UCL Institute of the Americas


Tribute to Professor Kevin Middlebrook

30 November 2022

Headshot of Professor Kevin Middlebrook

The Institute of the Americas is sad to announce the death of Professor Kevin Middlebrook on 20 November 2022.

Kevin was a distinguished scholar of Latin American politics and especially of Mexican labour politics. A graduate of Harvard University, he moved to the UK in 2001 to take up a post at the Institute of Latin American Studies. His research interests ranged from Mexican labour policy to US-Latin American relations, to right-wing politics in Latin America. 

After joining UCL in 2012, Kevin played a key role in the development of the Institute of the Americas, as convenor of the MSc in Latin American Politics and the MA in Latin American Studies, and as a senior member of staff with vast experience in UK, US, and Mexican academia. His masters module, Democratization of Latin America, was one of the cornerstones of the Institute’s masters programmes and extremely popular among students. He also supervised several PhD students on a broad range of topics. 

Shortly before he passed away, Kevin completed a major monograph on the North American Agreement for Labor Cooperation, a key contribution to debates over both NAFTA and US-Latin American relations more generally. 

Kevin was a generous and supportive colleague. He had a passion for Mexican art and for fine textiles from around the world; topics about which he had a great deal of specialist knowledge. He will be missed greatly by everyone who knew him.

Kevin is survived by his wife, Dr. Helga Baitenmann, and their daughter, Mariel Baitenmann-Middlebrook.

Details of a UCL memorial will follow in due course. We would like to invite everyone who knew Kevin to leave a message with memories of him or condolences by using the MS form. These will be shared with his family and online on a dedicated page ‘Kevin Middlebrook Tributes and Memories’. Feel free to spread the word.


Mental health and wellbeing support is available for anyone in our community affected by this news. Information about the support available to UCL students can be found on the Support for Bereavement page on the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing website. UCL staff can speak to a professional counsellor or information specialist in confidence by calling 0808 196 5808; further details are available via the Employee Assistance Programme webpages.