Alexander Wilde was from 2000-04 the Ford Foundation Vice President for Communications, with global responsibilities for three primary program areas and 12 overseas offices. He formerly directed Ford’s regional office in Santiago, Chile (1994-99), supporting innovative work in Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. From 1987-93, he directed WOLA (the Washington Office on Latin America), an NGO concerned with human rights and U.S. foreign policy, and gave frequent testimony on these issues before Congress. He previously held senior research and management positions at the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame (1982-87), and the Woodrow Wilson Center (1978-82). He has taught at Georgetown, George Washington, Notre Dame, Haverford College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2011 and 2014 he was Scarff Distinguished Visiting Professor at Lawrence University of Wisconsin.

Project Summary

Analyze the parallel, inter-related developments of religion and violence that have so marked societies throughout Latin America. Relates to two emerging trends in scholarship: the incipient, growing study of religious responses to criminal violence today; and the revision of previous interpretations of religion, violence and human rights in light of new research questions and evidence – historicizing events and processes now in “the past.” To illuminate continuities as well as differences from past to present, both in forms of violence and the churches’ responses.

Major Publications

“Human Rights in Two Latin American Democracies.” In Sustaining Human Rights in the Twenty-first Century: Strategies from Latin America, edited by Katherine Hite and Mark Ungar, 35-71. Baltimore, MD: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, Johns Hopkins University Press (2013).

“A Season of Memory: Human Rights in Chile’s Long Transition.” In The Politics of Memory in Chile: From Pinochet to Bachelet, edited by Cath Collins, Katherine Hite, and Alfredo Joignant, 31-60. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner (2013).

Previous Terms

Senior Scholar& Board Member, Oct 2009-May 2015