CLAI Staff

Dr. James Ferrer Jr. is the director and founder of the Center for Latin American Issues (CLAI) and of the Institute of Brazilian Issues (IBI). Jim has a distinguished academic career. He received a BA in History from Alliance College in his home state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ferrer then went on to receive an MA in Latin American Studies and a PhD in Latin American History at the University of California at Berkeley and a MPA in economics from Harvard University. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Before creating CLAI, he worked for the Department of State for 30 years, holding such posts as Deputy US Ambassador and Acting Ambassador in Brazil; Alternate US Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council; and the Director of Economic Affairs at the US Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal.

Kevin Kellbach has been the Administrative Director at CLAI since 1994. Before that, he was a Portuguese language instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kevin develops and administers CLAI programs and manages the Center’s finances. He also served for seven years as the Managing Editor of Brazil File, CLAI’s monthly publication about economic and political developments in Brazil. Kevin was graduated Phi Beta Kappa with his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he majored in Political Science, Latin American Studies, and Spanish. He also earned a Master’s degree in Luso-Brazilian Studies at UW-Madison. During his years of college, Kevin studied at the Universidade de Coimbra in Portugal and at the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

A native of New York City, Ray Marin was a career diplomatic officer with the U.S. Department of State, serving at embassies and consulates in Central America, Canada, Western Europe, and South Asia, and at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Following his retirement from from the diplomatic service, he became a private business consultant and served for two years as the Executive Director of the Pakistani-American Business Association, a Washington, DC-based organization. He joined CLAI in 1999, where he has specialized in developing new programs. A native speaker of English and Spanish, Ray speaks also Portuguese and French. Ray earned a BA in Political Science from the City College of New York, a Master’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of Michigan, and is a graduate of the Foreign Service Institute’s Advanced Economics Training Program and of the U.S. Army War College.