International Spotlight: Gustavo Macedo

Which program/department are you in?

I am a Visiting Scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and a Visiting Researcher at the Global Policy Initiative.

What is your primary area of study or research? 

Atrocity Prevention and Principles of Protection.

Which country (or countries) do you come from?


How long have you been in the U.S.?

10 months. This is my second time as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia.

Is there anything you’d like to share about your research or projects?

My research on principles of human protection focus on the United Nations. In this sense, there is no better place for me than Columbia, where I can engage with former and current UN officials, as well as attend key informal meeting and conferences on my research topic. With the support of Columbia and my home institution, the University of São Paulo, I expect to contribute to the academic field and to a better understanding of our daily practices of politics for peace, security, and human rights around the world.

What do you like best about living in the U.S.?

New York is an incredible place to meet wonderful people with many different backgrounds, inside and outside the campus.

What is the hardest thing about living here?

Like any other megalopolis, New York can be pricey and stressful. But the more you plan ahead, the better it gets. It is also important to connect with people, make friends, and engage in activities outside of our field of expertise and daily routine.

What do you know now that you wish you knew before coming here?

I wish I knew better how to commute, where to eat, and where to shop. You can spend a lot of money and time in the first few weeks until you learn how to survive here. That said, I do recommend newcomers to talk to as many people as they can to get a sense of the city and the university before they arrive. Every institution has its codes and culture and Columbia is no different. Expect different waves of culture shock along the days and months. That is perfectly fine.

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Are you (or do you know) an international student, scholar, or alumni?

We’re looking to spotlight stories of academic or professional work, leadership, or personal adjustment to life at Columbia and NY in particular and the U.S. in general.

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