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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.
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.
By choosing to accept the Oswaldo Payá award in Cuba, the OAS Secretary General has taken a characteristically brave gambit.
For anyone still wondering how Donald Trump came to be the Republican Party’s nominee for president of the United States, his surprise visit to Mexico on Wednesday for a meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto offered some clues.
Yo creo que la oposición tiene mucha razón en [sentirse] escéptica de que esto va a llegar a un acuerdo. Porque es cierto que Maduro no había cumplido sus promesas. Sin embargo, la situación ha cambiado, ósea no existía un Guaidó antes de este año. No ha sido un líder, pero una estrategia clara es que tiene la capacidad de liderar distintos sectores de la oposición.
Guatemala necesitaría muchos recursos de EEUU para convertirse en “tercer país seguro” para solicitantes de asilo. No está claro cómo va a funcionar esto, y si va a funcionar va a obligar a EEUU a cooperar con Guatemala con muchos recursos para manejar este programa, pero realmente pone a Guatemala en una posición muy difícil: está sirviendo a los intereses de EEUU, y dudo mucho que es algo que quiera Guatemala, como tampoco lo quiere México.