Cristina Lopez-Gottardi Chao, PhD
Cristina Lopez-Gottardi Chao is the Research Director for Public Programs. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Middlebury College, and in 2005 completed her Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Miami’s School of International Studies. Her dissertation, “The Growth of Opposition in Cuba: Problems and Prospects for Democratization” was awarded the Alberto J. Varona Prize for Best Dissertation in Cuban Studies. Prior to her appointment at the Miller Center, Ms. Lopez-Gottardi Chao held positions at Emory University’s Institute for Comparative and International Studies and the North South Center of the University of Miami. She teaches a course on Cuban politics and her research focuses on enablers of democratization and opposition politics, with particular interest in Latin American transitions.
Cristina lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with her husband, Raul O. Chao, an Assistant Professor at the Darden School of Business, and their children, Carolina Isabel and Tomas.