Brian Latell has been a Latin America and Caribbean specialist for the last four decades and lectures regularly on these subjects to university, professional, and political groups. Currently a senior associate in the CSIS Americas Program, he was an adjunct professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he taught undergraduate and upper-level courses including: Cuba and the Great Powers, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Crises in U.S.-Latin American Relations. In 1998, Latell retired after three and a half decades as a foreign intelligence officer, having served in the U.S. Air Force and for extended periods as a Latin America specialist at the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Intelligence Council.
From 1994 to 1998, he served as director of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, where he managed programs in intelligence history, records declassification, and academic outreach and served as publisher and chairman of the editorial board of Studies in Intelligence, the journal of the profession. From 1990 to 1994, he was national intelligence officer for Latin America, the highest-ranking analytic position for that region in the U.S. intelligence community.
Latell has consulted throughout the region with presidents, senior government officials, U.S. embassy officers, and regional leaders in diverse fields. He is frequently quoted in press coverage of political trends in Latin America, particularly of Cuba and Fidel Castro. He has written on Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries, as well as on foreign intelligence issues. He studied at universities in Mexico and Spain and has lived or traveled extensively in all but one of the Latin American countries.