Wilson Center Experts
Joel Velasco is Senior Vice President at Amyris, an integrated renewable products company focused on providing sustainable alternatives to a broad range of petroleum-sourced products. He brings more than 10 years of experience in international public policy, with a focus on U.S.-Brazil business relations. Prior to joining Amyris, he was Chief Representative in North America for the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), where he led UNICA’s efforts to expand international biofuel and sugar markets. He remains an advisor to UNICA's board. Prior to joining UNICA, Velasco was managing director of Albright Stonebridge, an international strategic advisory firm based in Washington, D.C. and previously served as senior advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil and as a personal aide to Vice President Al Gore in the White House. Mr. Velasco received an M.A. from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, focusing his studies on the political-economy of the Southern Cone, and a B.A. in Political Science from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. In addition to his advisory role at UNICA, Mr. Velasco is a member of the board of the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) and staff representative on the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum.