Dr. Richard Downes
Monday, November 12 at Point Lookout
Topic: What Brazil's emergence as a global player means for the United States
Dr. Richard Downes, an expert on Brazil-U.S. relations and a Bangor native, has been an analyst and practitioner of Brazil-US relations through military, academic and business pursuits for more than three decades. He is formerly Associate Dean of Academics at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies of the National Defense University and professor of history at the USAF Academy. He is now an independent researcher focusing on Brazil based near Austin, Texas. He will address “What Brazil’s Emergence as a Global Player Means for the United States” during a luncheon presentation.
Dr. Downes’ experience with Brazil began with a year’s residence near Rio de Janeiro in 1982 conducting research for his doctoral dissertation regarding ties related to technology transfer between the United States and Brazil during the early twentieth century. He subsequently served for four years as the Brazil desk officer for plans and policy on the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the chairmanships of Admiral William Crowe and General Colin Powell and prepared recommendations on national policy issues related to Brazil.
Subsequently, in the private sector, he supported the expansion of wireless telecommunications services in Brazil as the Latin American director for a leading industry trade association, 3G Americas. He also was a persistent advocate for standardization of Brazilian wireless services in trade media and conferences. As an academic, he has published a leading study on how U.S. business became the pre-eminent foreign presence in the Brazilian economy and is the editor of a volume on the impeachment for Brazilian president Fernando Collor de Mello that was also published in Brazil by the prestigious Getúlio Vargas Foundation. He was a keynote speaker on “Defense Technology Transfer: Programmatic and Practical Issues” at the 2009 Defense Seminar of the Latin America Aerospace Conference in Rio de Janeiro. His latest study, “Trust, Engagement, and Technology Transfer: Underpinnings for U.S.-Brazil Defense Cooperation,” was published in August of this year by the Institute for National Strategic Studies of the National Defense University.
He is currently preparing for publication an expanded version of his doctoral thesis to be entitled “Precursors of Economic Globalization: The United States and Brazil’s Agriculture, 1808-1995,” also focusing on technology transfer between the United States and Brazil.