Former Costa Rican Official to Address Government Reform
Dr. Kevin Casas-Zamora
Dr. Kevin Casas-Zamora, the former second vice president of Costa Rica and the outgoing secretary for political affairs at the Organization of American States, will present a lecture on Thursday titled “Prospects for Democracy in Latin America.”
The free, public talk will be held in the Jonsson Performance Hall at 7 p.m. No registration is required. It is part of a two-day visit that will include meetings with faculty and administrators as well as informal seminars with student groups.
Sponsored by the Center for U.S.-Latin America Initiatives (CUSLAI), the talk will focus on some of the main structural changes taking place in Latin American politics such as the convergence toward the center of the political spectrum among the public, a renewed interest in reforming political systems and the explosion of social demands that put pressure on those systems.
Casas-Zamora is a senior fellow and director of the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program at the Inter-American Dialogue. He has authored several studies on campaign finance, elections, democratization, citizen security and civil-military relations in Latin America.
Before his current post, he was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and served as the minister of national planning and economic policy during his vice presidency in Costa Rica.
“His impressive experiences as Costa Rican vice president and with the OAS give him unique insights into various themes in U.S.-Latin American relations that carry enormous relevance in the world today.”
The CUSLAI serves to promote research and educational initiatives in Latin American studies and works to strengthen the intellectual and cultural connections between students and faculty.
Dr. Monica Rankin, associate professor of Latin American history who assumed the directorship of CUSLAI one year ago, said she is committed to facilitating interactions with Latin America for faculty and students.
“We at the center are thrilled to be hosting Dr. Casas-Zamora’s lecture and outreach activities with UT Dallas students,” Rankin said. “His impressive experiences as Costa Rican vice president and with the OAS give him unique insights into various themes in U.S.-Latin American relations that carry enormous relevance in the world today. His visit is generating considerable energy and enthusiasm on campus, which I think reflects the growing presence of Latin America within the University community.”
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