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Highlights from the 30th Anniversary Gala


More than 300 dignitaries from across the Americas gathered in Washington on June 7, 2012, to help the Inter-American Dialogue celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Hosted in the Hall of the Americas at the Organization of American States, the Gala celebration featured speakers such as President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia (via video); World Bank President Robert Zoellick; Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA); former president of Chile Ricardo Lagos; His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick; and, as emcee, Ray Suarez of PBS NewsHour. The Dialogue also presented its first ever Award for Civic Engagement to the 4% movement for education reform in the Dominican Republic.

It was during President Ronald Reagan’s first term that the Dialogue’s inaugural conference was organized in Washington, DC to focus on such issues as the debt crisis, the Central American civil wars, the challenge of restoring democratic governance, and the tensions associated with the Malvinas/Falklands conflict. The Dialogue has changed

Featured Content

The Dialogue's 30 year Gala Highlights Video

Program from the 30th Anniversary Gala

Welcoming remarks by Dialogue president Michael Shifter

"Globalization: Made in the Americas," keynote speech by Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank

Remarks by Dialogue Board member Elena Viyella de Paliza, presenter of the Award for Civic Engagement

Acceptance speech of Magda Pepén (video), representative of the Coalición Educación Digna, recipient of the Dialogue's first Award for Civic Engagement

View press coverage of the 30th Anniversary

Thanking our corporate and philanthropic sponsors

substantially over the past three decades – as has the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the state of inter-American and hemispheric affairs.

Today, as always, Dialogue activities are directed to generating new policy ideas and practical proposals for action, and getting these ideas and proposals to government and private decision makers. Our work plan for the period ahead addresses the following

themes: the nature of immigration and changing demographics in the hemisphere—including an assessment of the new reality of more influential and politically demanding indigenous and Afro-descendant groups; the future of democratic governance in the Americas; economic and social developments, looking at growth, poverty and inequality; changing dynamics in energy and the environment—including the simultaneous emergence of mega-infrastructure projects, extractive industries, and environmental and other concerns flowing from protected territories and ancestral lands; tendencies of regionalism and integration and the future role of non-hemispheric actors; trends  in crime and violence, and scenarios for coming decades that have yet to be contemplated.

Since 1982—through successive Republican and Democratic administrations and many changes of leadership elsewhere in the hemisphere—the Dialogue has helped shape the agenda of issues and choices in inter-American relations. Given such rapid and fundamental changes in recent years and the challenges that lie ahead, the role of the Inter-American Dialogue has never been more important to the future of the Americas.

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