Tulane students in celebrated economist Nora Lustig's "Inequality and Poverty in Latin America" course were recently given the rare opportunity to engage with policy makers in the nation's capital. Partnering with the Inter-American Dialogue and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), thirteen students traveled to Washington, D.C. as part of the new "Bridges to Policy" program created by Lustig, Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics and Director of the Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQ) at Tulane University.
Over the span of three intensive days, both graduate and undergraduate students met and engaged with analysts from leading think tanks and policy makers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Organization of American States (OAS). Topics ranged from Brazil under Bolsonaro, China and Latin America's development, challenges of quality education, migration in the Americas, and shielding the poor from crisis in Argentina, among several other discussions.
“The ‘Bridges to Policy’ program uniquely exposes our students to the fascinating world of policy-in-the-making, the value of knowledge in policymaking, and the many career paths open to students interested in influencing policy,” explained Lustig.
Bethany Beachum, a graduate student in Latin American Studies, believes the experience was eye opening."The 'Bridges to Policy' program has influenced my understanding of my career and research focus by putting names and faces with institutions that I only understood vaguely or in theory prior to this."
After this program's great success, the School of Liberal Arts looks forward to making the "Bridges to Policy" program part of the school's regular curriculum.