GW launches Spanish language online graduate program



Political leaders and advisors from Latin American can now earn a graduate certificate in political management and strategic governance from the George Washington University from the confines of their own country and in their native language. GSPM International, an extension of GW’s Graduate School of Political Management, housed within GW’s College of Professional Studies (CPS), has announced the launch of the university’s first non-English, online graduate program.

“GSPM is the pioneer in the study of political management and governance,” said Luis Matos, director of the program and associate professor of political management. “We created this distance learning alternative for international leaders as an opportunity to provide them with access to GW’s respected faculty and academic offerings.”

To date, 25 students have enrolled in the online offering and are currently embarking on a two week on-campus crash course in political management, leadership, strategy, confrontation analysis and democratic governance. While at GW, students will participate in simulations geared toward building alliances among different parties in order to improve governance tactics in fighting poverty. Students will return to their respective countries on Friday, May 27.

“I am a practitioner of politics,” said Fernando Gavilanes, advisor to the Ecuadorean Minister of Foreign Affairs. “I wanted a program that would improve my theoretical framework without me having to abandon my skills and current position.”

The online program is designed to be practical. Students will utilize Blackboard and all the advantages of the Web to cooperate, experiment and collaborate from a distance. The curriculum will train students how to build a model to meet the challenges of good governance within a democratic process. This includes learning how to build trust, communicate effectively and mobilize support for the process of change.

“The framework of knowledge we can get here will help us have a different approach to how we do everything in our positions,” said Roberto Abdul, executive director of SUMATE (Spanish for ‘Join Up’), a Venezuelan volunteer civil association. “We can use these different tools for political analysis and campaigning to try to win the 2012 elections and to promote a more transparent democracy.” For the past 12 years, Hugo Chavez has been president of the country and is running for reelection.

Over the past decade, more than 8,000 leaders have matriculated through GSPM International’s governance program including Óscar Luis Castañeda, former Mayor and ex-presidential candidate of Lima, Peru, and Marco Troya who was elected as the governor of the province of Los Rios in Ecuador, after completing his training at GSPM. The program, sponsored for 10 years by Corporacion Andina de Fomento, has become a respected resource for providing leadership training across Latin America with a focus on supporting democracy and human and economic rights.

Roberto Enrique Aguera, a student within the program and president of the Universidad de Puebla Mexico, believes that through this offering he will better manage the institution and foster important community relationships necessary to the growth of the university. “These tools improve decision-making at the university because they are the most advanced,” Mr. Aguera said.

GW’s Graduate School of Political Management, the pioneer enterprise in the nonpartisan study of political management and applied politics, offers graduate programs in political management, legislative affairs, public relations and PAC management, as well as international programs in Latin America and Europe. The school seeks to improve politics by educating its students and professionals about the tools, principles and values of participatory democracy; preparing them for careers as ethical and effective advocates and leaders at the international, national and local levels.