Thanks to the LACC/USAID Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Partnership Initiative, exchange between FIU and USAID is expanding exponentially and reaching new heights that benefit the entire FIU community. 

LACC and USAID, through its Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), signed a historic agreement that builds upon respective strengths, experiences, technologies, methodologies, investments, and resources (human, in-kind, and financial) to increase collaboration in areas of international development. 

Housed at LACC and led by LACC, the USAID MSI Partnership Initiative provides student internships and applied training; enhances staff, student, and faculty global competency through tailored professional development, advances positive and sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean through the exchange of knowledge and technical expertise, and cultivates research opportunities and supports career preparation and placement for minorities and other under-represented groups in fields related to international development.

Features of the LACC/USAID MSI Partnership Initiative:

LACC/USAID Student Success Program  

  • Annual USAID presentations to incoming freshmen and underclassmen to ensure MSI students' awareness of opportunities in international development early on in their post-secondary training.   
  • Access to a pool of USAID volunteer mentors to guide FIU students interested in careers in international development, foreign service or foreign affairs throughout their college experience.  
  • Create and promote internship and job opportunities at USAID and USAID partner organizations to help ensure a future pipeline of diverse professionals in fields related to international development.

USAID@FIU Roadshow 2023 

  • LACC hosts USAID front office leadership to FIU to engage with FIU’s best and brightest students and faculty working on and in Latin America and the Caribbean. 
  • Events include student case competitions, USAID LAC partner features, career prep sessions, faculty research consultations, undergraduate research presentations and training sessions through the LACC/JGI Hemispheric Security Conference. 

LACC/USAID Colombia Fellowship Program 

  • Developed especially for FIU students and faculty only. 
  • Provides short-term (2 week) and long-term applied research grants for FIU Panthers to join USAID Colombia-based teams to support USAID’s mission and help solve complex problems. 

LACC/USAID Technical Content Expertise Exchange 

  • LACC affiliated faculty provide technical content expertise to USAID research grantees in areas such as youth violence prevention; climate finance in the Southeastern Caribbean; food scarcity; irregular migration and climate change in the Northern Triangle; and the impact of extreme events on under-resourced communities.  
  • USAID provides customized support to LACC faculty and students interested in pursuing and strengthening academic, research and/or professional credentials related to international development and the LAC region. 


  • Funded by LACC’s Title VI grant, a new FIU in DC Latin American and Caribbean Internship Program Coordinator to increase placement of MSI students in LAC-related domestic and international internships relevant to US government service, policy and other areas of national interests  
  • LACC/FIU in DC LAC Internship Fair brings together potential and current LAC-focused FIU interns in DC and Miami to support community building, networking, MSI student career preparedness and FIU recruiting/placement efforts in areas of strategic interest, public policy, public service and the professions.  
  • LACC/FIU in DC Professional School Latin American and Caribbean Fly-In provides a new three-day experiential seminar for Professional School pre-professionals explores how policies are made, what career opportunities exist in Washington, D.C., and competitive advantages of being an Hispanic-Serving Institution pre-professional. Itineraries consist of conversations and experiential learning with experts across government offices and agencies, organizations and industries in areas of national need and strategic interest. Each Fly-In includes an opportunity to draft policy solutions and to participate in advocacy meetings on Capitol Hill In partnership with FIU Professional Schools including Law, Public Administration, Education, Hospitality, and Business. 

For more information:

Liesl Picard, Director, LACC/USAID MSI Partnership Initiative

Lindsay Dudley, Co-Director, LACC/USAID MSI Partnership Initiative