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D.C. update: Alumni are making an impact on Latin American and Caribbean policy
Alumnus John Barsa ’91 serves as acting administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

D.C. update: Alumni are making an impact on Latin American and Caribbean policy

December 17, 2020 at 1:20pm

There is one clear sign FIU is one of the great public universities in the country: the reach and impact of alumni in the halls of power.

In Washington, D.C., that includes more than 50 alumni working for members of Congress, five currently as chiefs of staff. In any presidential administration, key appointments impacting policy have also been held by many FIU graduates. At last count, nearly 20 have served in high-ranking positions in the Trump administration.

Over the last four years, these alumni have been serving the missions of the White House and Departments of State, Education, Energy, Defense, Homeland Security and the Small Business administration. In many cases, they've also supported their alma mater by opening new doors and helping coordinate a record 15 visits by President Trump and cabinet officials to FIU campuses in Miami and FIU in DC.

The Trump administration twice selected FIU as the venue to convene stakeholders and amplify policies on Latin America and the Caribbean. In June of 2017, the university hosted the Conference on Prosperity and Security and, in February of 2019, President Trump delivered a major address on Venezuela from the arena. In both cases, alumni appointees were instrumental in coordinating the events.

As the presidential transition continues, FIU in Washington, D.C. will take a moment in January to thank these alumni for their service to the country and FIU.  

FIU is the university with the largest concentration of faculty, student and alumni professionals focused on Latin America and the Caribbean. The university's research engagements across the region have been supported by such agencies as Departments of Commerce, State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center has maintained its status as a Department of Education Title VI center for nearly 40 years.

Interested in serving your country?

FIU has a rich history of alumni serving in presidential administrations. With the upcoming presidential transition, the FIU alumni network is poised to be of support for alumni who may be transitioning out of the current administration and seeking new opportunities or those seeking appointments in the new administration.

If you're a current Trump administration appointee or you're pursuing an appointment in the Biden administration, contact FIU in DC at and share your career interests and resume.

FIU partners at the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service have launched Ready to Serve, a centralized resource that guides candidates through every step of the process.

The Biden Harris Transition Team and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have also opened resume banks.

Learn more about Ready to Serve. 

 FIU in Washington, D.C., is an integrated advocacy approach aimed at increasing FIU’s national reputation and federal support for FIU’s preeminent and emerging preeminent programs, faculty and students. The FIU in DC team collaborates with academic units to provide learning experiences and support the placement of students and alumni in internships and permanent employment. 

Panther Pride

Proud alumni from the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs, the College of Business and FIU Law are helping drive policy relating to the Western Hemisphere in two branches of government, the World Bank, the Organization of American States, and at prestigious think tanks in Washington.

John Barsa ’91, acting administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development

Eliot Pedrosa ’95, U.S. executive director, Interamerican Development Bank


Nilda Pedrosa ’96, acting undersecretary of state, U.S. Department of State

Carmen Reinhart ’78, vice president and chief economist, World Bank Group
Carlos Suarez ’04, acting assistant administrator, Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Agency for International Development
Charlyn Stanberry ’13, chief of staff, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke-NY, Congressional Caribbean Caucus
Ana Quintana ’13, senior policy analyst, Latin America and the Western Hemisphere, Heritage Foundation
Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian ’05, director of social inclusion, Organization of American States