Do Populism and Polarization Threaten Latin America?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:10 AM

USFSP Student Center
USFSP University Student Center
200 6th Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Topic Panelists

Bernd Reiter
Bernd Reiter is a full professor of comparative political science and director of the Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean at the University of South Florida (USF). He has experience as an instructor, researcher, institute director, study abroad director, and graduate program administrator. USF is a research 1 university, currently ranked 44 among public universities in the U.S. and #104 among all American universities, with $568 million in annual expenditures. Reiter has received the Distinguished Alum Award from the Political Science Department of the Graduate Center, City University of New York (2019), the William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award from the Florida Education Fund (2019), the Florida Education Fund President’s Award (2016), the USF Faculty Global Achievement Award (2015), and the USF Status of Latinos Faculty Award (2014). Reiter has published over 50 books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed articles on topics related to democracy, race, citizenship, and decolonization. He is the editor of the Routledge Decolonizing the Classics Special Book Series and has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences, including the 2018 World Social Forum.
Linda Whiteford
Linda M. Whiteford holds a Doctorate degree in Anthropology as well as a Masters degree in Public Health, and another Masters degree in Anthropology. She is an Emerita Professor and a Founding Co-Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Non-Communicable Disease at USF, and is also co- creator of the Social Marketing for Social Change Certification Program. Dr. Whiteford has consulted for WHO, PAHO, USAID, the World Bank, and the Canadian Agency for International Development, among other international development agencies. She has received National Science Foundation (NSF) research awards, School for Advanced Research Seminar Awards, The Sol Tax Award for Distinguished Service to Anthropology, and selected as Scholar of the Year by various universities. Dr. Whiteford’s research and consulting has occurred in Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Argentina, Ghana, Cameroon, and Malaysia, as well as in other countries. Previously she was Vice Provost for Program Development and Review, Associate Vice President for Global Strategies and International Affairs, and Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at the University of South Florida, and is a highly sought-after speaker, the author of numerous articles, and eight books. Currently she is actively engaged in the University College London project, RReal, applying qualitative methods to global health care, and with the Global Rapid Response Team working with highly infective diseases.
Ken Yamashita
Since his retirement from the federal government in December 2016, Dr. Yamashita has been serving as an Executive Mentor and Coach for the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID). In this capacity he has travelled to various USAID Missions in Latin America, providing support to senior managers and the staff on matters ranging from leadership skills, strategic direction, and engagement with other U.S. government agencies, such as the State Department. During his over 25 year career, Yamashita served as a USAID Foreign Service Officer, attaining the rank of Career Minister, the highest rank in the Senior Foreign Service at USAID. Immediately prior to his retirement, Yamashita served as a White House Senior Executive Service Appointee as the Associate Director for Global Operations at Peace Corps. In this role, Yamashita was responsible for all operational aspects of Peace Corps programs and offices in over 60 countries supporting over 7,000 volunteers. Prior to this appointment, Yamashita was the U.S. State Department Coordinator for Economic Assistance, Rule of Law and Law Enforcement at Embassy/Kabul. In this Ambassador-rank position, Yamashita directed policy and operational coordination across 13 US Departments, Agencies, and Offices operating in Afghanistan on matters related to economic and development assistance, law enforcement, and rule of law. He was the principal point of contact for NATO and US military assistance in Afghanistan. Yamashita is one of the few three-time Mission Directors at USAID, having served in Kosovo, Colombia, and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he was the first Mission Director to serve two consecutive years after USAID re-started its operations in 2002. In this role he oversaw the surge in development personnel from 250 to 500 and an annual program budget of over $2.0 billion. He was instrumental in starting the first ever Women’s Empowerment program in Afghanistan and the largest of its kind in USAID worldwide. In Colombia Yamashita was instrumental in starting the first-ever dedicated program for Afro-Colombians and Indigenous Colombians. In South Africa as Director of the Health Office, Yamashita and his team started the USAID’s first HIV/AIDS program for the country. This program and the Regional Corridors program that Yamashita directed were key inputs into the design and creation of the PEPFAR program. Yamashita brings over 35 years of development experience in policy and field operations across all major regions of the world. In addition to his leadership in policy and program matters, he has been instrumental in inspiring and empowering staff by serving as mentor and coach. He has been recognized for his service and accomplishments, including a Presidential Rank Meritorious Award in 2008.