» Bersin says strengthened trade is key to securing
February 3-4, 2011
In September 2010, Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez visited the Institute of the Americas. One of the key issues he discussed was energy. Over the last several years, the Institute of the Americas has convened energy policy discussions in the Dominican Republic and have included high-level government and private sector speakers and participants. The issues, as with many energy-importing nations, are complex and not easily resolved – but progress has been made. As a result of President Fernandez’s visit and the IOA’s ongoing focus on energy, the Institute has set Feb. 3-4 for an energy policy discussion in Santo Domingo to continue focusing on what is at stake and the opportunities and challenges and why 2011 might bring a brighter future for energy in the Dominican Republic. More info
ATLANTA – The Institute of the Americas has been awarded a multi-year grant by the United States Department of State to assess regional electric integration in Central America and provide targeted capacity building. The formal announcement was made by Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela during a keynote address at the Americas Competitiveness Forum in Atlanta on Nov. 16. The grant is designed to develop and provide capacity building to promote regional energy integration in Central America, foster harmonized regulatory and legislative frameworks, and to advance clean energy development across the region. Read more
LA JOLLA – The Institute of the Americas will convene its 20th Annual Latin American Energy Conference, known as “The La Jolla Conference,” on May 16-18. Recognized as the most significant meeting of its kind, the international summit is the Institute’s signature event. This year’s participants at the three-day summit in La Jolla, Ca., will include company presidents, energy ministers, senior government officials and regulators, as well as bankers and representatives of NGOs from Latin America, the United States and Canada.
MEXICO CITY – Just days before the Institute of the Americas’ Dec. 13 energy roundtable in Mexico City, the Mexican Supreme Court approved a new Pemex scheme for private sector oil contracts. The integrated E&P service contracts garnered much attention during the day-long roundtable discussions, as did a broader assessment of Pemex, the evolution of shale gas production and where renewable energy sources – especially wind and cogeneration – stand today in Mexico.
SANTIAGO, Chile – Chile’s Minister of Energy, Ricardo Raineri, opened the Institute of the Americas’ Nov. 8 energy roundtable here with a concise outline of the Sebastian Piñera government’s plans for the nation’s energy sector. Raineri placed the government’s efforts vis-à-vis energy in line with the broader commitment to have Chile become a developed country by the end of the decade, which is largely predicated on the goal of 6% average annual economic growth. In emphasizing this target, the minister was quick to underscore that Chile, rocked in recent years by an energy crisis due to natural gas cuts, continues to employ lessons learned from that experience, particularly the need for energy diversification.
LA JOLLA – Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow will retire from his position as president of the Institute of the Americas at the end of his second four-year term in May 2011, David Weaver, chairman of the board of directors, said.
In announcing Ambassador Davidow's decision, Weaver praised him for injecting new vitality into the Institute's programs, expanding its profile and credibility throughout the Americas and turning it into the premier center for Latin American-focused activities on the West Coast.
LA JOLLA – The Institute's Friend Plaza was transformed into a colorful marketplace of award-winning social innovative projects from Latin America and the Caribbean during the Nov. 17-19 international seminar, "Social innovations in Latin America and the Caribbean." The projects were identified over five annual cycles of the Experiences in Social Innovation contest organized by the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (ECLAC) of the United Nations and the Kellogg Foundation.
Each of the 25 winning projects was judged by ECLAC for innovation, cost-benefit ratio, impact on poverty, social responsibility, sustainability, potential for replication, potential to become public policy and potential to reduce discrimination and exclusion.
The projects were selected from among 4,800 entries from across the region, in a wide variety of thematic areas including reduction of teen violence, improving maternal and child health and the creation of micro cooperatives to produce pasteurized milk. Representatives of the 25 projects shared their experiences during seminar sessions. More than 200 students, faculty members, and community organizers participated in the program, which featured the release of the new book from ECLAC, "From Social Innovation to Public Policy: Success Stories in Latin America and the Caribbean," written by Nohra Rey de Marulanda and Francisco Tancredi.
BEIJING – Latin America is playing an increasingly important role in confronting climate change and implementing measures to reduce emissions, Jia-gui Chen chairman of the academic board of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said during a conference co-hosted in Beijing by China’s Institute of Latin American Studies and the Institute of the Americas.
As world leaders prepared for the next round of talks on climate change in Cancun, Mexico, in November, Chen noted that many countries in Latin America are turning to alternative energy sources such as hydropower, solar energy and wind power.
LA JOLLA – Josefina Vazquez Mota, a leading congressional representative from the conservative National Action Party (PAN), said during a Nov. 17 talk at the Institute of the Americas that she is considering a bid for the presidency in Mexico’s 2012 election.
“I am absolutely convinced that Mexico is prepared to have a woman president,” Vazquez Mota told reporters at a news conference before the event. “Today, seven of every 10 Mexican women contribute to household income.
“We have women in the business sector. We have 6 million women who are heads of household.
“This is not a question of gender,” she said. “The president of this country will be the woman or the man who presents the best project for this country, the best solutions, and who generates hope in the people of our country.”
LA JOLLA –- Can the United States have secure borders while building a more competitive North American economy?
Alan Bersin, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, believes it is not only possible but essential to promote a prosperous U.S.-Mexico economy as part of a strategy to strengthen security at the international border.
“People typically have thought that security and trade are mutually exclusive elements. They subscribed to the notion that unless we have less security we cannot have more trade promotion,“ Bersin said during a Nov. 12 Tequila Talk at the Institute of the Americas.
LA JOLLA – Twenty-five health journalists and communicators from Latin America discussed the latest in Health Journalism in a week-long program convened during the first week of November in La Jolla and Palo Alto by MSD Latin America (Merck & Co., Inc.) and the Institute's Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism program. The visitors met with experts from UCSD, Stanford and industry and saw research conducted during a day-long visit to Merck Research Laboratory Palo Alto, the leading center for the study ofbiologics, or large molecules engineered against illnesses. Other themes covered during the workshop included social communication's impact on health, asthma and co-existing conditions in children, women's health challenges, and breaking news concerning advances in the treatment of Hepatitis C .
LA JOLLA – Organized crime and drug trafficking are threatening democratic gains in Central America, Kevin Casas-Zamora, the former vice president of Costa Rica, said during a Nov. 10 Tequila Talk at the Institute of the Americas.
“In Central America, crime both in its more trivial and its more sinister manifestations is putting at risk everything that the region has achieved in the past two decades -- particularly the triumph of reaching a negotiated solution to terrible civil wars and of having sown the seeds of lasting democratic systems,” said Casas-Zamora, who served as Costa Rica’s vice president from 2006-2007 and is now a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. “Violence in Central America not only threatens the process of democratic consolidation but also endangers the very viability of the state as a regulator of social life.”
LA JOLLA – The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) will host a Feb. 10 symposium to mark the 50th anniversary of the University of California at San Diego. The symposium will focus on key areas of Mexico and its future including art, culture, science, technology, prosperity and development. Among the highlights of the forum:
• Internationally renowned artists and intellectuals will discuss the impact of culture on society and how it has shaped the meaning of being Mexican
• Scientists will share how science and technology can transform and improve Mexican society
• Business leaders and philanthropists will describe their vision of a future of prosperity and development
AGENDA • REGISTER: $175 (includes all sessions, lunch, closing keynote and reception. For further information, please contact Graciela Platero For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Brent Wakefield