Virginia M. Bouvier

Senior Advisor for Latin American Programs

Virginia M. Bouvier a senior advisor for Latin American programs. She joined USIP in January 2003 as a program officer for the Jennings Randolph Fellowship program. She was seconded in 2012-13 to serve as a process design expert for the United Nations Standby Team of Mediation Experts. For the previous seven years, she was an assistant professor of Latin American literature and culture at the University of Maryland. From 1982 to 1989, Bouvier served as senior associate at the Washington Office on Latin America, where she focused on Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Bouvier has also served as a consultant and research director for the Women’s Leadership Conference of the Americas, a joint project of the Inter-American Dialogue and the International Center for Research on Women, and as a consultant at the World Bank, Levi Strauss Foundation, Levi Strauss and Co. and the C.S. Fund. Her areas of expertise include Colombia, mediation and peace processes, conflict analysis and prevention, civil society, and gender and peacebuilding. Dr. Bouvier blogs at Colombia Calls.

She is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in Latin American studies.


  • “Turning the Tables,”, November 27, 2013.
  • “Global Conflict Prevention Mechanisms and their Relevance for Latin America and the Caribbean", Pensamiento Propio [Journal of Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales/CRIES], Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2013.
  • “El proceso de Caguán y la comunidad internacional,” in Proceso de paz en Colombia, ed. Sandra Borda and Fernando Cepeda, Ecco Press/HarperCollins, 2012.
  • "Crossing the Lines: Women's Social Mobilization in Latin America," in Governing Women: Women's Political Effectiveness in Contexts of Democratization and Governance Reform, edited by Anne Marie Goetz (Routledge, 2008)
  • Whose America? The War of 1898 and the Battles to Define the Nation (Praeger Press, 2002).
  • The Globalization of U.S.-Latin American Relations: Democracy, Intervention, and Human Rights (Praeger Press, 2002).
  • Women and the Conquest of California (University of Arizona Press, 2001, 2004)


Virginia M. Bouvier
October 24, 2013
Dr. Virginia M. Bouvier, senior program officer for Latin America at USIP, gave the following testimony before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, U.S. House of Representatives
Virginia M. Bouvier
USIP is supporting a research project being undertaken by Winifred Tate, an anthropologist and former USIP Peace Scholar, to document and analyze the role of women in local community-based conflict resolution efforts in the Putumayo department of Colombia.
Virginia M. Bouvier
July 11, 2011
With the support of USIP, EQUITAS recently produced the report, “Methodological Proposals for Documenting and Searching for Missing Persons.” Based on extensive fieldwork in Antioquia and Casanare, this publication details four innovative methods of locating and identifying the disappeared: computer simulation of water flows to track bodies that have been placed in rivers, analysis of cemetery administrative records, archeological assessment of construction debris dumps and remote sensing analysis to detect clandestine cemeteries.
Virginia M. Bouvier
July 11, 2011
With a grant from USIP, Survivor Corps collaborated with two Colombian partner organizations—Corporación ConCiudadanía and the Fundación para la Reconciliación -- to develop a pilot program that would provide training, skills, practical experience, and psychosocial support for conflict survivors and ex-combatants

Articles & Analysis by this Expert

November 12, 2014
Virginia M. Bouvier

On Friday, November 7, President Juan Manuel Santos wrapped up a five-day diplomatic marathon for peace to the capital cities of Madrid, Brussels, Berlin, Lisbon, Paris, and London. He met with heads of state, kings, princes, and the leaders of the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), where Colombia’s membership is under consideration. Santos garnered widespread political support for Colombia’s peace process with Colombia’s largest insurgency, the FARC, and the incipient process with the ELN across the continent and across the political...

In the News

August 13, 2014

Editor's note: Virginia M. Bouvier is senior program officer for Latin America at the U.S. Institute of Peace and editor of Colombia: Building Peace in a Time of War. The views expressed are the author's own. With violence exploding in Gaza, airstrikes ...