Rebecca Bill Chavez is Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program at the Inter-American Dialogue and Senior Advisor at the Center for Naval Analyses. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2013 until January 2017. In this capacity, she focused on increasing Mexico’s commitment to regional security cooperation, supporting the Colombian Ministry of Defense in the peace process and accord implementation, resetting defense relations with Argentina and Brazil, establishing a productive dialogue with Cuba, shaping DoD contributions to the President’s Central America Strategy, expanding defense institution building programs, and championing Women, Peace, and Security initiatives in the region.
Prior to her time at the Pentagon, Dr. Chavez was a tenured Professor of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. She is the author of The Rule of Law in Nascent Democracies: Judicial Politics in Argentina (Stanford University Press). She has published op-eds in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Defense One, and her scholarly work has appeared in edited volumes and scholarly journals, including Courts in Latin America (Cambridge University Press), The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics, Comparative Politics, Joint Forces Quarterly, The Journal of Latin American Studies, and Latin American Politics and Society.
Raised in Austin, Texas, Dr. Chavez received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University and her B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the recipient of multiple grants to conduct research in Latin America, including a Fulbright Scholarship.