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Zuleika is an Okinawan-Brazilian currently living in Naarm/Melbourne. She has over twenty years of experience in policy, research and advocacy in Australia and is the founder of Yuimaru Partnerships. 

Zuleika joins IPCS in 2021 with a project that aims to create spaces while exploring new languages for conversations between researchers and activists from the Okinawan transnational community, and peers from other communities who have also been impacted by colonisation and dispossession. Grounded in decolonial practice, the project explores the meanings of being and belonging, and the continuity of connection to land. 

Zuleika began her career as a lawyer in Brazil, later completed her masters in Latin American Studies at Georgetown University, and her PhD in International Relations at La Trobe University. Later as a lecturer at the Australian National University in Canberra she taught Latin American Studies and Critical Development Studies.

She is the co-editor of Women in Academia Crossing North-South Borders (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015), a project led by a collective of women academics linked to Latin America, reflecting on their experiences with coloniality in the Global North. Her previous book, Negotiating the Free Trade Area of the Americas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), explored how ideas and beliefs shape policymaking and the margins for cooperation. 

Zuleika is an IPCS Visiting Fellow for 2021.

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