Message from the Director

Welcome to LACC!

As a newcomer to FIU (but not Miami), I’m excited by the opportunity to serve students, faculty and the larger community as the new head of the Latin America and Caribbean Center (LACC). Nearly thirty-five years ago our university president, Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg, established LACC with the vision of making it one of the leading centers for the study of the Western Hemisphere. His vision came true.

We are building on that legacy of accomplishment to “Reimagine LACC” in terms of its mission, research agenda and programs at a time when the links between academia and policy intensify. While we staunchly uphold our commitment to support student and faculty research that contributes to building knowledge in their fields, we are just as committed to leveraging FIU’s significant intellectual resources to engage the complex, interdisciplinary policy challenges of today. FIU and LACC are perfectly positioned to offer practical solutions to such complex issues as access to public health, poverty and inequality, energy and the environment, and migration and remittance flows.

Today, LACC’s 200+ affiliated faculty members make it one of the largest concentrations of specialized scholars among all academic centers working in and on the region. LACC, along with local, national and international communities, draws upon this broad interdisciplinary expertise to provide important scholarly, policy-relevant research, and to insure high quality learning experiences to FIU students.

Through its platform of integrated teaching, research, and outreach activities, LACC offers its students in the Masters of Arts in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (MALACS) program a selection of rigorous programs tailored to prepare them for a wide-range of careers in government, business, the non-profit sector, the environmental sciences, research institutions, development agencies, think-tanks, academia, and the culture and arts communities.

Add to this, a privileged location that provides students with the unique opportunity to study and work in the U.S.’ most vibrant, diverse and dynamic “gateway” city to Latin American and the Caribbean nations.

I am delighted to invite you to look at our Center’s web pages for information on our programs of study and the activities and resources that FIU provides in Latin American and Caribbean studies. We look forward to hearing from you and are ready to answer any questions you may have.

Our Director


Frank O. Mora is Director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) and Professor of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University (FIU), Miami, FL. Prior to arriving at FIU, Dr. Mora served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere from 2009-2013. He has held several teaching positions, including Professor of National Security Strategy and Latin American Studies at the National War College, National Defense University (2004-2009) and Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of International Studies, Rhodes College (2000-2004).

During the last twenty years Dr. Mora worked as a consultant to the Library of Congress, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), the National Democratic Institute, U.S. State Department, the Organization of American States, and U.S. Southern Command. He has spoken at numerous conferences in the United States, Latin America and Europe. His opinion pieces and other commentaries have appeared in US and Latin American media outlets.

Dr. Mora is the author or editor of four books, including Latin American and Caribbean Foreign Policy (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), Paraguay and the United States: Distant Allies (University of Georgia Press, 2008) and Neighborly Adversaries: U.S. Latin American Relations (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015); and over thirty academic and policy articles, book chapters and monographs on hemispheric security, U.S.-Latin American relations, civil-military relations, Cuban politics and military and Latin American political economy and integration.

Dr. Mora graduated with a B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University in 1986. He received his M.A. in Inter-American Studies and a Ph.D. in International Affairs from the University of Miami. He also completed studies at universities in Peru and Costa Rica. He is a recipient of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, Department of Defense (2012).