Joel Velasco is Chief Representative in North America of Brazil's Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA). Based in Washington, DC, Mr. Velasco oversees UNICA’s efforts to expand the North American ethanol and sugar markets. Previously, he was Managing Director of Stonebridge International, an advisory firm. Prior to that, he served as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil. From 1994 to 1997, Mr. Velasco served as a personal aide for Vice President Al Gore.
A dual-national of Brazil and the United States and fluent in both languages, he worked a broad spectrum of issues ranging from trade to regional security. Educated both in Brazilian and American schools, Mr. Velasco received a masters degree at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, focusing his studies on the political-economy of the Southern Cone, and earlier earned a B.A. in Political Science from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.