Meet the Team

Leadership

Diana Kapiszewski (PhD Political Science 2007, UC Berkeley; M.A. Latin American Studies 1994) directs SIGLA. She is an associate professor in Georgetown’s Department of Government. Her work focuses on law and legal institutions in Latin America, and qualitative research methods.

Hannah Bomberg (BSFS ‘23, M.A. Latin American Studies ‘24) studies International Politics with a focus on foreign policy and policy processes and is pursuing an M.A. in Latin American Studies with a concentration in governance and leadership. She joined the SIGLA team in the summer of 2021 as a research assistant for Mexico and became a research associate in fall 2022. In her free time, you can find her exploring museums in DC, playing the piano, and baking up a storm!

 

Simón Ballesteros (PhD Government ‘23) joined SIGLA in 2019 as a data verifier and worked on institutional development, and re-joined as a member of the leadership team in fall 2023. He studies constitutional change from a comparative perspective, focusing on Latin American countries.

Technical Team

To Huynh joined SIGLA in summer 2020 as a software engineer where he is responsible for building up infrastructure for the SIGLA web application. Outside of SIGLA, he works on making city council meetings in Seattle more accessible.

Nic Weber (PhD Library and Information Science 2015, University of Illinois; MSlis, Library and Information Science 2010, University of Illinois) joined SIGLA in summer 2020 as a technical advisor. He is an assistant professor in the Information School at the University of Washington where he teaches and does research in the areas of systems analysis and design, software sustainability, and data curation.

Howard Xuan (BSFS ‘23) majored in Regional and Comparative Studies with a focus on Latin America and Asia. He began as a research assistant for SIGLA in the summer of 2021, working on the Mexico team, later serving as a senior research assistant and research associate for regional data. He became a technical associate for regional data in the spring of 2024. In his free time, Howard enjoys practicing magic tricks.

Researchers

Albert Sanchez (BSFS ’24) is majoring in International Politics with a focus on security and is minoring in Economics. He joined the SIGLA team in the fall of 2023 as a research assistant on the Chile team. Outside of SIGLA, he enjoys cooking, reading, and cheering on the Miami Heat.
 

Andrés Celis-Madrid (COL ‘26) studies Government and is pursuing a minor in Latin American Studies. He joined SIGLA in the summer of 2023 as a research assistant on the Colombia team. He joined the Venezuela team in the fall of 2023. Outside of SIGLA, he enjoys doing political campaign work and rooting for the Miami Marlins.

Cate Howell (SFS ’24, MALAS ’25), is an International History major and is pursuing an Accelerated Masters degree in Latin American Studies. She joined the SIGLA team in 2024 as a research assistant for Chile. Outside of SIGLA, Cate is involved in Democratic politics and hopes to use her passion for Latin America to advance progressive U.S. foreign policy in the region.
 
Emily Bechtel (BSFS ’24) studies Regional and Comparative Studies between Latin America and Eastern Europe and is pursuing a certificate in Diplomatic Studies. She began working with SIGLA in the fall of 2023 as a research assistant on the Venezuela team. Outside of SIGLA, she is the president of the Foreign Service Sorority Delta Phi Epsilon and enjoys cooking.
 
Juan Camilo Acosta (COL ’26) majors in Political Economy and is pursuing a minor in Latin American Studies. He joined SIGLA in the fall of 2023 as a research assistant on the Argentina team. He joined the Colombia team in the spring of 2024. Outside of SIGLA, he enjoys playing tennis and rooting for FC Barcelona.
 

Riley Swain (BSFS ’25) is majoring in International Politics and minors in Latin American Studies, with a focus on international justice and combatting human trafficking. She began working with SIGLA in the summer of 2023 as a research assistant on the Colombia team. Outside of academics, she enjoys baking, reading, and watching old movies.

Sophia Lima (BSFS ’24) studies International Politics and Justice and Peace. She began working with SIGLA in the summer of 2023 as a research assistant on the Brazil team. Outside of SIGLA, she teaches creative writing to incarcerated individuals as part of Georgetown’s Prison Outreach Program and enjoys long-distance running.

Victoria Scholtz (BSFS 24) studies International History, with a focus on post-colonial Latin America, and is pursuing a minor in Portuguese. She joined the SIGLA team in the summer of 2022 as a research assistant on the Brazil team. She joined the Chile team in the fall of 2023. Outside of SIGLA, she enjoys dancing, playing field hockey, and spending time with her dog.

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