Dr. Erich de la Fuente
4. Governance and institutions
Erich de la Fuente is the founder and CEO of EDF Consulting Inc. and an adjunct professor of international relations at Florida International University. His areas of expertise include governance, anti-corruption, international development, political analysis, and strategic communications. He has over 25 years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating projects in these areas for multilateral organizations and civil society groups operating throughout Latin America, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East. He has also counseled private companies in government and corporate affairs.
Erich has served as a lead advisor for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) good governance and rule-of-law programs around the world, including the Mobilizing Action Against Corruption Activity (Armenia), Justice Reform and Modernization Program (Colombia), Criminal Justice System Strengthened Project (Dominican Republic), Democracy Strengthening Program (El Salvador), Transparency and Integrity Program (Guatemala), Haiti Recovery Initiative (Haiti), Judicial Reform Project (Jordan), Institutional Development and Training Program (Nicaragua), Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Threshold Country Plan (Paraguay), Duteze Imbere Ubutabera (Let’s Promote Justice) Activity (Rwanda), MCC Justice Strengthening Project (Rwanda), and the State-Owned Enterprises Reform Activity (Ukraine). In addition to his USAID work, he has also provided training to organizations fighting against corruption, including various chapters of the NGO Transparency International across Latin America, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and the Balkans.
Current and past clients include USAID, the U.S. State Department, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the American Bar Association, the Pan-American Development Foundation, Florida International University, and World Learning, as well as private sector clients such as Delta Air Lines, Microsoft, DHL, Visa, Apple, Intel, Siemens, Pfizer, Merck, Honeywell Aerospace, Smiths Detection, Solarcentury, and Fortinet.
Erich holds an M.A in Government/Latin American Affairs from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a BA in International Relations from Florida International University.
He is currently finalizing a Ph.D. in Governance and Policy Analysis at Maastricht University, where his research focuses on how government policy instruments influence digital news media freedom in democratic societies. His supervisors are Michael Cichon, Mindel van de Laar and Eduardo Gamarra. He is expected to complete his dissertation in 2022.
Erich is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and proficient in Italian and Russian.
As a political analyst, he is a frequent expert guest on English and Spanish television and radio news programs. He has also published various articles, including The U.S.-Latin America Relationship: What we can expect from the Biden Administration; The Possible Impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 U.S. Elections; U.S. Foreign Policy Toward Latin America in the Trump Era; and Cuba’s Role in Venezuela’s Control of the Internet, among others.
A firm believer in giving back, Erich dedicates much of his personal time to various nonprofit organizations, including Operation Smile, an international children's medical charity that performs safe cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries, and Junior Achievement, a global non-profit organization that offers work readiness, literacy and entrepreneurship programs to students.