Class 21 (2022-2024)
Christian Menin, Brazil
Duke University – Master in International Development Policy
Christian possesses a Bachelor of Laws degree, and a postgraduate degree in International and Economic Law, both from the State University of Londrina. In addition, he studied for a postgraduate certificate in Social Innovation Management at the Amani Institute and obtained an MBA degree in Applied Economics from the Institute of Economic Research Foundation.
He has had several experiences with complex social issues in distinct areas, a path that shaped his perspectives and led him to work and act towards crucial social challenges.
First, with TECHO - an NGO present in 19 countries in Latin America that targets extreme poverty through building emergency houses and projects in vulnerable communities - he worked with families in extreme vulnerability. He managed an operation that built more than 400 emergency houses, 10 community projects, and reached 16.000 people. In the opportunity, while he presented poverty and housing data to mayors and municipal secretaries to discuss urban strategies, he also pitched for partnerships with companies’ managers and negotiated permissions, safety, and plans with the favelas’ drug lords. In parallel, he led, influenced, and prepared more than 5000 society’s future leaders - TECHO’s volunteers.
After that, he watched the Venezuelan families crossing the Brazilian border and arriving at refugee camps overcoming several difficulties. In this context, he implemented a project that promoted job qualification for Venezuelans with classes in Portuguese, Labor Market, and several professional skills, and also their relocation over the country.
Later, he managed a COVID-19 emergency response in the Brazilian poorest region, called “semiarid”, when the country faced records of death tolls and contagion, distributing kits to public schools and health units, and qualifying its professionals on the response to the pandemic.
Recently, before becoming a Peace Fellow, he worked with communities of former FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army) combatants who find themselves in limbo and in the middle of guerrilla conflicts, to understand how their safety guarantees and their political and economic reinsertion are being held by the government.
With such diverse background, and after studying the intersections between law, economics, international development, and social innovation, Christian was swayed to think about concrete bottom-up policy solutions. These opportunities provided him with a solid picture of Latin America's structural poverty, politics, migration, and conflicts, and he believes the Peace Fellowship and the MIDP at Duke represent a perfect fit to wrap it all and transform his potential and experience into a large-scale impact. He wants to address poverty and inequality reduction policies as a means to achieve peace.