Maria Helena Morela Alves
Currently Coordinator of Institutional Relations for the grass roots organization, Viva Rio, Dr. Moreira Alves works to develop and implement social projects in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Viva Rio is Brazil?s largest grassroots NGO, which mobilizes thousands of people for campaigns to promote social justice and diminish the violence in the city and state of Rio de Janeiro. She is also the chair of political economy at the University of Rio de Janeiro. At the moment, she is a Tinker Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working with the Sociology Department and the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program.
Dr. Moreira Alves was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. She received her BA in political science from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and later pursued her studies at MIT. At MIT she received an MA and PHD in political science. Her PhD dissertation, State and Opposition in Military Brazil is regarded as a classic work on the state in Latin America.
In 1976, she returned to Brazil and took the chair of Political Economy at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro. She worked in developing an important worker education program organized by the University of Rio de Janeiro and the Central Union of Workers. She was also active in founding Brazil?s Worker?s Party, also called O Partido dos Trabalhadores. Dr. Moreira Alves has also written extensively about Brazil?s Worker?s Party, trade unions and social movements in Brazil and Latin America. She has also taught at many US universities.
Coordinator of Institutional Relations for President Luis Lula da Silva of Brazil, Chair, Political Economy, University of Rio de Janeiro.