Rousseff, who led the country from 2011 until 2016, will speak about the challenges for democracy in Brazil.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —Dilma Rousseff, an economist and politician who served as president of Brazil from 2011 to 2016, will visit Brown University on Monday, April 10, as part of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs Distinguished Speaker Series.

Rousseff’s lecture, titled “The Challenges for Democracy in Brazil,” will be delivered in Portuguese and simultaneously translated into English. The 4 p.m. event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Rousseff will answer questions submitted by the audience at the close of her address.

[Editor's note: All available tickets for the Rousseff lecture have been reserved, and the waitlist is full. Any reserved seats that are not filled by 3:50 p.m. on the day of the event will be released first to the waitlist and then on a first-come, first-served basis. The lecture will also be live-streamed on the Brown website.]

“The Watson Institute and the Brazil Initiative are forums for broad debate about international questions,” said James Green, director of Brown’s Brazil Initiative. “We have hosted Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil, as well as Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva, and we are honored to host Dilma Rousseff to talk about the challenges that Brazil faces today. We expect her visit to enrich and deepen Brown students’ and the community’s understanding about the complexities of contemporary Brazil.”

Rousseff is the first woman to hold Brazil’s highest office. She succeeded President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, for whom she served chief of staff and minister of energy. In the latter role, Rousseff’s “Light for Everyone” campaign expanded rural electrification to millions of households in the Brazilian countryside.

Previously, Rousseff was involved in the founding of the Brazilian Democratic Labor Party and served as the secretary of energy for the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

In her youth, Rousseff joined the underground movement against the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985, participating in two resistance organizations until she was arrested in 1970. After being tortured for 10 days, she served a three-year prison sentence for violating the National Security Act.

After three years in office, Rousseff ran for re-election in 2014 and defeated Brazilian Social Democracy Party candidate Aécio Neves, winning the election by a close 51 to 49 percent margin.

During her second term, she faced many challenges in her initiatives to reorganize the Brazilian economy. In 2016, she was impeached by the National Congress for allegedly breaking a budgetary law. She was removed from the presidency and replaced by Vice President Michel Temer. Rousseff retains her political rights and is actively participating in debates about Brazil, both nationally and internationally.

The April 10 event at Brown will be held in the Salomon Center for Teaching’s DeCiccio Family Auditorium. It begins at 4 p.m. and will also be live-streamed on the Brown website.

[Editor's Note: Members of the news media who wish to attend and cover Rousseff’s visit should contact Gillian Kiley at or (401) 863-7287.]