Maria Velez de Berliner
Areas of Expertise
- Risks and threats to the interests of the United States, its government and its private industry, in Latin America’s volatile operational environment
- Analyses on the activities of the Middle East and China in Latin America
Maria Velez de Berliner, Managing Director, RTG-Red Team Group, formerly known as Latin Intelligence Corporation and faculty member in the Homeland Security Program, is recognized as a subject-matter expert (SME) on risks and threats to the interests of the United States, its government and its private industry, in Latin America’s volatile operational environment, particularly in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, the Andean Region, the Tri-Border Area (TBA), the Colombo-Venezuelan border, the Venezuela-Colombia-Brazil border, Tres Banderas (Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala), and Central America’s Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador). She is also known for her analyses on the activities of the Middle East and China in Latin America.
She is a Professor of: Intelligence and Strategic Analysis; Political Violence and Terrorism; Inter-Agency Cooperation; and, Managing Strategic Change at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Since 2007, she has been an Invitational Instructor on Strategic and Tactical Security Threats/Latin America at U.S. Southern Command – USSOC, U.S. Air Force Special Operations School, Hurlburt Field, and at Cannon USAFB, Homestead SOCOM, Monthan-Davis AFB Tucson, Lackland USAFB Security Hill, NORTHCOM, and NORAD. She also instructs at CIWC (Contemporary Irregular Warfare Course) at Hurlburt Filed and at Cannon USAFB.
She was SME/analyst and Keynote Speaker at the Johns Hopkins University Applied National Laboratory’s Asymmetric Operations Working Group (AOWG) and the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) on issues related to the activities of transnational criminal organizations in Latin America’s TBAs (Tri-Border Areas) and on the formation, evolution, and global expansion of terrorist and criminal organizations.
She was SME on Brazil and Colombia as part of SOUTHCOM’s Security Culture Program of Florida International University’s Advance Research Center, and was Private Sector Analyst/Southwestern Border Group within the Analyst-Private Sector Program of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (DHS/I&A) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
Velez de Berliner has been a regular Guest Lecturer on Security, Global Corporate Strategy, Risk Analysis, Development Economics, International Relations, and Comparative Politics at Lake Forest College, Florida International University, Universidad EAFIT (Colombia), and Canning House (London).
Her interviews on risk and security in Latin America, the Middle East, China, and Africa appear in: América Economía; Satellite News; Via Satellite; Bloomberg Reporte Financiero; Bloomberg News; Latin Business Chronicle; International Investor; The Miami Herald; The Houston Chronicle; TradeNumbers Magazines; Al Día (Philadelphia); Your Money (Lima); El Nuevo Día (Puerto Rico), and El Colombiano (Colombia).
As a TV commentator, she appears as Latin American Security Analyst on Latin America and the Middle East on Voice of America - VOA’s Foro Interamericano and Middle East analyst on RCN’s TNT24 Noticias in Colombia. She was the featured analyst on India in Latin America on Bloomberg Reporte Financiero.
Velez de Berliner is a U.S. citizen fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.
- Master’s Degree in Public and International Affairs (with honors) in International Security and Intelligence, University of Pittsburgh
- Bachelor of Arts degree, Summa Cum Laude, Lake Forest College
- The George Washington University, nominated Velez de Berliner for the Bender Teaching Excellence Award, 2014.
- USSCO/SOS, Major General John R. Alison Special Operations Educator of the Year Award, 2011.
- University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, 1995: International Affairs Faculty Award and a President’s Management Internship, PMI.
- Lake Forest College, 1987: Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Beta Kappa Senior Thesis Award, and Excellence in International Relations Studies Award.