Tainá Machado Castro, MA Candidate in Latin America and the Caribbean: Regional Studies

February 21, 2018
Tainá Machado Castro

Where did you grow up? 
Brasilia, Brazil.

What drew you to your field? 
Working as a criminal lawyer made me want to better comprehend the process of policymaking, the interaction between the public and private sectors, and how different countries apply different measures to similar problems.

How would you explain your current research to someone outside of your field? 
I am trying to understand the different mechanisms that countries employ to fight corruption, and the role of the lobbyist in the interaction between the public and private sectors. Lobbying activity is not yet regulated in Brazil, and I intend to propose a framework for it.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Columbia GSAS?
Being surrounded by people of so many different backgrounds.

What resources or opportunities that Columbia provides have been most valuable to you?
Brainstorming with teachers—some of the best teachers I have encountered—and being able to attend lectures by people like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
In my academic life: being admitted to Columbia University. In my professional life: arguing a case at the Superior Court of Brazil before I was thirty years old.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents and my brother. My parents have big hearts. They taught me the value of compassion and perseverance. My brother, for me, is an exemplar of loyalty and discipline. They have guided me through hard times and cheered for me upon every achievement. Things make more sense because of them. That´s how lucky I am.

Whom in your field do you consider a role model?
Antônio Carlos de Almeida Castro is the most fearless and passionate lawyer I have ever known. I grew up hearing stories of him, which undoubtedly influenced me when I had to choose my profession. I also owe a lot to Pierpaolo Cruz Bottini and Igor Sant'Anna Tamasauskas, my first bosses, who taught me gender was not a barrier in my field.

What music have you been listening to lately?
Caetano Veloso.

Where is your favorite place to eat on/around campus?
Dig Inn.