Joel Hirst was a 2010-2011 international affairs fellow (IAF) in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, D.C. He researched the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, a Latin American integration mechanism sponsored by Venezuela, with eight member countries, and its impact on U.S. policy toward the region.
Mr. Hirst has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI) as country representative in Uganda from 2008 to 2010, and before from 2004 to 2008 as the acting country representative and deputy country representative in Venezuela. Before serving with USAID, he was a humanitarian relief worker for six years serving with World Vision and Food for the Hungry in Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Venezuela, Chad, Honduras, Nicaragua, Kosovo and Costa Rica.
Mr. Hirst has an MA in sustainable international development from Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management.