Michael Shifter

United States  |  President, Inter-American Dialogue

+1-202-463-2574 ˙ michael@thedialogue.org ˙

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Michael Shifter is president of the Inter-American Dialogue. He was previously vice president for policy and director of the Dialogue’s democratic governance program. Since 1994, Shifter has played a key role in shaping the Dialogue’s agenda, commissioning policy-relevant articles and reports.

Shifter writes and talks widely on US-Latin American relations and hemispheric affairs. His recent articles have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, Current History, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Journal of Democracy, Harvard International Review and in newspapers and journals in Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Chile, Panama, Argentina and Brazil. He is often interviewed by US, Latin American, European and Chinese media, and appears frequently on CNN and BBC. Shifter has lectured about hemispheric policy at leading universities in Latin America and Europe and has testified regularly before the US Congress about US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean.

Prior to joining the Dialogue, Shifter directed the Latin American and Caribbean program at the National Endowment for Democracy and, before that, the Ford Foundation’s governance and human rights program in the Andean region and Southern Cone, where he was based, first, in Lima, Peru and then in Santiago, Chile. In the 1980s, he was representative in Brazil with the Inter-American Foundation, and also worked at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program. 

Since 1993, Shifter has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he teaches Latin American politics. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Latin American Studies Association and is a contributing editor to Current History. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Washington Office on Latin America and on the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch/Americas Division, and the Social Science Foundation of the Graduate School of International Relations at the University of Denver.

Shifter graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Oberlin College and holds a MA in sociology from Harvard University, where he taught Latin American development and politics for four years.


Analysis See all

El Washington Post Video

La elección en el BID

En el podcast en español El Washington Post Michael Shifter habló sobre el nuevo presidente del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, Mauricio Claver-Carone. Shifter comentó sobre la falta de liderazgo en la región y cómo Claver-Carone tiene una oportunidad única para unificar al hemisferio.

Daniel Pacheco y Michael Shifter Video

Elecciones en EEUU y la relación con Colombia

Michael Shifter participó en el programa “Zona Franca” del Canal REDMÁS de Colombia donde comentó con Daniel Pacheco acerca de la visita del Secretario de Estado Pompeo a Colombia, la relación entre Donald Trump e Iván Duque y las próximas elecciones en Estados Unidos.


Blog See all

Brent Scowcroft

Scowcroft and Colombia

Brent Scowcroft was truly one of the giants of the US foreign policy establishment. We admire his wisdom, prowess as a strategist, and humility as a person. Like few others, he understood the importance of building and sustaining US alliances and respectful relations. At the Dialogue, we are inspired by Scowcroft’s rich legacy.

˙Michael Shifter

George HW Bush and Latin America: An Overlooked Legacy

What the Bush administration showed is how crucial “style” is in diplomacy. Genuine and regular consultations are key to building trust and a sense of community. This is true generally, but especially so in Latin America, where the asymmetry with the United States is so pronounced and has strongly shaped inter-American relations, often with unhappy results.

˙Michael Shifter


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Press Mentions See all

Claver no tiene trayectoria en temas de desarrollo en la región, mas bien ha sido un ideólogo, un político. Él dice que va a unir y no a dividir la región, que no va a ser político sino que va a tener otro estilo al que ha llevado en su cargo actual en la administración del presidente Trump. Esto no lo sabemos, lo que sí está claro es que él va a tener la agenda política de Estados Unidos muy presente y está identificado con el proyecto de desarrollo de ese país conocido como “América Crece”. La interrogante va a ser si puede generar políticas multilaterales.
Mauricio Claver-Carone deberá fortalecer su capitalización y diseñar políticas para la recuperación de la región latinoamericana, sin tener sesgos políticos, sino de una manera profesional. Tener prioridades claras, definidas; la capacidad de atraer los mejores profesionales, los mejores técnicos para hacer un trabajo muy fundamental en la medida que no sea politizado, sin orientación política, solamente bajo criterios técnicos y profesionales, ese será un gran reto.