Alumnus Ariel C. Armony to Lead Pitt’s International Programs

Issue Date: 
August 4, 2014

ArielAriel C. Armony C. Armony will be the University of Pittsburgh’s new senior director of international programs and director of the University Center for International Studies, Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson announced.

Armony earned a PhD from Pitt’s political science department in 1998 as well as a Certificate in Latin American Studies from the Pitt center that he will now lead. Armony, who has directed the University of Miami’s Center for Latin American Studies since 2010, will begin his role at Pitt on March 1, 2015. In addition to overseeing Pitt’s international programs, Armony will hold faculty appointments in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Political Science within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

“I am excited that Dr. Armony has agreed to return to Pitt, and I have great confidence that his scholarly achievements and proven leadership capabilities will help us continue the momentum we have built in our international programs over the last two decades,” said Beeson. “Dr. Armony’s vision is well matched to our international efforts at the University. He is committed to deepening both student and faculty interest in international studies across the University, and his vision for cross-regional scholarly research and activity will both strengthen and expand the University’s global dimension.”

The University Center for International Studies, founded in 1968, is Pitt’s primary resource for initiating and managing international activities and programs while supporting the University’s reputation as a leader in global education. It houses the Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Russian and East European Studies, Global Studies Center, European Union Center of Excellence and European Studies Center, Asian Studies Center, and the African Studies Program, as well as the Study Abroad Office and the Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs. The University Center for International Studies also operates an office in Shanghai, China, focused on recruiting undergraduate students, developing internship experiences in China for Pitt students, and expanding the University’s alumni network and programming in China.

“Pitt was a pioneer in establishing its University Center for International Studies more than 45 years ago, and excellence and impact in international studies have long been hallmarks of our University,” said Mark A. Nordenberg. “With each passing year, levels of participation in international initiatives, both by faculty and by students, continue to grow. Dr. Armony has the ideal combination of commitment, experience, and stature to lead the University’s efforts in this critical area as we move further into the 21st century and deeper understandings of our rapidly changing world become even more important.”

During his tenure as director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Miami, Armony has encouraged cross-disciplinary work between scholars in a wide range of fields and has been instrumental in bringing to campus important academic and political figures such as Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón. As the Weeks Professor in Latin American Studies and professor of international studies at the University of Miami, Armony is widely respected for his research in democratization, civil society, human rights, and the role of China in Latin America. He is the author of two books and has edited four. His book The Dubious Link: Civic Engagement and Democratization (Stanford, 2004) was a university press best seller. His work has been published in a number of highly respected journals in the United States, Colombia, Argentina, and China.

Prior to holding his positions at the University of Miami, Armony served as a professor and director of the Latin American Studies Program at Colby College, Fulbright Scholar at Nankai University in China, and residential fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He has been invited to speak before a wide range of groups such as the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.

Armony will succeed Lawrence Feick, who is stepping down as director of Pitt’s University Center for International Studies after serving in the position since 2007. Feick will remain in his current role until Feb. 28, 2015, and will continue to be involved with several University Center for International Studies projects currently under way in Europe, Brazil, and China during that time.