bergadDr. Laird W. Bergad
Executive Director

Dr. Laird Bergad is a Distinguished Professor in the PhD program in History at the Graduate Center and the Department of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies at Lehman College of the City University of New York. He is the founder and Executive Director of CLACLS. His previously published books include Coffee and the Growth of Agrarian Capitalism in Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico; Cuban Rural Society in the Nineteenth Century: The Social and Economic History of Monoculture in Matanzas; The Cuban Slave Market, 1790-1880; The Demographic and Economic History of Slavery in Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1720-1888; The Comparative Histories of Slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States; and Hispanics in the United States: A Demographic, Social, and Economic History, 1980-2005. Laird is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English.
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Phone: 212-817-8465


Dr. Victoria Stone-Cadena
Associate Director

Dr. Victoria Stone-Cadena is the Associate Director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. Before coming back to the Center, she directed the CUNY Mellon Faculty Diversity Initiative (CFDI) in collaboration with University Dean Arlene Torres, PI of the project.  She is a broadly trained socio-cultural anthropologist whose research interrogates gender, race, indigeneity, and ethnic identity in the Americas. She conducted her dissertation research with transnational indigenous migrant families in Southern Highland Ecuador and New York City. Her analyses draw from emerging mobility, migration industry, and indigenous studies, including critical race theory. She holds a doctorate in Anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center. Victoria is fluent in Spanish and English.

Phone: 212 – 817 – 8441


karen_websiteKaren Okigbo
Administrative Director

Karen Okigbo is the Administrative Director at CLACLS. She is also a Ph.D. Candidate in the Sociology Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. At CLACLS, Karen has authored reports on topics ranging from childhood poverty trends in New York City to the impact of Latino citizenship status. Her academic research focuses on immigration, race, ethnicity, and education. Karen has a B.A. in Politics from Princeton University. She also holds an M.S. in Sociology from North Dakota State University as well as an M.S. in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Phone: 212 – 817 – 8438


sebastianSebastián Villamizar Santamaría
Director of Quantitative Research

Sebastián Villamizar Santamaría is the Director of Quantitative Research at CLACLS. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He holds degrees in sociology and geography from institutions in his native Colombia. He is interested in studying spatial inequalities in cities and their outskirts, combining urban and environmental sociology. He joined CLACLS in the Fall of 2015 as a Research Associate, and has written reports on topics related to childhood poverty in the United States, obesity and inequality, and ancestry.

Phone: 212 – 817 – 8466


Andreina Torres Angarita
Events Coordinator

Andreina Torres is a Doctoral Candidate in Cultural Anthropology and is the new Events Coordinator at CLACLS. She is currently in the writing stage of her dissertation which deals with housing activism and affective politics in Caracas Venezuela. Her areas of interest include urban anthropology, gender studies and the anthropology of property. She also holds an MSc in Gender and Development Studies from FLACSO-Ecuador and a BA in Art History and International Development Studies from McGill University.  

Phone: 212 – 817 – 8434


rafael_staffRafael Portela
Research Associate

Rafael Portela did a Master’s Thesis on the history of the fishermen on the nineteenth century Bahia and is currently a PhD candidate in the History Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His academic research focuses on the elites and the economic crisis in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Latin America.

Phone: 212 – 817 – 8434