Press Release

Merike Blofield New Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

The GIGA has a new board member: Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield takes up her position as Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

Hamburg, 16 January 2020 – The GIGA Board of Trustees has, following an international selection procedure, appointed Merike Blofield as the new director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies, effective immediately. The role comes with a professorship for "Society and Politics in Latin America" within the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences at Universität Hamburg.

Merike Blofield joins the GIGA from the University of Miami, where she has been Professor of Political Science and Director of the Gender and Sexuality Studies program. Blofield’s research addresses gender and socio-economic inequalities, politics and policy, with a focus on Latin America. Her expertise will strengthen in particular the GIGA Research Programmes “Accountability and Participation” and “Growth and Development.”

The new director takes over the management of the regional institute from Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach. The latter had successfully been in charge as acting director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies since June 2018. She followed Prof. Dr. Detlef Nolte when retiring after his many years of commitment to the GIGA. The president of the GIGA, Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar, and the whole executive board are looking forward to working with Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield, and express their sincere gratitude to Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach for her outstanding stewardship.

The GIGA executive board brings together experts on Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as on global developments. Together they steer the GIGA as a whole.

GIGA Executive Board

Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar
President of the GIGA
Expertise: international trade, trade disputes and WTO reform, multilateral negotiations, geoeconomics and global governance, emerging powers (especially India)

Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner
Vice President of the GIGA, Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies
Expertise: The Korean conflict, Japan, New Zealand, foreign policy think tanks, comparative area studies

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau
Director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs
Expertise: ethnic, religious, and resource conflicts, political institutions, parties and democratisation (especially in sub-Saharan Africa)

Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield
New since January 2020: Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies
Expertise: gender and socio-economic inequalities, politics, social and labor policies, with a focus on Latin America

Prof. Dr. Eckart Woertz
Director of the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies
Expertise: political economy of the Middle East and North Africa, energy issues, food security

Dr. Peter Peetz
Head of Finances and Administration at the GIGA

Julia Kramer
Chief Officer to the President
Tel.: +49 (0)40 - 42825-540

Verena Schweiger
Head of Communications Department
Tel.: +49 (0)40 - 42825-770

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