BRASA Honors Jon M. Tolman with Lifetime Contribution Award


The Brazilian Studies Association is delighted to honor Jon M. Tolman with the BRASA Lifetime Contribution Award. At BRASA’s first international congress in Atlanta in March 1994, Jon was elected the first president of the organization.

Jon did incredible work between 1992 and 2004 when he retired as Executive Director of BRASA. During those years Jon personally organized and ran the first seven BRASA congresses (Atlanta; Minneapolis; Cambridge, UK; Washington, DC; Recife; Atlanta; and Rio de Janeiro). He spent endless hours on email, on the phone, writing letters, and networking in the U.S., Brazil, and the United Kingdom. Jon somehow managed to make these congresses happen, and to keep BRASA functioning in between congresses. He grew the membership—in the United States, Brazil, and globally.

BRASA could easily have failed during the 1990s. The resources for the organization were scarce. In addition to all this administrative and organizational work, he lobbied the Brazilian government and a steady stream of Brazilian ambassadors to Washington. He was a one-man machine successfully promoting Brazilian studies in the United States.

We all owe him an enormous debt, one that we can never fully repay. For eleven years, Jon invested a good deal of his professional and personal life in giving life to BRASA. Bestowing Jon M. Tolman with BRASA’s Lifetime Contribution Award is one way for us to acknowledge our debt to him and to honor his formidable work toward the promotion of Brazilian studies in the United States.

Lifetime Contributions Committee:
Bryan McCann, Chair
Kathryn Hochstetler
Charles Perrone