Leonardo Avritzer is full professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. He is the current president of the Brazilian Political Science Association. He is one of the most renowned political scientists in Brazil. Professor Avritzer is particularly well known for his groundbreaking work on innovative forms of political participation, including the celebrated participatory budget experience in Porto Alegre (this institute has been replicated all over the world, including NYC). In addition to his ongoing research, Professor Avritzer is the chair of PRODEP, a research consortium funded by the Ford Foundation and various Brazilian government agencies. This consortium has organized data collection on democratic participation in over 40 municipalities, with the involvement of scholars from São Paulo, Campinas, Brasília, Recife and Porto Alegre. Results from this effort have already been published in several books and articles.
From 2005 to 2011, Professor Avritzer chaired the political science committee of CAPES, the government agency responsible for accrediting, evaluating and overseeing all graduate programs in political science in the country, as well as financing research. Under his guidance, CAPES sponsored the creation of new political science programs throughout the Brazilian North and Northeast. CAPES also authorized and supported new PhD programs in political science at major universities in the Centre and South of the Country, including Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais and Brasilia.
Professor Avritzer obtained his PhD at the New School for Social Research. His Ph.D. dissertation received the New School for Social Research Albert Salomon Dissertation Award. He has held visiting positions at Tulane University, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and MIT.