Brian Fonseca, the director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at Florida International University, will speak at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30 at St. Columba Episcopal Church as part of the Friends of the Marathon Library Speaker Series. The foreign policy expert will take a broad look at the crisis of democratic governance in the Americas. Specifically, Fonseca will analyze the increasing geopolitical competition between the U.S. and Russia and China for influence in the hemisphere.

“For the U.S.’s national interest, the Western Hemisphere is vital,” said Fonseca. “The region has come a long way in the process of democratization, but we’re now starting to see the effects of the failure to further deepen democratic reforms. … China is the strategic threat of our time, and Russia is the operational threat.”

Fonseca brings 17 years of experience in intelligence and security, with a focus on China and Latin America. “I school-trained in China. I thought I would be a China expert,” he said.. “But, I was hired to research Latin American militaries and security, and now I put the two together to analyze the impact of China on the Latin American region.” He adds, “It’s been an interesting career trajectory, and it started because I needed a job.”

Fonseca bounces between academia and the intelligence community, supporting the U.S. Southern Command. To learn more, come to the talk on Jan. 30, visit gordoninstitute.fiu.edu, or email Fonseca at [email protected]

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