María Alejandra Vélez 

Fall 2013 Mellon Visiting Professor

Dr. Vélez is Associate Professor of Management and Resource Economics at the Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. She received her Ph.D. from UMass, Amherst in 2006 focusing her dissertation on a critical environmental and development topic--the use of shared local natural resources by artisan fishermen in rural Colombia.  From 2006-2008, Vélez was a postdoc at the Center for Research on Environmental Decision (CRED) at Columbia University. While there, she worked with an interdisciplinary group of researchers (anthropologists, psychologists and economists) and developed a research agenda together with Alexander Pfaff (Duke Sanford School of Public Policy and Nicholas School of the Environment) on decision making under uncertainty and scarcity, with a focus on water management and climate variability in NE Brazil and Colombia.  

At the undergraduate level, Dr. Vélez teaches an introductory Public Management class with a focus on the Colombian civil conflict. At the masters level, she teaches Intro to Environmental and Natural Resources Economics. At the doctoral level, she teaches an Intro to Experimental Economics. Vélez has also designed and supervised a field project in the Pacific coast of Colombia where undergraduate and graduate students have been supporting a rural community in an eco-touristic initiative that aims toimprove members’ quality of life while preserving natural resources and the environment.

Dr. Vélez will be teaching two courses at Duke Fall 2013. 



About the Mellon Visiting Professorship

Funding from an endowment from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation allows the Duke Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies to host visiting professors from Latin America and the Caribbean on a regular basis.

The consistent presence of visiting professors and artists from Latin America and the Caribbean serves to strengthen our course offerings (especially for undergraduates), stimulate international and interdisciplinary collaboration, and enhance our visibility as an outstanding center for research and teaching about the region. In particular, this program enables CLACS to establish enduring intellectual and institutional partnerships in Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps us to establish new relationships and strengthen existing ones as part of ongoing exchanges with institutions of excellence in higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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María Alejandra Vélez


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