Brazil Talk has a new Board of Directors for the 2023/24 term

In March 2023, Brazil Talk, a non-partisan collaboration founded in 2015 by Brazilian Students at Columbia University, announced a new directorship for the 2023/24 term. 

Brazil Talk’s primary goal is to facilitate networking and provide content to SIPA students on current Brazilian topics. The organization has grown to include graduate students from SIPA, Teachers College, and the Earth Institute, as well as contributors from research centers, media, public, private, and non-profit sectors.

For the 2023/24 term, Brazil Talk’s new directorship has identified three primary areas of focus. The first pillar, “Debates and Publication,” aims to promote knowledge of critical Brazilian topics through initiatives such as the Brazil Talk Dialogue, which will invite specialists to discuss urgent Brazilian issues. The Brazil Talk website and social media accounts will also publish articles, OpEd pieces, and other publications to promote students’ opinions on its main priorities.

The second pillar, “Professional Development & Networking,” will facilitate knowledge sharing on Brazilian issues and professional opportunities for Columbia students. The Brazil Public Policy Summer Internship Program is an exchange program that offers Columbia students a professional experience in Brazilian government institutions, enhancing their professional and personal experiences while offering support to government institutions with a high-quality labor force. In 2023, the program will collaborate with Brazilian city halls for student exchanges.

The third pillar for the 2023/23 period is “Promoting Brazilian Culture,” which will offer several initiatives to celebrate Brazilian culture and the country’s multiple identities. Brazil Talk celebrated the 2023 carnival in February with students from different countries and programs, and other events will be developed to celebrate important dates such as the Sao Joao celebration.

In 2023, Brazil Talk has already organized several meetings and debates at SIPA with Congresspeople, Secretaries of States, civil society leaders, and businessmen. The aim of Brazil Talk is to become a reference in discussing the main Brazilian issues, contributing to Columbia students throughout their academic and professional development.

Photo: New board meeting.

Meet the new board members:

Ana Cláudia Costa (SIPA – MPA): Ana Claudia is a Master of Public Administration candidate with a focus on Economic Development and specialization in Leadership, Innovation, and Design at the School of Public Administration (SIPA), Columbia University. She holds a JD from Fundação Getulio Vargas and has over 6 years of experience in designing and implementing social development projects in State and Municipal governments and the third sector. Currently, she works on developing sustainable supply chains at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI).Coming from the Brazilian Amazon region, her goal is to make the region a role model in sustainable development with a focus on the population’s social welfare. She is 2022 Person of the Year Fellow, 2023 Lemann Innovation and Social Entrepreneur, World Bank Youth Summit delegate, Vetor Brasil alumni, Prolider fellow, and also received an honorable mention in the Miranda Rosa Quality Award.

Israel Rocha (SIPA – MPA): Israel Borba is a Master of Public Administration candidate – International Finance and Economic Policies concentration – at SIPA, Columbia University. He holds a Bachelor of Law from the Federal University of Santa Catarina and he is committed to public innovation with experience in public and private operations, ESG and political strategy. Israel is passionate about Brazilian and Latin American Affairs and he is a fellow of Prolider, RAPS, Acredito and RenovaBR leadership programs.

Izabel Ferreira (SIPA – MPA): Izabel Ferreira is a lawyer and public manager with 6 years of professional experience in state governments in Brazil (Minas Gerais and Maranhão). She is passionate about improving Brazil’s socio-economic reality through good public policies and capacity building. She is a first-year student at the Master in Public Management program at SIPA, concentrating in Political and Economic Development and specializing in Leadership. She is an alumni of Vetor Brasil and fellow at Fundação Estudar, Fundação Lemann, Instituto Ling, and Person of the Year. She is responsible for institutional relations at Brazil Talk.

João Adrien (SIPA-MPA-ESP): Joao Adrien is currently enrolled in a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy, at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University. He holds and BA on Economic Sicence and has worked for more than ten years with policies and private strategies on agriculture, food systems and its intersection with climate change. Working on the third sector, private sector and at the federal government his professional goal is to ensure that Brazil will keep its global leadership on food security while conserving its natural resources and contributing to tackle climate change. Currently he is Vice President of the Brazilian Rural Society (SRB) and member of the Agriculture Superior Council of the Sao Paulo Industry Federation (COSAG-FIESP).

Luiza Vilanova: When she was 15, Luiza Vilanova created Gotinhas do Bem—a social project that facilitates socio-emotional learning in public schools. As CEO and founder, she led the organization to impact 8,000 children in more than 15 Brazilian states and seven other countries. As the president of Movimento Acredito, she helps to manage over 3000 volunteers and 20 elected officials. The young woman studies Political Science and Education at Columbia University while working at UNICEF as a Young Ambassador. Most recently, she founded Tocando em Frente. The NGO fosters social equity through transformative education for middle school kids in Brazil’s countryside using play-centered activities. Upon graduation, she will return to Brazil in order to support every child to chase their biggest dreams while creating the conditions for them to do so, either through policy-making or third-sector initiatives.

Luma Dias (SIPA – MIA): Luma Dias received a bachelor’s in International Relations from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and concluded an MBA in Economics and Sustainability Management at the same institution. At the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in New York, she is now pursuing a Master of International Affairs with a concentration in Energy and Environment and specializing in United Nations Studies. Previously, she worked as Climate Finance Manager for the British Government in Brazil, enhancing international cooperation for protecting tropical forests and supporting sustainable livelihoods in Brazilian biomes. She is a Lemann Fellow, and a CGEP Energy & Climate Fellow. In parallel to her studies, Luma acts as International Lead for the Arapyaú Institute, working to make Brazil a protagonist in the climate agenda

Marcelo Scalabrin (SIPA – MPA): Marcelo Scalabrin is a Master of Public Administration Candidate at SIPA, with a Concentration in Urban and Social Policies, and a Specialization in Management. Previously, he worked for four years as a Consultant for Boston Consulting Group (BCG), advising Governments, NGOs, Financial Institutions, and Energy clients in Brazil, the U.S., and India. He also worked as an Urban Policy Advisor for the Fortaleza City Hall, in Brazil. After graduating in May, he will go back to the BCG Office in Rio de Janeiro.

Matheus Marlisson (GSAS – MA):Matheus Marlison is an M.A. candidate in Global Thought with the Committee on Global Thought at GSAS/Columbia University. Before joining Columbia, he worked as a Senior Associate for the Gerson Lehrman Group in investment projects across Latin America. With over ten years of experience supporting governments, non-profits, and private organizations with economic and human developmental projects across the world, he aims to continue his professional efforts through public and diplomatic work contributing to Brazil’s sustainable development. He started his journey leading youth leadership, climate justice, and disaster preparedness projects in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro when he was 14. Matheus holds a B.A. in International Studies and Political Science from Centre College, where he graduated as a Lincoln Scholar and focused his research on international development and public governance. He is currently a Weatherhead Fellow pursuing research on Rio de Janeiro as a global city and a Global Thought Leadership Fellow, helping to design a multidisciplinary professional certification program in partnership with the Columbia Centers in Rio, Paris, and Istanbul. He plans to join the global climate agenda and contribute to Brazil’s social and political development.

Rafaella Lopes (SIPA – MPA): Rafaella Lopes is a Master of Public Administration student at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), concentrating in Political and Economic Development and specializing in Data Analytics & Quantitative Analysis and Leadership. She holds a BA in Public Administration from FGV-SP. Before joining Columbia, she worked in the private and in the nonprofit sectors. Her purpose is to improve public policies and reduce inequalities in Brazil by increasing representativity, diversity and inclusion in leadership positions in the government. She is a Lemann Fellow, and 2022 Person of the Year Fellow.

Thaís Croco:

Thais is a Master’s in Public Administration Candidate with a double degree from Columbia University and Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil. With an Engineer background, she loves data and technology but has discovered her vocation in education and social impact, volunteering in Brazil, South Africa, and Germany. She has worked for the last 4 years in the Lemann Foundation ecosystem supporting local governments to implement better educational policies during the pandemic and planning school reopening. Priorly, she worked with leadership development, managing KPIs, creating capacity-building for the Fellows network, process mapping, and grantmaking.

Brazil Talk Networks:




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