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Meet our Staff: Researcher Kurt Birson

Kurt Birson, Centro’s new research assistant, is keeping busy on several projects with a focus on economics. He’s examining the economic impact of the Great Recession on Puerto Ricans and Latinos and also looking at the causes behind the most recent waves of migration from Puerto Rico to the United States.

“Economics can impact people in very powerful ways,” Birson said. “I am especially interested in understanding the Puerto Rican community from this perspective, and gaining some insight into the kinds of issues that affect us, both here and on the mainland.”

Birson is a recent graduate of the New School for Social Research, where he earned a master’s in economics. He earned a dual bachelor’s degree in international political economy and Latin American and Latino Studies from Fordham University.

He served as a 2011 programs fellow for Hispanics in Philanthropy, NY.

Birson also has international experience. He participated in an academic summer program in 2011 at the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean in Santiago, Chile, and produced a research paper on the effects of regional trade agreements in Central America. In 2010, he took a 20-hour graduate level course at la Universidad IberoAmericana in Puebla, Mexico, and evaluated three social programs from field visits in Puebla.

His research article, “Mexico: Abuses Against U.S. Bound Migrant Workers,” was published September 23, 2010 by the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA).

Prior to joining Centro, he was on the staff of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, NYC.

On his spare time, Birson enjoys traveling, cooking and playing the guitar and accordion. He lives in Jackson Heights, Queens.