UA Anthropologist Named Honorary Citizen of Fortaleza, Brazil

Tim Finan, a research anthropologist and professor at the UA, has recently been named an Honorary Citizen of Fortaleza Brazil because of his valuable contribution to the public policy of food security in the lands of Ceará and Alencarian land.

The title of Honorary Citizen of Fortaleza was established by the Fortaleza City Council and is intended to honor people who have somehow contributed to the development of Fortaleza and improvement of the quality of life of its residents.

Finan said receiving the title of Honorary Citizen of Fortaleza, the fifth largest Brazilian city, is the most personal, the most rewarding and meaningful one possible.

“It symbolizes, for me, the recognition of the tremendous value of the University of Arizona's collaboration with and commitment to its multiple institutional partners in Fortaleza and the state of Ceará,” he said.

Andrew Comrie, the senior vice president for UA academic affairs & provost, said The University of Arizona is exceptionally proud of professor Finan’s work in and around the city of Fortaleza.

“This good news underlines the positive relationships he has developed through his academic work with the Federal University of Ceará and the University of Fortaleza as well as his broader connections to the city of Fortaleza,” Comrie said.

Finan started out in the Peace Corps growing tomatoes in a village of subsistence farmers in Northeast Brazil which eventually led him to the UA to obtain graduate degrees in anthropology, where he stayed to launch a research and teaching career that’s led him to Africa, Asia, the Middle East and back to Brazil.

He also holds a BA in Literature and History from the University of Detroit and is a professional reference in the Americas, in the anthropology area, with a long and brilliant career of academic studies and researches conducted in Arizona, his homeland.

Finan’s research projects are focused on environmental and climate issues for food security and evaluation of public policies related to these issues. His studies have always had a commitment to humanitarian causes and resulted social benefits beyond the U.S. borders.

The UA has also had a long history of academic collaboration with the City of Fortaleza together with both the Federal University of Ceará and the University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR), according Patricia Macedo, the municipal secretary of international and federative affairs at the Fortaleza City Hall.

This historical interaction has brought hundreds to our University and sent hundreds of our students and faculty to Fortaleza, according to Finan.

“My role has only been to keep the ball rolling and to make sure that a ‘champion’ of this partnership will replace me,” he said.

The partnership between UA and the City of Fortaleza has also “yielded many fruits” in the form of graduate studies, faculty and student exchange, and joint research, promising to be even more dynamic into the upcoming years. And the value of this partnership was greatly recognized in June 2016 when Finan was awarded the Honorary Citizen of Fortaleza, Macedo said.

Professor Finan also taught in Fortaleza universities, coordinated faculties and student exchanges with the UA, supported faculty and student in Tucson and carried out a long term program of collaborative research focused on improving the well-being of Brazil, according to Macedo.

“By every criteria, except birth, Professor Finan has proven himself to be a true citizen of our city,” she said.