The Dialogue brings together leading citizens from throughout the hemisphere who incorporate a diversity of political and professional perspectives, yet share a commitment to democratic rule, social equity, and economic cooperation in the Americas. Our mission is to convene these leaders to help build productive ties among Western Hemisphere nations.
At a time of great flux and uncertainty in the Americas, the Dialogue is poised to play an even more active role in analyzing key issues and trends in hemispheric affairs, to help set the agenda, to generate new policy ideas, and to suggest practical proposals for government and private decision-makers. Its in-house expertise, ability to bring together key actors from across sectors, and its effectiveness in bridging the gap between research and practice uniquely position the Dialogue to lead the way on such critical inter-American challenges as immigration, energy policy, social policy and security.
The following are a few examples of how we are measuring up to the challenge. We are grateful to our funders for supporting these and many other initiatives.
Examples of impact
Achieving Consensus in Trade Policy Debates
The Dialogue has long been a leading voice in trade policy debates. Dialogue staff have written influential papers and articles, convened public meetings and private briefings, and testified before Congress, all in an effort to identify areas of common interest and promote progress toward improved trade relations. Upon the signing of the US-Colombia trade accord in 2011, Colombia's ambassador praised the Dialogue's "objective voice" and "fundamental contributions" to achieving consensus on regional trade policy. MORE
Re-establishing US-Cuba Relations
On December 17, 2014, US president Barack Obama and Cuban president Raúl Castro announced their intention to re-establish diplomatic relations, severed a half century ago, and take steps to lift restrictions on travel, commerce and the free flow of information. Since the mid-1980s, the Inter-American Dialogue has sought to encourage political and economic openings in Cuba and find ways to reintegrate Cuba into the inter-American system. In 1991, the Dialogue established a special Task Force to review Cuba’s relations with other Western Hemisphere nations, identify new approaches to Cuba that would foster increased policy cooperation between the US and Latin America, encourage peaceful transition to democratic rule in Cuba, and lead to Cuba’s economic and political reintegration into the inter-American community. A special delegation of Task Force members, headed by Elliot Richardson and including Oscar Arias, traveled to Cuba in 1995 and members and staff have traveled to Cuba many times since then. A Dialogue initiative promoted the use of existing mechanisms for cooperation, such as environmental treaties signed by both governments and international scientific institutions to which both nations belong. The Dialogue’s work on Cuba is rooted in the deeply held commitment to multilateral cooperation, to the peaceful resolution of conflict, and to democratic advance throughout the Americas.
Bringing More People into the Formal Financial System
The Dialogue's research on the role of money transfers in Latin America's economic and social development has helped place remittances at the center of policy debates in Washington and region-wide. Manuel Orozco's critical analysis of money transfer data has led to improved market competition and to reduced costs of remittances to consumers. The Dialogue's pioneering financial literacy program has provided training to over 100,000 people in the region, converting some 20 percent of them into clients of a financial institution. MORE
Advancing Quality in Latin American Education
When the Dialogue and CINDE in Chile formed the Partnership for Education Revitalization in the Americas (PREAL) in 1995, almost no country in the region had established world-class learning standards in reading, math and science. PREAL has worked to convince policy makers that standards are crucial to education quality, and demonstrated how to establish and use them. Today, many countries have made standards a centerpiece of education reform. MORE
Putting Latin America on the U.S. Congressional Agenda
Legislators are the first to admit that the US Congress has lacked a consistent focus on Latin America policy. To address this problem, the Dialogue created the Congressional Members Working Group, a regular closed-door forum that brings members of Congress together with key Latin American policy officials and other leaders to exchange ideas. To date, more than 300 congress members have participated in CMWG meetings about crucial issues of mutual concern in Western Hemisphere affairs. MORE.
Plotting the Course for New Hemispheric Collaboration
Inter-American relations are today largely free of the antagonisms of the past, but they also lack vigor and purpose. Effective cooperation in the Americas, whether to deal with urgent problems or to take advantage of new opportunities, has been disappointing. The Inter-American Dialogue’s 2012 policy report, Remaking the Relationship: The United States and Latin America, plots a road-map for reshaping relations in a new direction. The report was covered by The Economist magazine in its influential Lexington Column. MORE.
Ranking Among the Top 2% of US Think Tanks
The Dialogue has been ranked in the top 2 percent of think tanks in the US for a third year in a row, according to a new University of Pennsylvania survey. It is the only institution listed in the top 50 that focuses primarily on issues affecting a specific region of the world. MORE
Bringing the Media's Attention to Regional Issues
The Dialogue ranks among the 25 most-cited think tanks in the US media, according to an independent watch-dog group, and the only one on that list with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. Dialogue analysis and events have been covered by top media outlets, such as CBS News, NBC News, PBS NewsHour, BBC News, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and scores of Spanish- and Portuguese-language outlets. MORE.