We are pleased to present this summary of the Inter-American Dialogue’s work in 2010.
The Inter-American Dialogue’s Board of Directors was delighted to welcome former president of Chile Michelle Bachelet as its Latin American co-chair in July 2010. Upon accepting the post, Bachelet pointed to a strong fit between her priorities and those of the Dialogue. “I am eager to engage with colleagues throughout the hemisphere to produce and promote innovative ideas for more effective social policies,” Bachelet said. “This is the best way to improve citizenship and democracy.”
The Dialogue’s Board of Directors also welcomed four other new members in 2010: Martin Torrijos, former president of Panama; Marcos Jank, president and CEO of the Brazil Sugar Cane Industry Association (UNICA); Alicia Bárcena of Mexico, executive secretary of UN ECLAC; and former US deputy assistant secretary of treasury Brian O’Neill, now vice-chair of Lazard International.
This year the Dialogue’s Board of Directors enthusiastically selected Michael Shifter to serve as the organization’s next president. Peter Hakim, who held the post for 17 years, remains at the Dialogue as president emeritus, dedicating his time to managing projects, writing, and fundraising. On April 6, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Arturo Sarukhan, graciously hosted a reception at the Mexican Cultural Institute for some 200 guests in honor of Peter Hakim’s outstanding leadership and service.
Dialogue members convened for the Sol M. Linowitz Forum in June of this year, meeting in plenary session for the seventeenth time since the Dialogue’s inception in 1982. Led by Dialogue co-chair and former US trade representative Carla Hills and Board member and CAF president Enrique García, the forum brought together some one hundred leaders from across the Western Hemisphere. Discussions centered on the Obama administration’s policy priorities toward Latin America and the Caribbean, US drug policy reform, migration, Haiti reconstruction efforts, Brazil’s role in the region, and the 2010 US Congressional elections. A report drawing on the conclusions and recommendations of the Linowitz Forum discussions will be published in 2011.