Our events discuss the most pressing issues in Brazil today. From citizen engagement to social policies to corruption, we engage our community in riveting discussions with experts from the public, private and social sectors.

Upcoming Events


RSVP required. Tickets available here:

Brazil: What Happens after 2018?

Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Political polarization and democracy itself are under severe strain in Brazil.  Economic decline has been severe amid evidence of abundant corruption at the highest levels of government.  In this context, the presidential election scheduled for October 2018 represents a fork in the road. Will the current crisis deepen?  Or will the country move toward recovery?  Understanding the likely consequences of the elections is the major challenge in Brazil today. In this lecture, former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, noted scholar and politician, will help us to look beyond the elections to understand the consequences of critical public policies in education and public security, for political stability and the fight against corruption, and, finally, for a restoration of economic growth in the largest society in Latin America.

Sponsored by the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies and the Columbia Global Centers | Rio de Janeiro, the talk will take place at the Italian Academy,1161 Amsterdam Avenue, on November 14 at 5:30pm.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso (FHC) is one of the most important politicians and intellectuals in Latin America. As an activist for democracy in Brazil, FHC was elected to the presidency of his country in 1994, eventually serving two full terms in office. He presided over the first peaceful transition of power in democratic Brazil when President Lula succeeded him in 2003. During his time in office, he emphasized economic reforms, privatization, foreign investment, and funding for social services and education. FHC is best known for the economic reforms that succeeded in halting the chronic hyperinflation that plagued the country and for introducing a new, stable currency through the Plano Real. FHC was also a Senator, Minister of Foreign Relations, and Minister of Finance. In addition to his prominent role in Brazilian politics today and in the past, he is a sociologist, professor, and researcher who has written extensively about social change, development, and democracy. FHC is Professor Emeritus of the University of São Paulo. His academic career has also included visiting posts at the University of Chile, University of California at Berkeley, and Brown University in the United States as well as at Cambridge University in the U.K. England. He served as President of the International Sociological Association from 1982-1986 and has received honorary doctoral degrees from more than 20 prestigious universities around the world. FHC is an honorary foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Previous Events

Institution-building, Governance and Compliance in Brazil: Politics, Policy and Business

On February 6-7, the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies at Columbia University and the Janey Program in Latin American Studies at the New School for Social Research, in New York will bring together leading practitioners, scholars and high-profile public officers to discuss the effects of Carwash Operation in Brazil’s current and future institutional framework. What has changed so far in terms of political, policy and business practices? For how long? Is there room for further institutional improvements? Is the system reformable? How is the Operation helping to support a market-based development agenda grounded on the rule of law? How are national and foreign investors reacting to these changes and challenges? What comes next for Brazil?

Featured Guest Speakers

Cármen Lúcia Antunes Rocha 
is the Chief Justice of the Brazilian Supreme Court.

Sérgio Fernando Moro is a Brazilian federal judge who has gained national and international fame for commanding the prosecution of the crimes identified in the investigation nicknamed Operação Lava-Jato (Carwash, in English), a corruption probe involving government officials and business executives.

Paulo Roberto Galvão is a Brazilian federal prosecutor, member of the Carwash Operation Task Force which negotiates plea bargains with high-profile politicians and businessmen accused of wrongdoings.

  • RSVP for February 6th at Columbia University here
  • RSVP for February 7th at the New School here

For more information please visit the event’s official page: 

When: 06-07 February 2017 from 9:30 AM to 12:15 PM and 2:30 to 5:00 PM
WhereDay 1 – Columbia University, Low Memorial Library, 535 West 114th St., New York, NY 10027. Day 2 – The New School,  John L. Tishman Auditorium, University Center 63 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003
Who: All interested in Governance.

Relaunch Event and Happy Hour

Fellow Brazilians and Brazilian-lovers,

We are extremely excited to start the semester with good news: The Brazil Talk Initiative will be relaunched at full speed and force and we are delighted to invite fellow Brazilians and all those interesting in learning more about the country to our Relaunch Event and Happy Hour!

Brazil Talk’s website Relaunch will be recruiting new contributors to write about current topics on Brazil. Come talk, discuss, sign up and meet new people with us, and start a great semester ahead. And if you’re interested in participating, come hear what we have to say over drinks.

We look forward to seeing you there! Also invite friends and confirm your presence on Facebook and on Eventbrite.

When: 26 January 2017 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Where: 420 West 118th Street, Room 802, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Who: All interested in Brazil.

War on Drugs: A Discussion on Innovative Brazilian Experiences


Adilson Pires, Deputy Mayor, City of Rio de Janeiro
Rodrigo Abel, Undersecretary, Special Social Protection of the City of Rio de Janeiro
Luis Guilherme Mendes de Paiva, SENAD
Rubem Cesar Fernandes, Executive Director, Viva Rio
Albert Fishlow, Professor Emeritus, Columbia University

When: 20 April 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Where: 420 West 118th Street, Room 802, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Social Innovation and Happiness: why happiness is a key element to inspire innovation, connectivity and change 

Speaker: Mario Chamorro

When: 2 March 2016 from 4:30 to 5:30 PM

Where: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

UN Security Council Reform in a Time of Global Crisis

Speaker: Ambassador Celso Amorim

When: 10 December 2015 from 12:00 to 1:30 PM

Where: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University