John Coatsworth is the current dean of SIPA.
He became controversial during the media circus surrounding the 2007 appearance of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he claimed Columbia would have also invited Hitler to speak. Coatsworth's words were:
"If Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform from which to speak, he would have plenty of platforms to speak in the United States. If he were willing to engage in a debate and a discussion, to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him."
Coatsworth is also a genius in the Latin American field. Anyone interested in the study of the region would gain greatly from this man extensive knowledge on almost every aspect of the 21 countries.