BRASA Summit at Northeastern University

Brazil and Emerging Markets at the Forefront

During October 11-12, 2019, over 500 Brazilian students from across North America gathered at Northeastern for the largest undergraduate Brazilian student conference in the United States, the BRASA Summit. The event was organized by the national Brazilian Student Association and

Northeastern students, led by Daniel Sneyers (‘21) and Eric Halpern (‘21), with major support from the Center of Emerging Markets and other parts of Northeastern.

Over the weekend, students participated in panels, debates, networking sessions, and professional development opportunities, with more than 40 renowned Brazilian speakers including CEO's, tech entrepreneurs, investors, politicians, philanthropists, and public-sector leaders. Students also had the opportunity to interact and interview with 20 leading companies during all-day career fairs, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Strategy&PwC, Itaú, Unibanco, and tech unicorns such as Nubank, Stone Payments, and Loggi.

On Friday, speaking events were held in Blackman auditorium with networking sessions in the Curry Student Center, and Saturday's full-day program was held at Northeastern's brand new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) conference center. 

Raj Echambadi, Former Dunton Family Dean of the D'Amore-McKim School of Business (2017-2021), inaugurated the summit. Ravi Ramamurti, Director of the Center for Emerging Markets, welcomed the opening panel on the “Private Sector in Brazil” that the Center for Emerging Markets is keen to deepen ties with businesspeople and policymakers in Brazil. The ensuing panel included  Fernando Alves (CEO of PwC Brazil), Claudia Sender (former CEO of the Brazilian operations of Latam Airlines), Adriana Machado (former CEO of General Electric-Brazil), and Clarissa Lins (a director of both Petrobras and Vale).

The BRASA summit marked the development of stronger relations between Northeastern and Brazil, including NEU's Brazilian community of over 100 current students and a strong alumni network. Other notable speakers at BRASA Summit included:

  • Nicola Calicchio, President of McKinsey Latin America (and Chairman of Global Client Council)
  • Ana Paula Assis, President of IBM Latin America
  • Hugo Barra, VP of Virtual Reality at Facebook (Oculus)
  • Augusto Lins, CEO of Stone Payments (Fintech, IPO'd for $8B)
  • Founder and CEO of VTEX (Brazilian Cloud Tech Company)
  • Luiza Helena Trajano, Founder and Chairwoman of Magazine Luiza (leading Brazilian retail company)
  • Liliana Ayalde, Former US Ambassador to Brazil
  • Ivana Ferreira, Managing Director for Latin America at NASDAQ
  • Ramon de Paula, Mars Program Executive/Head of Mars Missions at NASA
Northeastern hosts the BRASA Summit, the largest Brazilian undergraduate student conference in the world, at Blackman Auditorium. Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University