Security Studies Alumnus Joins Office of Brazilian Presidency

Marcos Degaut Pontes ’16 was in the first graduating class of the security studies doctoral program at the University of Central Florida. Less than a year after his spring 2016 graduation, Degaut Pontes was named the Deputy Special Secretary for Strategic Affairs of the Presidency in Brazil.

His duties include helping to formulate the country’s defense, foreign, and development policies and integrating them into a strategic framework. According to Degaut Pontes, UCF provided what he needed to prepare for this position.

“I believe that the security studies’ pioneering program provided unmatched infrastructure, support and facilities, as well as experienced faculty who are well-known in the field,” said Degaut Pontes. “I am confident that the program equipped me with the more sophisticated tools to think critically and analytically about world affairs.”

Degaut Pontes’ dissertation, Ideas, Beliefs, Strategic Culture, and Foreign Policy: Understanding Brazil’s Geopolitical Thought, examined how rising powers, such as Brazil, historically behaved, reacted and constructed a discourse that constrained and motivated its decisions, explained its actions and legitimized its behavior.

Degaut Pontes’ hard work during his time at UCF didn’t go unnoticed. He was recognized with the 2015 Honorable Mention for the Department of Political Science Graduate Teaching Awards.

Degaut Pontes is eager to continue applying his knowledge to real-world issues.

“I can contribute, to some extent, in crafting Brazil’s foreign, security and development policies, which is hard but fascinating and a worthwhile task,” Degaut Pontes expressed.

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