U. S. Ambassador Theodore Edmonds Gildred Dies at 83

Ted Gildred

United States Ambassador Theodore Edmonds Gildred, ambassador to Argentina from 1986 – 1989 during that country’s newfound democratic presidency, died on January 3, 2019, at his home in Montana. He lived primarily in North San Diego County, CA. Ambassador Gildred reported to President Reagan, President George H. W. Bush, and Secretary of State George Schultz. Ted was 83 years old. He had suffered serious illness for some time.

Lomas Santa Fe Inc.

In civilian life, Ambassador Gildred was an influential developer in the San Diego area for over 50 years, having received numerous awards, one of which acclaimed him a visionary in San Diego development. In north county San Diego, CA, his development company, Lomas Santa Fe Inc., built the vast majority of residences, shopping centers, parks, office buildings, and a country club in the sprawling Lomas Santa Fe section of Solana Beach. As Chairman of the Board and key shareholder, he founded Torrey Pines Bank there, which later became part of Wells Fargo Bank.  In business, Lomas Santa Fe was his proudest achievement. But Ted had personal endeavors at which he excelled, as well.

In 1935, Ted was born in Mexico City to an American and Mexican developer, Theodore Gildred, and Maxine Gildred, an accomplished opera singer. Young Ted went to school in Mexico City and in San Diego. After graduating high school, he applied to and graduated from Leland Stanford Jr. University near Palo Alto, CA.

Life of Service

Ted volunteered for the United States Army in 1956 and served as an M.P. in Germany during the late years of the Marshall Plan of reconstruction. Off duty, as is the case in young peoples’ lives, Ted and his buddies were sometimes given to shenanigans, but, he said, he was proud to serve and that service made him grow up.

Spiriting out a Muscovite to Sweden

After that, Ted pursued studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. During that period, just prior to Gary Powers’ U-2 being shot down over Russia, Ted made a trip to Moscow, U.S.S.R., and was instrumental in spiriting out a Muscovite to Sweden, where she lived a long, happy life. Years later Ted became friends with Powers.

Ted Gildred was a founding member of the Buenos Aires chapter of YPO, the Young Presidents’ Organization, which brings together young leaders throughout the world in order to promote understanding and cooperation between countries, cultures, and the unique challenges young entrepreneurs encounter.

French 24 Hours of Le Mans

Ted Gildred was a licensed racecar driver and collector of a wide range of significant, vintage cars. He raced for more than forty years, primarily throughout California.  He enjoyed competing in many car rallies, as well, driving with friends and family. When he had a chance to sponsor and co-drive a car with the famous George Follmer at Le Mans in 1986, he sponsored the car but had to step out of the driver’s seat at the request of the United States Department of State pending his appointment to an Ambassadorship. Ted’s car, painted in proud American flag style, took 3rd overall and 1st in class at the world famous French 24 Hours of Le Mans that year.

Racing and collecting cars was not Ted’s only recreational passion. He was also an avid aviator, attaining the highest instrument rating available from the FAA. While in dire weather in Argentina, the Ambassador was even once asked to and did take the controls of the Embassy plane.

Goodwill Flight

Ted Gildred Goodwill FlightAs Ambassador and as a pilot, he once had the great privilege of riding along with the Blue Angels. He was, like his father before him, inducted into the San Diego Air and Space Museum Hall of Fame. Ted twice re-enacted his father’s record-setting flight from San Diego to Quito, Ecuador. On the 50th anniversary he flew a depression-era aircraft. On the 75th anniversary, he flew a modern aircraft. At the end of the 1931 flight, Ted’s father donated his plane to the Ecuadorian Government teaching postal service pilots to fly the plane, thereby establishing the first airmail system over the Ecuadorian Andes. During the anniversary flights, Ted used the journeys to promote friendship opportunities between officials and dignitaries of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador.

Theodore Edmonds Gildred, Ted, was attentive to charities, as well. He donated the land to build the Boys and Girls Club of Solana Beach, was one of the founders of the San Diego Community Foundation, and generously gave numerous other charitable gifts. He gave to many charities over the years, including the Scripps Institute, the Francis Parker School, Stanford University, UCSD, the Madison Valley Medical Center, and the Jonas Salk Institute. Dr. Salk had been a dear friend of Ted and of Ted’s father.

Institute of the Americas Founder

In 1982, Theodore Edmonds Gildred, having returned from a tour of Latin America where he met with heads of state and other dignitaries, founded the Institute of the Americas, seeding it with an ample endowment. With the help of Dr. Richard Atkinson, Ted convinced the University of California, San Diego and its Board of Regents to allow him to build several buildings at the University, one of which houses the Institute. Since then, the Institute of the Americas has raised money, facilitated influential relationships between people in all of South and North America, provided education for young scholars, produced research papers to the academy in order to promote discourse and understanding, and met with officials of governments, the World Bank, the IMF, and CAF to encourage stable, sustainable development and peace in Latin America. Its vital mission continues to this day.

Award-Winning Ranch Community

Ted and a partner bought the sprawling 27,000-acre Sun Ranch near Yellowstone Park in the Madison Valley of Montana, significantly improving it while preserving wildlife habitat. Years later, in the early 1990s, having sold the Sun Ranch, Ted created an award-winning ranch community across the Madison River on 2,000 acres he had purchased shortly after buying the Sun Ranch. Sun West Ranch was ahead of its time in responsible development concept of extraordinary lands, having selected discreet, ample acreage homesites away from the river in order to preserve the pristine landscape. 1,600 of the 2,000 acres is forever dedicated to open space. The development is so well designed that property owners and drivers-by do not see hidden homes within all the natural splendor.

After returning from Argentina in 1989 where polo is ubiquitous and Ted became an avid player, Ted helped found the first Polo Club in north San Diego County. He had always been a good horseman. He further belonged to several service clubs, as well, who honored him for his service and many achievements.

Ted never forgot how fortunate he was for his education. He understood how it opens opportunities for people. Theodore Edmonds Gildred funded permanent professorship chairs of Latin American Studies at Stanford University and of U.S.-Mexican Relations at University of California San Diego.

Love for his Family

All of these worldly accomplishments and more filled one of the fullest and, in Ted’s mind, luckiest lives ever lived. But combined, they did not compare to the love he had for his family. Ted was preceded in death by his brother, Stuart. Ted is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Heidi Coppin Gildred. He is survived by his sisters, Lynne Gildred of San Francisco and Helen Gildred of Marin County, CA. He is further survived by his children: Theodore Edmonds Gildred III of San Diego County, Jennifer Gildred Piper of Sonoma County, CA; Edward Gildred of Los Angeles; John Gildred of Los Gatos, CA; Tory Gildred Hober of Seattle, WA; Stephen Gildred of Del Mar, CA; and Kimberly Dunn O’Neill of Atascadero, CA. Ted is also survived by his four grandchildren, Maximillian Gildred, Joshua Gildred, Sara Gildred, and Harper Charlotte Hober as well as numerous nieces and nephews.  At the end of the day, the love he had for each and all of these people was what mattered most to him. He loved each of them without qualification. He was indeed a busy man, an exacting man, and at times a stern and proud man. But, as the dust settled, he was most sure and heartened that he loved and did it for them.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to the Madison Valley Medical Center Foundation in Ennis Montana, the Institute of the Americas on the campus of UCSD or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Services will be held at the Village Community Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe at 11:30 AM on January 18, 2019.

USMCA and Latin American Energy Diplomacy Under a New US Congress

USMCA and Latin American Energy Diplomacy Under a New US Congress

Dec 11 2018 – Washington DC

November’s midterm elections altered the balance of power in Washington, and the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, which will mean new chairs on key committees, will play an important role in shaping US energy diplomacy and energy markets in the Western Hemisphere. At an event co-hosted by the Inter-American Dialogue and the Institute of the Americas, panelists discussed how the new Congress will approach key issues affecting energy within the context of Latin America’s evolving role in US trade and foreign policy.

In his keynote remarks, Nelson Cunningham, president of McLarty Associates, stressed that the approval of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) will take center stage as the new Congress assumes power, with major consequences for North American trade. Though the Democratic base has become increasingly pro-trade, Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats may be reluctant to yield a major political win to President Donald Trump, and Pelosi could attempt to stall a vote on the deal as she did with the Colombia Free Trade Agreement in 2008.

At least publicly, Democratic leaders have expressed their desire to work with the president on reaching an agreement, which could deliver some minor improvements over the original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but they have concerns about elements related to labor and the environment, as well as about the deal’s overall enforceability, panelists noted. It remains to be seen whether the president is willing to negotiate or will resort immediately to his nuclear option: a unilateral withdrawal from NAFTA, which would leave Democrats with six months to decide between the USMCA and the grim alternative of no free trade deal at all. All parties would lose in North America’s highly integrated energy industry, including US refiners and gas producers that import crude oil, steel, and aluminum from both neighboring countries and export heavily to Mexico.

Beyond trade, Congress also has broad powers in global energy diplomacy. The House has important influence on areas such as foreign aid, tax policy, and natural gas exports. Panelists discussed strategic goals the new Congress can pursue next year, such as preventing oil from becoming part of conflicts in the region and reinforcing political stability and good governance. In particular, two new committee chairs will shoulder special responsibility in setting the agenda. Representative Eliot Engel, who will take the helm as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, brings a strong track record in US-Latin America engagement, having previously chaired the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee. Representative Albio Sires will assume the top role on that subcommittee, and will emphasize his tough stance on Venezuela and on Cuba, where he was born. Closer cooperation on energy in the hemisphere will benefit both the US and Latin American partners, and in the current complex political environment, the new Congress should resolve not to let it fall by the wayside.

Women Empowerment in Renewable Energy Program

Women Empowerment in Renewable Energy Program

October 2018
Jacqueline Sanchez Pando, Energy & Sustainability Policy Associate at the Institute of the Americas is currently participating in the Women Empowerment in Renewable Energy Program developed by the US Department of Energy and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

The program’s objectives are to support participants to expand their knowledge and skills in the renewable energy sector (i.e. technology, markets, policies, economic and social dimensions); to further their understanding of the energy-women nexus & the possible link to energy poverty; and to expand their professional network to other regions of the world.

The aforementioned program initially hosted a group of 50 female executives, government officials, and academia in their mid-career in the field from APEC’s 21 economies.

Jacqueline and a group of fifteen fellow participants have been nominated to attend the one-week face-to face training in APEC HQ in Singapore to take place in late Oct. early November. The training will bring policy, gender and business experts to widen participants learning of social, gender and environmental co-benefits of renewable energy developments. It will take place during Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW).

La Jolla and Thousand Oaks Welcome Top Argentinian Science Journalists For a Biomedicine Workshop

La Jolla and Thousand Oaks Welcome Top Argentinian Science Journalists For a Biomedicine Workshop

With over 200 established biotechnology companies, Argentina has the second largest concentration per capita in Latin America. The largest category of biotech companies in Argentina belongs to Human Health. Its R&D investment intensity surpasses that of the Seed sector and receives roughly 146 million dollars, participating in almost 20% of total biotechnological R&D. This dynamism is further highlighted by the fact that two-thirds of these biotech companies were founded less than a decade ago. There over 40 research institutes dedicated to bio sciences and notable university programs specializing in this field.

The strength of the biotech sector in Argentina, the strong biotech sector in San Diego and Thousand Oaks, and the over 15 years of experience that the Institute has organizing professional journalism training workshops for Latin American journalists, brought together top tier journalists from Argentina for a week-long workshop focused on Biomedicine. From April 15th to 19th, the Institute of the Americas and Amgen co-hosted this program and invited eight distinguished Argentinian science journalists: Alejandra Folgarait, Federico Kukso, Valeria Román of Infobae, Florencia Ballarino of Perfil, Nora Bär of La Nacion, Florencia Maria Cunzolo of Clarin, Matias Loewy of Medscape, and Lucas Viano of La Voz for this unique opportunity to conduct innovative, hands-on, and experiential learning through this pilot program.

In San Diego, the distinguished guests were introduced to its innovation and biomedicine ecosystem. Dr. Mary Walshok, Dean of UC San Diego Extension and also an Institute Board Member, opened the event by framing the San Diego case within a sociological context that outlined important factors leading to the creation of this vibrant ecosystem. The event included representatives of important innovation intermediaries including Devora Rossi, Senior Innovation and Commercialization Manager at the Office of Innovation & Commercialization of UC San Diego, Jennifer Landress, Sr. VP and COO of Biocom, and Steve Hoey, VP of the Springboard Accelerator Program and Innovation Research at CONNECT San Diego.  The program also included a presentation from Argentinian serial entrepreneur Diego Miralles, CEO of Vividion Therapeutics and dinner with local ex-pat scientists and researchers.  Additionally, Matthew Bresnahan, Partner of Intellectual Property at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, discussed intellectual property and patents and Albert Vazquez, Business Angel at Tech Coast Angeles San Diego, shared the importance of angel investment for the growth of an innovation economy.

The workshop facilitated the opportunity for journalists to visit innovation centers such as Biolabs, Calit2, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, and Illumina. These site visits enabled the journalists to see firsthand the processes and investigations which occur in the facilities and be inspired by the prospects of bio medicine for the future.

At Thousand Oaks, the delegation visited Amgen’s headquarters to analyze more in depth the case study of a successful bio pharmaceutical company that started small and has now become a world leader in biotechnology and medicine that addresses serious illnesses. The journalists enjoyed an engaging overview from Sr. VP and General Manager of the Intercontinental Region, Gilles Marrache before presenting their own analysis of the Argentinian ecosystem.

The highlight of the program for the journalists was the first and second sessions of a modified Amen Biotech Experience (ABE) which the Amgen Foundation offers to empower teachers to bring biotechnology to their classrooms. Led by Professor Martin Ikkanda, creator of the content for the ABE Program, the delegation explored how to engineer DNA molecules to express genes coding for human biologic medicines. They inserted a gene, made a protein, and purified it during two short lab sessions.

The program included TED-style talks (TAD Talks – Technology, Amgen, and Design) to present and discuss important topics to science including Biosimilars, Science Education, and Immunology  presented by three Amgen executives.

Motivated by the newly restructured focus of the Institute: Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Energy & Sustainability, we hope to continue to offer journalistic programs focused on innovation reporting and innovations to reporting methods as one of our pillars in the Institute’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) Program.  These efforts seeks to convene different stakeholders of the innovation ecosystem in order to help educate, inform, and inspire leaders that will have a multiplying effect on these important hemispheric issues. Capacity building workshops, journalism initiatives, and STEM student and teacher camps are ways that we are helping harness the innovative potential in Latin America. The Institute seeks to increase its involvement throughout the region and continue to provide opportunities for collaboration and growth.

Argentina’s Energy Outlook: Normalization and Boosting Compettiveness

Argentina’s Energy Outlook: Normalization and Boosting Compettiveness

Continuing a discussion begun in 2015 on the key elements facing the energy sector in Argentina, the Institute of the Americas convened an Energy Roundtable on March 21 in Buenos Aires.

The Roundtable counted three high-level discussion panels and was attended by over 75 representatives from industry, government, and academia. The panels at the Roundtable featured optimistic and robust discussion of Argentina’s energy sector, but particularly the structural adjustments and reforms enacted by the Macri administration.

The efforts to “normalize” the sector are beginning to pay dividends with an improved fiscal outlook and institutional and market credibility. A series of regional integration projects and energy exchanges with neighboring countries, ones that were but dots and lines on a power point slide just 2-3 years ago, are now a reality.

But amid the optimism and positive outlook, there were words of caution. Of greatest concern for all segments of the energy sector are the impacts of stubbornly high costs and inflation, elements that have and will continue to impede competitiveness but particularly the development of the highly-touted Vaca Muerta unconventional play in the country.

Beyond managing labor costs, the topic of how to boost a more competitive oil and gas sector focused on the need to greatly expand not just the number and capabilities of service and equipment providers, but also to exponentially increase the amount of operators in the country’s oil patch. One panelist persuasively argued that an increase on the order of ten times the current number of market participants is required to develop a competitive oil and gas ecosystem; a growth in not just majors, but all manner of companies and expertise.

The profound transformation of the global energy sector is clearly being felt in Argentina panelists concurred. Indeed, the country’s renewable energy auctions were oversubscribed and highlighted as an important step. However, panelists tended to agree that the adoption of key tenets of the energy transition are moving slowly with deployment of renewables hindered by financing and the country’s boom-bust and default legacy, while significant advances on storage and electrification of the transport sector seem farther off in Argentina.

Mexico’s Fuels Market and Infrastructure – A Complex Transition

Mexico’s Fuels Market and Infrastructure – A Complex Transition

Mexico’s energy reforms have brought a major overhaul of the nation’s entire energy sector. Among the myriad changes being implemented, major opportunities have emerged with regards to Mexico’s fuels and liquids market, as well as infrastructure development associated with fuel sales, supply, storage and distribution. Mexico’s fuels market is the fourth largest in the world and has experienced considerable growth in the last several years making it attractive to a wide-range of companies and investors. Growth is driven by transportation, power demand and underpinned by strong population growth.

Last year saw several deregulation milestones met on the path toward a liberalized fuel market, as well as important advances in open seasons aimed at ultimately boosting related infrastructure, both in liquid fuels and natural gas.  In what has become a rapidly changing market, a growing list of international companies, traders and Mexican firms have begun to develop projects with an eye to establishing themselves in Mexico’s fuel and liquids business.

This “complex transition” was at the center of three high-level discussion panels hosted by the Institute of the Americas on February 27 in Mexico City and attended by over 90 representatives from industry, government, and academia.

Panelists generally agreed that development of the fuel market was on the right track and that the reform measures had boosted investment in energy infrastructure. The proliferation of new market players (40 brands as of this week) in the fuel retail market and the choices being created for consumers is important.

But, there was less consensus on whether Mexico would soon see a truly competitive fuels market that could fully serve the growing demand in Mexico and its citizens, not to mention what the key next steps should be before the July elections. In an interesting development, several speakers put on the table the need for further energy reform in Mexico. Panelists also argued that government and industry alike must continue to aim for efficiency, continuity, stability and long-term regulatory certainty.

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