Dr John Minns is the Director of the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies. He is also an Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University.
He studied Spanish and Latin American Studies at the University of New South Wales where his Honours thesis on Mexico was awarded the University Medal. He later completed a Doctorate at the same University. He is a former Fulbright Scholar, taken at Texas A&M University - Kingsville. Before coming to the ANU in 2003, Dr Minns has been a lecturer at UNSW and the University of Wollongong. The main research interests of Dr Minns centre on the political economy of developing and newly industrializing countries. In pursuing these interests he has conducted research in Mexico, Taiwan and South Korea. His last book, The Politics of Developmentalism, dealt with the role of the state in the industrialization of these case studies.
Dr Minns teaches international political economy and development in Latin America. He won the ANU Students’ Association Award for teaching in 2008, the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation for Teaching in 2009 with a prize of $10,000 and the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010 with a prize of $25,000. He has been an Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Convenor of International Relations.
H.E. Pedro Villagra-Delgado
Born in Tucumán, Argentina on September 1952. He graduated with honours as a Lawyer from Universidad Nacional de Tucuman Law School in 1974.
He obtained his Master in Laws (LLM) in Public International Law at King´s College, University of London, in 1994. Career diplomat who joined the Argentine Foreign Service as Third Secretary, after graduating with honours from the Argentine Foreign Service Institute in 1978. Since October 2005 he is the Argentine Ambassador to Australia and non resident Ambassador to the Fiji Islands since 2007.
From 1980 to 1988 he served at the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the UN and from 1992 to 1996 as Consul General in London. At the Foreign Ministry in Buenos Aires he served at the Legal Advisers Office, as head of the Division for International Security, Nuclear and Space Affairs from 1996 to 2001 and as Chief of Cabinet of the Foreign Minister during 2001, Co-ordinator for Strategic Projects from 2002 to 2005.
Participated and headed numerous Argentine delegations to international negotiations and conferences as well as an expert for the AIEA in Vienna on nuclear matters.
He is a member of the Argentine Council of International Relations (CARI).
He teaches Public International Law at the University of Buenos Aires and has lectured and published on matters relating to international security, non-proliferation, disarmament and democracy and human rights.
Martine Letts joined as Deputy Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy in January 2005 following 4 years as the Secretary General (CEO) of Australian Red Cross and a 17-year career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Martine served as Australian Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, Deputy Head of Mission and Australian Deputy Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna and was an adviser to Foreign Minister Evans from 1992 to 1994. She specialised in arms control and disarmament on postings in Geneva, Vienna and as a policy officer in DFAT. Martine was appointed to the ANU Council on 1 July 2004. She was a member of the Advisory Board of the just concluded International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND), a joint initiative of the Australian and Japanese Governments to reinvigorate international efforts on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
She served 9 years as a Councillor on the Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR), an advisory board to the Australian government. Martine holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Political Science and German) from the Australian National University. She speaks French, German and Spanish.
Bernard Wheelahan was inaugural Chairman of the Council on Australia Latin American Relations (COALAR) from 2001 to 2010.
The Council was established in 2001 by the Australian Government to enhance political, social and economic relationships between Australia and the whole of Latin America. Bernard is an independent company director. He spent his executive career with the Royal Dutch Shell Group, and worked as President of Shell Venezuela from 1996-1999. He is Chairman of Pacific Hydro Pty Limited which has renewable energy projects in Chile and Brazil and was previously Director of Normandy Mining Limited which has had gold mining and exploration interests in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru. His business interests include corporate governance, sustainable development, resources exploration and the systematic management of health safety and environment.
Bernard holds a science degree and a diploma of education. He is a fellow of The Royal Australian Chemical Institute, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, The Australian Institute of Company Directors, and The Australian Institute of Energy. He is a Life Member of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.