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Brazil-US relations expert to speak at UMaine

Posted Nov. 12, 2012, at 11:03 a.m.

Brazil-US Relations Expert to Speak Nov. 12

Bangor native and Brazil-U.S. relations expert Richard Downes will give a free and public presentation at 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 12, in the D.P. Corbett Business Building on the UMaine campus. His talk, “What Brazil’s Emergence as a Global Player Means for the United States,” is presented under the auspices of the UMaine School of Policy and International Affairs.

Downes has been an analyst and practitioner of Brazil-U.S. 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 U.S. Air Force Academy. He is now an independent researcher focusing on Brazil based near Austin, Texas.

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 20th 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.

A graduate of Bangor High School and the USAF Academy, Downes holds a master of arts in Latin America Studies from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of Texas at Austin. During 23 years of military service, he was awarded the Santos Dumont Medal of Merit from the Brazilian Air Force, in addition to several U.S. military decorations. He speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese and is a lifetime member of the Phi Kappa Phi national academic honor society.

Additional details about Downes, who is scheduled to speak earlier in the day in the Rockport area, are available on the Midcoast Forum on Foreign Relations website (http://www.midcoastforum.org/).

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