United States. The primary role of the Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—is to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and U.S. institutions in the public and private sectors, as well as in academia and between citizens.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Wilson Center was chartered by Congress as the nation’s living memorial to President Woodrow Wilson. Through the work of its staff and fellows, it connects deep scholarship to urgent policy questions.

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Brazil Institute

The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and U.S. institutions in all sectors.  Read more

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more