Michael McCarthy is a Research Fellow at American University's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) and Adjunct Professor at George Washington University’s Elliot School for International Affairs. He is a recognized expert on U.S. Foreign Policy, U.S.-Latin American relations, South America, and Venezuela. He founded and manages Caracas Wire, a newsletter and consultancy on Venezuelan politics. Areas of research specialization include Geo-politics, sanctions, conflict and stabilization, democratization, populism, civil society, and media balance and bias. Previously, he taught at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and consulted as a Senior Analyst for the Carter Center's Venezuela Presidential Election Study Missions in 2012 and 2013. His research has been supported by Fulbright and the Inter-American Foundation fellowships, and the Ford Foundation. His first job in Washington was as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations. He earned his PhD. and M.A. in political science from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in history and political science from Bates College.