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.
The Institute of the Americas is Founded
February 12, 1983
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
1987 Alfonsín was Argentina’s first democratically elected president after seven years of dictatorship.
First La Jolla Energy Conference takes place
May 22, 1990
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
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
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
President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico receives Award for Democracy and Peace
Ricardo Lagos of Chile receives Award
April 15, 2004
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 Vicente Fox of Mexico receives Award for Democracy and Peace.
April 12, 2007
First STEM Summer Camp
June 11, 2010
Since this 2010, more than 500 students have graduated from our program
First Innovation Workshop
March 31, 2014
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
Since 2014, this program has expanded to Mexico and Argentina.
XXV Annual La Jolla Energy Conference
May 24, 2016
IOA Launches Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program
November 11, 2016
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