A number of centers in the UCLA International Institute will welcome new leaders on July 1, with long-serving directors stepping down after many years of service.
Historian George Dutton, professor in the department of Asian languages and cultures, will step down as director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies after serving eight years in the position. During Dutton’s tenure, the center and its Title VI partner center at UC Berkeley have been working to create a network of Southeast Asian studies scholars in the University of California and California State University systems by holding numerous faculty talks, graduate workshops and conferences.
In July, Stephen Acabado, associate professor of anthropology, will become the new director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Acabado is an anthropological archaeologist interested in the human-environment interaction and Indigenous responses to colonialism. He is conducting ongoing research programs in Indigenous Taiwan and in Bicol and Ifugao, Philippines.
Kevin Terraciano, professor of history and UCLA’s Dr. E. Bradford Burns Professor of Latin American Studies, is stepping down as director of the Latin American Institute after 11 years. During his tenure, Terraciano established a Nahuatl language program at the institute and oversaw conferences, seminars and professional development workshops for K–12 teachers.
In July, Rubén Hernández-León, professor of sociology and an expert on Mexico-U.S. migration, will become the new director of the Latin American Institute. Since 2009, Hernández-León has been the director of the Center for Mexican Studies, where he has overseen many community-oriented initiatives with students.
Effective July 1, Gaspar Rivera-Salgado will become the director of the Center for Mexican Studies. A sociologist who earned his doctorate at UC Santa Cruz, Rivera-Salgado is a project director at the UCLA Labor Center of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, where he is a faculty member in the labor studies program. An expert on labor movements, immigrant workers, farm workers, binational worker movements and global labor solidarity, Rivera-Salgado teaches courses on immigration as well as on work, labor and social justice in the U.S.
José Luiz Passos, professor of Luso-Brazilian literatures and cultures, will step down from his second term as director of the Center for Brazilian Studies. An award-winning novelist and respected literary scholar from Brazil who publishes primarily in Portuguese, Passos has played a significant role at the center and in Brazilian studies more broadly at UCLA. In 2020, the Center for Brazilian Studies won the Focus Brazil Foundation’s Focus Brazil 2020 Award for its promotion of Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language on the West Coast.
The UCLA International Institute will announce the new director of the Center for Brazilian Studies in the near future.