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CLACS prof. Melissa Birch can comment on Brazil's political crisis

Monday, May 16, 2016

LAWRENCE — Last week, Brazil's Senate voted to put President Dilma Rousseff on trial for impeachment amid months of protests and accusations of corruption in the Rousseff administration.

Rousseff has vowed to fight the impeachment allegations, but Brazil's economic recession and a corruption scandal at Brazil's state-run oil company have plummeted public opinion of Rousseff.

A University of Kansas expert on Latin America has been watching the Senate proceedings and is available for media comments on the ongoing conflict.

"As one of the senators said last night, 'These proceedings would not be taking place if the Brazilian economy were growing,'" Melissa Birch said. "This is all about the frustration that many Brazilians are feeling as a recession sets in when they were least expecting it."

Birch is an associate professor of strategic management and international business in the School of Business. She teaches courses in international business, business in Latin America and corporate strategy.

"Interestingly, President Rousseff is being accused of doing something that many of her predecessors have done and that Kansas Governor Brownback recently did," Birch said. "The charges have to do with transferring funds from one government account to another.”

Birch's research focuses on the challenges of management in Latin America, and she is internationally published on topics including public enterprise management, the international business environment and international trade.

Before joining KU, Birch taught at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia more than 10 years. She has consulted for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank and KPMG.

To arrange an interview with Melissa Birch, contact Austin Falley at afalley@ku.edu or 785-864-3852.

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