CIBS was founded in October 2011 by James P. Ito-Adler and Biorn Maybury-Lewis, who were seeking a venue for pursuing their long-standing interest in Brazil. Their immediate goal is to contribute to the establishment of Brazilian studies in colleges and universities in New England. Operating from an office located in Harvard Square, CIBS has rapidly become a center for Brazilian, Portuguese, and American researchers, journalists, diplomats, and activists working on a range of topics relevant to our interests.

Cambridge is one of the major poles of attraction for visiting Brazilians based primarily on the power of convocation of MIT and Harvard University. In fact, this is perhaps the major contribution of these two schools to furthering Brazilian studies in the United States.  The parade of high-level visitors to both institutions is truly impressive—rivaled only by New York City and Washington, DC.

Brazilian visitors, over the past year, have ranged from the President Dilma Rousseff and presidential candidate, Marina Silva, to leading figures in government, higher education, and nongovernmental organizations. Some come for a short visit and perhaps a lecture or presentation at a conference; others come as visiting scholars to teach or undertake research. There are also growing numbers of young Brazilian and American students who find their way to the Institute in a variety of ways.

The Cambridge Center for Brazilian Studies, Inc. (CIBS) is an independent, nonprofit organization working to further Brazilian Studies in the U.S. We are dedicated to producing accurate and objective information on Brazil for English-speaking audiences.  In dialogue with Brazilian colleagues, CIBS ensures that similar information is available on the United States for Portuguese-speaking audiences.  We focus on issues where Brazil and the USA face similar problems and where collaborative research and open dialogue may be of mutual benefit.