About Us

About us

For 35 years, the Institute of the Americas has promoted sound public policy and fostered cooperation between public and private sector stakeholders across the hemisphere. Our diverse programs emphasize innovation and technological advance as the key to building 21st century economies in the Americas.

To us, innovation is not a buzzword. Through our programs, we link traditional productive sectors with new technologies and strategies, all in an effort to help the region move up the value added chain.

What do we do?

We build bridges across the Americas — linking business leaders, policymakers, teachers, and students to advance education, share ideas, and facilitate opportunities. We help understand and catalyze innovation in core sectors, including: energy & sustainability, agriculture & food, life sciences & biotech, water & oceans, and the digital economy as it pertains to these core, productive activities.

How did we get here?

Our programs have been regional staples for decades. Since 1990, we have played a crucial role in keeping policymakers and businesses informed about the most important trends in the energy sector, both through our La Jolla Energy Conference and our newsletter, workshops, webinars and podcasts.

We have hosted numerous Latin American heads of state, and our Award for Democracy and Peace has been an important way to highlight leaders who have made singular contributions to development and prosperity.

Now, as the global economy continues to evolve and the Americas look to the industries of the future, we are ready to expand our agenda. We are poised to leverage our history, our extensive network, and our unique location in California, a global nexus of innovation, to drive forward 21st century economies through innovation and sustainable development. As part of this new agenda, we have created our Innovation & Entrepreneurship program, and we have expanded our Energy Program to incorporate a strong focus on renewables through our Energy Transition Initiative.

OUR STORY

The Institute of the Americas is Founded

February 12, 1983

The Institute of the Americas is Founded
1983 The IOA is founded by Ted Gildred, US Ambassador to Argentina.

Raúl Alfonsín receives the first IOA Award for Democracy and Peace

May 29, 1987

Raúl Alfonsín receives the first IOA Award for Democracy and Peace
1987 Alfonsín was Argentina’s first democratically elected president after seven years of dictatorship.

First La Jolla Energy Conference takes place

May 22, 1990

First La Jolla Energy Conference takes place
In 1990 First La Jolla Energy Conference takes place. In 1991 the Multi-Year Environmental Project starts with Environmental Technology Conference

IOA second major expansion

April 21, 1992

IOA second major expansion
Gildred and Paul H. Boeker, the second President of the IOA, oversee the second major expansion.

IOA Award for Democracy and Peace

May 29, 1992

IOA Award for Democracy and Peace
Patricio Aylwin, Chile’s first democratically elected president after almost 20 years of dictatorship, receives Award for Democracy and Peace.

Zedillo receives Award for Democracy and Peace

June 21, 2001

Zedillo receives Award for Democracy and Peace
President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico receives Award for Democracy and Peace

Ricardo Lagos of Chile receives Award

April 15, 2004

Ricardo Lagos of Chile receives Award
President Ricardo Lagos of Chile receives Award for Democracy and Peace.

President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia receives Award for Democracy and Peace

March 16, 2005

President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia receives Award for Democracy and Peace

President Vicente Fox of Mexico receives Award for Democracy and Peace.

April 12, 2007

President Vicente Fox of Mexico receives Award for Democracy and Peace.

First STEM Summer Camp

June 11, 2010

First STEM Summer Camp
Since this 2010, more than 500 students have graduated from our program

First Innovation Workshop

March 31, 2014

First Innovation Workshop
Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of Qualcomm, delivers a presentation to workshop participants from throughout the Americas.

First STEM Workshop for High School teachers

August 8, 2014

First STEM Workshop for High School teachers
Since 2014, this program has expanded to Mexico and Argentina.

XXV Annual La Jolla Energy Conference

May 24, 2016

XXV Annual La Jolla Energy Conference

IOA Launches Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program

November 11, 2016

IOA Launches Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program
OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría delivers the keynote speech at the launch event. He is shown here with Ambassador Jamal Khokhar, President and CEO of the IOA.

Launch of Energy Transition Initiative

June 15, 2018

Launch of Energy Transition Initiative
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