Joel Velasco is a Senior Advisor of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, where he assists clients with issues in Brazil and Latin America. Mr. Velasco is also the Senior Vice President of External Relations for Amyris, an integrated renewable products company. Based in Washington, DC, he leads Amyris’s international public policy advocacy efforts and advises the execution of the company’s expansion plans in Brazil.
Previously, Mr. Velasco served as the North American Chief Representative for Brazil’s Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA). During his tenure there he led UNICA’s efforts to expand the North American biofuel and sugar markets, with a particular focus on low-carbon, advanced bio-fuels.
Prior to that assignment, Mr. Velasco served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, Anthony S. Harrington. A dual-national of Brazil and the United States, Mr. Velasco assisted with his in-depth expertise and policy counsel at a time of increasing bilateral engagement between the two countries, on a wide-range of issues ranging from trade to regional security. Previously, Mr. Velasco worked at Simon Strategies, a high-technology strategic consulting firm led by Greg Simon, former Vice President Al Gore’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor. And from 1994 to 1997, Mr. Velasco served as a personal aide to Vice President Gore at the White House.
Mr. Velasco was educated in both Brazilian and American schools and graduated magna cum laude from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, where he earned a B.A. in Political Science. In 1999, he earned an M.A. in Latin American Studies at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, focusing his studies on the political economy of the Southern Cone.
Mr. Velasco is fluent in Brazilian Portuguese and English.