Director: Dr. Beatriz Padillainterim director Beatriz Padilla

Dr. Beatriz Padilla is the Director of The Institute for the Study of Latin American and the Caribbean, a faculty member of the Department of Sociology at the University of South Florida.    

Dr. Padilla holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; a Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Licenciatura (BA) in Political Sciences and Public Administration from the National University of Cuyo, in Mendoza, Argentina. Her dissertation focused on “Women’s Organizing in a Global Context: Activism in Salvador, Brazil, at the Crossroad of Race, Class and Gender”. She has conducted fieldwork in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Chile and Portugal, and also in the US, with Latino populations in the Midwest and Florida and with Brazilians in Portugal and California.  

Dr. Padilla joined the Department of Sociology at the University of South Florida in 2018. She remains an Affiliated Researcher at the Instituto Universitario de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Portugal. Before joining USF, she was an Associate Professor at the University of Minho and Associate Research Professor at the Instituto Universitario de Lisboa, where she created the first summer school on “Latin America Today”, and launched a new research effort focusing on Comparative and Transnational Studies.  

Dr. Padilla is engaged in many international research projects and networks. She coordinates The Venezuelan Humanitarian Crisis: Migration, Trauma and Resilience and Trajectories of Refuge: Gender, Intersectionality and Public Policies in Portugal. In April 2020, she joined the international consortium “Apart Together” which studies the impact of COVID-19 on migrants and refugees around the world, including the United States. She has been Principal Investigator on several projects, including: “Multilevel governance of cultural diversity in a comparative perspective: EU-Latin America – GOVDIV” (funded by the European Commission); Health and Citizenship: Gaps and needs in intercultural health care to immigrant mothers, and Conviviality and Super-diversity in Lisbon and Granada (funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation). She also was involved in “Understanding the practice and developing the concept of welfare bricolage – UPWEB”, and “Refugium – Building Shelter Cities and New Welcoming Cultures. Link between European Universities and Schools in Human Rights”. She was a consultant to the International Organization for Migrations (IOM) and for the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union on issues of migration.  

 As a migration scholar from the Global South, her interests involve the Transatlantic region that includes Latin America, Europe (Iberoamerica) and the US. Her research focuses on different aspects of migration processes, public policies, health and diversity, gender, race, ethnicity and discrimination. She has published in international journals in different languages: International Migrations, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, Policy & Politics, Journal of European Social Policy, Social Inclusion, América Latina Hoy, Horizontes Antropológicos, Odisea, Arxius, Anuario Americanista Europeo, and Política, Globalidad y Ciudadanía. Her latest publications include “Diversity, Migrations and Citizens’ Participation: Intercultural identities and relations”, co-edited with colleagues from CONICET-Argentina and “Geostrategies of internationalization and spatiality of academic migrations” with colleagues from Mexico and Portugal, both in Spanish.  

She has been an active member of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) since 1998. In LASA, she was the co-chair of the Gender and Feminist Studies Section for the period 2017-2020 and was recently elected co-chair of the International Migration Section. She organizes a Study Abroad Program to Lisbon, Portugal on "Migrations, Human Trafficking & Humanitarian Crisis". 

Dr. Padilla is committed to strengthen ISLAC by constructing further relationships with community partners, strengthening existing faculty members, students and staff’s capacity and skills and fostering a stimulating environment to work and collaborate across disciplines and USF campuses.  

Her email is: padillab@usf.edu