The Global Initiative Network


Ryan Berg

Research Fellow in Latin America studies, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)

Ryan Berg is a Research Fellow in Latin America Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and an Adjunct Professor of International Relations at the Catholic University of America (CUA), where he focuses on transnational organized crime, narco trafficking, and illicit networks. He also studies Latin American foreign policy and development issues. His countries of focus are Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela.

Before joining AEI, Dr. Berg served as a research consultant at the World Bank, a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil, and a visiting doctoral fellow at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. He has also worked in Peru and São Paulo, Brazil. Dr. Berg has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed academic journals, such as The Lancet, St. Anthony’s International Review, and The Tufts Historical Review.

His commentary and analysis has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Hill, The American Interest, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Dr. Berg obtained a PhD and an MPhil in political science and an MSc in global governance and diplomacy from the University of Oxford. Earlier, he obtained a BA in government and theology from Georgetown University.

  • “The Governance Competition in the Americas: ‘Criminal Charity’ During COVID-19 Will Have Decade-long Consequences,” The SAIS Review of International Affairs, June 9, 2020,
  • “COVID-19 is Increasing the Power of Brazil’s Criminal Groups,” LSE Latin America and the Caribbean blog, May 28, 2020,
  • “Reports of the PCC’s Demise are Greatly Exaggerated,” Americas Quarterly, April 27, 2020.
  • “Breaking Out: Brazil’s First Capital Command and the Emerging Prison-Based Threat,” AEI Research Report, March 2020.
  • “In Mexico, AMLO’s Presidency Turned One,” Foreign Policy, December 16, 2019.
  • “Brazilian Organized Crime is All Grown Up,” Foreign Policy, August 15, 2019.
  • “Venezuela is Armed to the Hilt,” Foreign Policy, May 2, 2019.
  • “Fortalecendo a cooperação entre o estado e o setor de desenvolvimento para combatir o narcotráfico.” (“Strengthening Cooperation between the State and Development Sector to Combat Narcotics Trafficking.”) White paper in Portuguese, Dec. 2017.