AMHERST, Mass. - The Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts has approved the appointment of Howard J. Wiarda to be the first Leonard J. Horwitz Professor in Latin American Politics and Studies. Trustees voted on the appointment at their meeting today in Boston.
The Horwitz professorship was established within the University’s department of political science in December 1996 with a $700,000 gift from alumnus and retired foreign service officer Leonard J. Horwitz. It is designed to foster greater understanding of South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, areas that were of great interest to Horwitz during his career.
Wiarda joined the department of political science in 1965 and is an internationally known scholar on modern Latin American politics, American foreign policy, comparative politics, and the politics of Spain and Portugal. He has written several dozen books and is a frequent contributor of chapters and articles for books and periodicals. Wiarda is also in demand as a visiting scholar and lecturer at both American and foreign universities. He serves as an advisor to the U.S. Department of State and the Department of the Army, and consults with other government agencies on foreign policy issues. Wiarda has also testified before committees in both houses of U.S. Congress on matters related to Latin American policy.
"I’m deeply honored by this award and very proud to have received it from my University," Wiarda says.
Eric Einhorn, chair of the department of political science, says Wiarda’s appointment is good news for the University. "This helps us retain a first-rate scholar in Howard Wiarda and helps us attract graduate students to the program and to the department," Einhorn says.
Wiarda was visiting professor of National Security Strategy at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., from 1990-94, and 1995-96, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute from 1981-91, and currently is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a visiting scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In addition, his work has appeared in the national press, including The Washington Post, The Washington Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and National Public Radio.