Dr. Susan Kaufman Purcell is the Director of the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami. Prior to assuming her current position in 2005, she was Vice President of the Council of the Americas and the Americas Society in New York. Between 1981 and 1988, Dr. Purcell was a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. She also served on the U.S. Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Before joining the U.S. government, Dr. Purcell was a tenured professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. degree in Spanish from Barnard College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Columbia University. Dr. Purcell has written, co-authored or co-edited eleven books and about 200 articles. She writes a column for AmericaEconomia magazine and regularly comments on developments in Latin America on radio and television programs in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Dr. Purcell is a director of Valero Energy Corporation, a Fortune 100 company based in San Antonio, Texas, and formerly served on a number of mutual fund boards. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of The Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., as well as a former Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center.