Juliana Monteiro Bernardino is a Public Policy Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Latin American Studies as she pursues her Master’s degree in International Development at GSPIA, with a major in Social Policy.

Juliana is originally from Brazil and during her studies has focused her research on women’s issues and food security in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. She has participated in the Gender and Public Administration (GEPA) working group, both as a researcher and a regional team leader for Africa, conducting a collaborative research initiative between UNDP and Gender Inequality Research Lab (GIRL) at Pitt, and worked as a Junior Research Fellow for Gender team at the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa over the summer 2020.

In her final semester, Juliana became a member of the Johnson Institute’s Institute Leadership Portfolio Program and sits on the board of directors of the Women and Girls Foundation.

Juliana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the Universidade Estadual de São Paulo in Brazil, where she also had work experiences at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) center created in partnership with the Brazilian Government. When she completes her studies, Juliana is eager to work on issues of poverty and inequality, especially as they relate to food security and gender.

We had the extreme privilege to speak with Juliana recently about her experience at GSPIA. 

Q: Why did you choose your program or major at GSPIA?

A: I have always been curious about the different ways societies are connected across the globe. After I have acquired a B.A. in International Relations, I started to work with social protection policies and decided to advance my studies to understand not only governmental relations but also the impacts of their policies on people and communities. The International Development program gives me skills to work for better societies from different levels. It is broad enough that I can work with policymakers and communities and specific enough that helps me to specialize in particular issues and regions.


Q: What is your favorite experience in Pittsburgh – both personally and professionally?

A: I love the number of trees and parks Pittsburgh has. It helps to have a place to feel some fresh air after a long day or to be able to work from the green areas surrounding PITT Campus. Pittsburgh is a very culturally diverse city which makes it a great place for people interested in developing a career with international aspects.


Q: Why did you choose GSPIA? How has your experience led you to closer to achieving your career goals?

A: I chose GSPIA because of its focus on professional skills. It offers a balance of theoretical and practical classes and the professors are constantly motivating us to bring our readings to the “real world” context. I also chose GSPIA because of its approach from “local to global” which translates into a broad curriculum and faculty who has expertise in different areas of studies and regions of the world.