Alumni Story: Louis W. Goodman '64

My Dartmouth Latin American Studies degree has been the foundation of my professional life for 5 decades. The mixture of humanities and social science gave me the basis for re-inventing my interests throughout my career. After leaving Dartmouth (where I spent a summer in a rural Mexican village, a semester studying in Lima Peru and a summer interning at the Inter American development Bank), I directly entered a PhD Program in Sociology where my dissertation work focussed on development in Latin America (a year living in Santiago, Chile) and I was also able to gain a foundation in economics.

In 1969 I was hired by Yale University's Sociology Department where I was able to teach and research about Latin America and development. In 1973 I left Yale to direct the Social Science Research Council's Latin American Studies Program and I worked with Kalman Silvert (my Dartmouth mentor), Albert Hirschman, Fernando Henrique Cardoso and other amazing scholars to build a foundation for the multidisciplinary study of Latin America and to link it with similar scholarship in Latin America and in Europe. In 1974, following the Chilean coup against the government of Salvador Allende Gossens, my father (William Goodman, Dartmouth '39) and I endowed the Salvador Allende Prize at Dartmouth which is awarded each year for the best undergraduate work on social justice in Latin America. I am very proud of the many wonderful individuals who have received this award over the years.

1978 I returned to Yale teaching at the School of Management and researching foreign investment in Latin America. In 1980 I was hired by the government of Mexico to advise them on their foreign investment policy and I commuted from New Haven to Mexico City. In 1981 I was invited to direct the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars Latin America Program where I worked with writers including Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas LLosa and social scientists including Sergio Bitar and Jorge Balan.

In 1986 I returned to a university setting and became Dean of American University's School of International Service, a position I held until 2011 and where I continue to serve as professor and Emeritus Dean. In addition to guiding and growing the school I created, with Uruguayan scholar Juan Rial, a massive project on civil-military relations which significantly impacted that field of studies. I was also able, supporting the Canadian Maurice Strong, to revitalize the UN University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica. Most important, as Dean I had to cover the whole world and my work now puts Latin America in a global comparative context, especially making comparisons with Asia. I am writing this message from Narita Airport in Tokyo where I am en route home to develop a new project on regional alliances comparing the Latin American experience with that of other regions.