Congressional Program

The Dialogue seeks to engage members of Congress and Congressional staff on key policy issues concerning the Western Hemisphere and to increase the presence of regional voices in US foreign policy debates. The Dialogue regularly holds private dinner discussions with its Congressional Members Working Group on Capitol Hill as well as briefings and roundtables with congressional staff. Congressional members and staff also speak at Dialogue events, conferences, and public policy roundtables. Additionally, Dialogue experts are often called upon to testify in Congressional hearings and provide their analysis of hemispheric developments.

                         

Dialogues on the Hill

 

Congressional Members Engagement

The Dialogue works to regularly engage members of Congress through briefings with Dialogue in-house experts and regional leaders, in roundtable discussions with private sector leaders of the President’s Leadership Council, as keynote speakers at Dialogue public events and conferences, and in private, off-the-record dinner forums known as the Congressional Members Working Group on the Americas (CMWG). The CMWG dinner forums bring members of Congress together with senior US and Latin American government officials, key staff of international organizations, and leading independent policy experts to exchange ideas on the most important issues in Western Hemisphere affairs. Congressional members in the CMWG may also meet periodically for private meetings and roundtable discussions.

See some of our recent programming below.

Consequences of Ending TPS on the US and El Salvador

February 13, 2018: The Inter-American Dialogue convened members of Congress and a delegation of Salvadoran representatives from the private sector to discuss the issue of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The CMWG dinner was attended by five members of Congress: Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Norma Torres (D-CA). Read more here.

High-level Roundtable on Trade & Economic Relations

May 25, 2017: The Inter-American Dialogue hosted its fourth annual roundtable discussion with private sector leaders of the President’s Leadership Council and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). The conversation was moderated by Thomas McLarty, former White House Chief of Staff. See more here.

Funding a Comprehensive Response to the Zika Virus

December 14, 2016: The Inter-American Dialogue and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law convened a private roundtable discussion on funding for the Zika virus outbreak in the Americas. The CMWG breakfast was hosted by four members of Congress: Eliot Engel (D-NY), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Sam Farr (D-CA), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). Read more here.

High-level Roundtable on Trade, Rule of Law & Immigration

June 9, 2016: The Inter-American Dialogue hosted its second annual roundtable discussion with private sector leaders of the President’s Leadership Council and members of Congress. The congressional breakfast was hosted by a bipartisan group of members: Tim Kaine (Senate, D-VA), Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and Jared Polis (D-CO). The conversation was moderated by Jim Kolbe, former US representative (R-AZ). See more here.

A Conversation with El Salvador’s Foreign Minister

July 9, 2015: The Inter-American Dialogue hosted a CMWG dinner discussion led by Hugo Martínez, the foreign affairs minister of El Salvador, and Roberta Jacobson, US assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs. The dinner was co-hosted by a group of bipartisan members of Congress: Tom Emmer (R-MN), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and Norma Torres (D-CA). Other congressional members in attendance included Nita Lowey (D-NY), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Sam Farr (D-CA). Read more here.

High-level Roundtable on Latin America Policy in the US Congress

June 18, 2015: The Inter-American Dialogue hosted its inaugural roundtable discussion with private sector leaders of the President’s Leadership Council and members of Congress. The congressional breakfast was hosted by a bipartisan group of members: Gregg Harper (R-MS), Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Beto O’Rourke (D-TX). Other congressional members in attendance included Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Norma Torres (D-CA), and Joaquin Castro (D-TX). The conversation was moderated by Jim Kolbe, former US representative (R-AZ). See more here.

Other Member Programming

 

Congressional Staff Engagement

This group is modeled on the Dialogue’s Congressional Members Working Group on the Americas. It meets periodically for briefings by Dialogue experts and roundtable discussions on issues of topical importance with selected decision-makers, private sector, administration, and other policy leaders, and visiting dignitaries. The purpose of these meetings is to facilitate informed policy dialogue on issues of importance to Congress.


Briefing: Covid-19 & LAC

Dialogue Program Directors,
House of Representatives Staff, and Senate Staff.

April 16, 2020
Read more here.


High-level Roundtable on Latin American Policy & Priorities in Congress

President’s Leadership Council
and the House Foreign Affairs Committee & Senate Foreign Relations Committee

June 6, 2019
See more here.

Briefing: Situation in Venezuela

Dialogue Experts and
House Foreign Affairs Committee

February 1, 2019
Read more here.

High-level Roundtable on Trade & Economic Relations

The President’s Leadership Council and the Committee on Ways & Means

June 5, 2018
See more here.

Congressional Briefing, large crowd and panel

Briefing: TPS with FUSADES

Dialogue Experts and
House Foreign Affairs Committee

February 14, 2018
Read more here.

Briefing: Mexico’s Energy Reform

Dialogue Experts and
House of Representatives Staff

April 6, 2017
Read more here.

 

Congressional Testimonies

Dialogue staff and program fellows are often called upon to provide expert testimony before Congressional Committees on Western Hemispheric topics such as democratic governance and corruption in Haiti, unauthorized military funding in Venezuela, Asia’s influence in Latin America and the role of debt diplomacy, energy opportunities in the Southern Cone, and de-risking and its effects on financial services, among others.

 

Dan Erikson

 

Margaret Myers

 

Michael Camilleri

     

Rebecca Bill Chavez

 

Lisa Viscidi

 

Michael Shifter

 

 

Public Events

Panelists and Event Card for Race and Policing in the US and Brazil Event

Race and Policing in the US and Brazil

July 27, 2020: Online Event
Read more here.

Donna Shalala, Michael Shifter, US southern command

US Regional Cooperation on Covid-19 with Rep. Donna Shalala

March 26, 2020: Conference Call
Read more here.

USMCA and Latin American Energy Diplomacy Under a New US Congress

December 11, 2018: National Press Club
Read more here.

The End of TPS: Policy Options, Social Impacts

February 14, 2018: Inter-American Dialogue
Read more here.

Zika Crisis and Implications for US Policy

March 15, 2016: Capitol Hill
Read more here.

Pressing Issues in Central America and Mexico

February 28, 2014: Capitol Hill
Read more here.

 

Contact

For more information regarding the Congressional Program, please email Sofia Lalinde or call +1-202-463-2572.