Watch & Listen
Video: Book Launch - The Year of Dangerous Days: Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980, by Nicholas Griffin
October 07, 2020
"It's one of those books that, in one sitting, gives you the foundation for the city you thought you knew," said Knight Foundation's Alberto Ibargüen to Griffin....
In an AS/COA launch of Nicholas Griffin's new book, The Year of Dangerous Days: Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980, the journalist shared his top findings in discussion with the Knight Foundation's Alberto Ibargüen. Griffin began by describing Miami as a city shaped primarily by its location, a crucial point to understanding the history and economic and social affairs of the South Floridian city. As former Mayor Maurice Ferré once said to him, "if you want to understand Miami, think of three things: geography, geography, and geography." From the Mariel boat lift and Cuban immigrant influx to the McDuffie 1980 riots to the exploding cocaine trade, the writer explores the key moments which took place in the "cauldron" city within six weeks of eachother in the year 1980, and how such turning points careened Miami into the 21st century and how it stands today as a "Latin American city" in the Unites States.
The writer spoke about the central figures highlighted in the book, such as former Miami Mayor Ferré, to marine Arthur McDuffie, whose murder by policy sparked a surge of violence and riots, and journalist Edna Buchanan, who covered crime and documented important events that election year. The author drew comparisons between movements that overcame the city in 1980 and the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020.
October 05, 2020
The Southcom commander in chief and civilian deputy commander discussed key partnerships in the Western Hemisphere, Central American migration, Chinese influence, and more....
- Admiral Craig Faller, Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command
- Ambassador Jean Manes, Civilian Deputy Commander, U.S. Southern Command
- Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas (moderator)
When Southern Command (Southcom) officials sit down with law enforcement officials in partner countries, the top threats they cite are transnational criminal organizations, cyber, and illegal fishing, most of which comes from China, said Admiral Craig Faller, Southcom commander in chief at an AS/COA virtual event. “The threats from Chinese industry and intrusion into this realm are real and alarming,” he said. “I say to partners, I’m not asking you to choose who you’re going to partner with, but when you go so far in partnership with China, you will ensure that it’s not a backdoor—it’s an open pipe to Beijing. And our ability to have a trusted relationship, which is key to everything we do, will be jeopardized.”
Ambassador Jean Manes, political advisor to the admiral, talked about how Southcom pivoted a humanitarian assistance program in March in order to get immediate COVID-19-related donations to partners. “This mattered because our ambassadors on the ground needed to go out and show U.S. commitment,” said Manes, a former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, who noted that Washington is “by far” the largest donor to this hemisphere. “You want to be a partner of choice? You need to be the partner of choice in a crisis, and you need to show up and be ready to commit.”
Faller singled out Colombia and Brazil as the “pillars” of Southcom’s security cooperation in the region, and lauded the Colombians in particular for their professionalism and trustworthiness. On Venezuela, Manes said Southcom is regularly involved in “day-after [Maduro]” planning, though she refers to it as “decade-after” planning, and that it will involve the private sector “in a big way.” On Central American migration, Manes said that it’s critical to invest in the institutions that lead to stabilization in a country, such as rule of law and freedom of the press, so that people have confidence in their own country. “When you get to the point where somebody makes a decision to migrate, the battle is really over,” said Manes. “That battle is really not at that border; that battle was probably lost nine months ago when the person didn’t see a future in their own country.”video
LatAm in Focus: A Look at How Migrant Money Cushions Economies
Remittances help provide food, medicine, and even political stability. Creative’s Manuel Orozco, NYU’s Roy Germano, and Remitly’s Matt Oppenheimer talk remittance trends in pandemic times....audio
September 08, 2020
The IDB president and the SoftBank Group International CEO touched on effective COVID-19 responses, the particular strengths of Latin American entrepreneurs, and good leadership....
- Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank
- Marcelo Claure, CEO, SoftBank Group International
- Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas (moderator)
One thing we know about the Latin America of tomorrow—and indeed the world—is that it will be a totally different one than the Latin America of today. “The amount of change that we’re going to see, the amount of trial and error, the capacity to adapt are going to be the critical things going forward,” said Luis Alberto Moreno, talking with Marcelo Claure in a BRAVO Leadership Conversation on the eve of the end of his 15-year tenure as head of the IDB. The two also covered what makes a successful leader (a good team), an effective COVID-19 response (discipline), and Latin American entrepreneurs who are resourceful and profitable (lack of capital).
Going forward, Claure said governments, companies, and multilateral institutions have “a responsibility to change our focus and make sure we put our energy into educating our people on what the new jobs will be” so that every citizen can be brought into the new economy. The Latin America of tomorrow also needs to be more equitable. “This is a hemisphere that requires far more gender diversity in general and that … [we] put forward an agenda that understands that gender diversity is a central part of modern society,” said Moreno.video
October 26, 2020
OAS Special Envoy David Smolansky discussed the desperate conditions Venezuelan refugees are facing as they try to return to their country....
- David Smolansky, Special Envoy to the OAS Secretary General for Venezuela’s Migration and Refugee Crisis
- Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Council of the Americas (moderator)
In a Council of the Americas event with David Smolansky, the special envoy to the OAS secretary general discussed how COVID-19 presents many challenges to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and the region. Facing desperation and despair in their adopted countries, many Venezuelan refugees have decided to return home. But their journeys have been complicated by closed border crossings in Venezuela. With borders likely to stay closed for the rest of 2020, refugees face extortion by border control agents, illegal groups, human traffickers, and illegal detainment in their effort to return home or leave the country. "According to Colombian migration authorities, an estimated 500 Venezuelans arrived in Colombia through illegal pathways in the last two weeks," said Smolansky. Venezuelan refugees continue to face dire conditions and dangers not only at land crossings, but at sea, with many attempting to use small boats to reach island nations in the Caribbean, a perilous journey to escape poverty and persecution.More from this expert: Eric Farnsworth
October 23, 2020
Initiatives to promote women should be a part of company culture, not just fads, said the panelists....
- Tosh Butt, SVP, Latin America, AstraZeneca
- Isabel Bueno, Partner, Mattos Filho
- Connie de Lange, VP Communications and Corporate Marketing for the Global Cardiovascular Division, Medtronic
- Laura Quevedo, HR Director Latin America & Caribbean, Diageo
- Juliana Sguerra, Managing Director and Partner, Bogotá, Boston Consulting Group (moderator)
On the second day of the 9th Annual Women’s Hemispheric Network Conference, panelists discussed the importance of programs and initiatives that their companies have adopted to advance women in the workplace. Isabel Bueno said everything was modified when the relationship with the partners at Mattos Filho changed. “We decided that it was time for us to tackle differences,” she said. “The first one we decided to tackle was gender. Having men support the group that we created provided the change.”
Connie de Lange said Medtronic had seen challenges in finding diverse talent and created programs to address that. They launched Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) initiative, and three years after, there were 72 global groups in place to acquire diverse technical talent and foster a strong culture of inclusion. “Women are overrepresented in healthcare professions; they are underrepresented in engineering,” she said. “A lot of this is due to systemic barriers that women and minority groups face.”
Laura Quevedo noted that 10 years ago, Diageo’s entire board was male. Now, 55 percent of the board is female, thanks to efforts to diversify leadership as well as candidate pools, increased flexibility, and groundbreaking policies, such as their 26 weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave.
Tosh Butt explained that AstraZeneca acknowledges there is a “competitive advantage” to female leadership, adding, “I think we need to think about how gender can intersect with factors such as race, ethnicity, [and] socioeconomic background so that all women are able to progress in their career with us.”
The panelists agreed that initiatives to help women should be part of company culture, not just fads. “It’s not that diversity’s the latest fashion statement—it’s how does this become the interwoven fabric of who your company is?” de Lange asked.
October 23, 2020
The panelists agreed that work flexibility, less travel, and talent unconstrained by geographic boundaries are company policies they’d like to keep post-COVID-19....
- Ruth Dowling, SVP and General Counsel for LatAm & EMEA, American Tower
- Erika Falfan Mayer, Head, Sam's Club E-commerce Business Unit, sams.com.mx
- Erika Herrero, CEO, Belcorp
- Agostina Pechi, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (moderator)
On the first day of the 9th Annual Women’s Hemispheric Network Conference, the panelists discussed how companies have shifted their strategies to adapt to working from home and keeping their employees and customers safe. Erika Falfan emphasized that working from home was difficult in “being a wife, being a mom, being an executive all within the same square feet.” She added, “We can see this situation as an opportunity. We are testing ourselves that we can manage all of these spheres of our lives.”
When asked about using resilience to face a challenge, Erika Herrero recalled that after she gave birth to her twins, all the people around her assumed she would stop working. “I didn’t even consider it, and seeing that people around me felt that it was obvious that I would stop working, it made me ask, ‘Am I making the right decision?’” she said. “I was convinced that I would be a better mom if I kept working.”
Ruth Dowling said that having a work-life balance taught her to be a more empathetic human being and understand people are dealing with things behind the scenes. “Your career is really a marathon; it’s not a sprint,” she said.
When Agostina Pechi asked which policies they’d like to see their companies keep after the pandemic, the panelists said that work flexibility, less travel, and talent unconstrained by geographic boundaries are elements they would keep post-COVID-19.
October 22, 2020
Four executives shared how their finance and technology companies are responding to the need for digital workspaces....
- Fernando Iraola, Global co-Head of Corporates GTS Sales & GTS Head Latam, Bank of America
- Sebastian Fernandez Silva, Chief People Officer, MercadoLibre
- Linda Aiello, EVP of International Employee Success, Salesforce
- Alex Camino, Chief Marketing Officer, Softtek
- Michael Stott, Latin America Editor, Financial Times (moderator)
- Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas (host)
How are companies in Latin America responding to the current need for a digital workspace? Executives from four companies shared insights on this Council of Americas Symposium panel. “What I’m really impressed about when I look at Latin America is the speed of adoption, and I see this as being much fast than other regions,” said Salesforce’s Linda Aiello about the digital transformation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Alex Camino described Softtek’s approach of taking the opportunity to create new digital products for the businesses they serve.
Working remotely has also forced companies to engage their employees and clients in new ways. Sebastian Fernandez Silva shared examples of how MercadoLibre is prioritizing employees’ mental and physical well-being, while Fernando Iraola pointed out how Bank of America’s client engagement has tripled in recent months.Susan Segal
October 22, 2020
The AT&T executive spoke about managing a dual-career family, advocating for women in the workplace, and taking risks....
- Welcoming Remarks by Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
- Keynote Interview with Lori Lee, CEO – AT&T Latin America & Global Marketing Officer, AT&T Inc., and Michael Stott, Latin America Editor, Financial Times (interviewer)
AS/COA's Susan Segal delivered opening remarks at the 9th Annual Women’s Hemispheric Network Conference. The commitment to gender parity is crucial for her and the organization, she said. Financial Times editor Michael Stott then began the keynote interview with AT&T executive Lori Lee.
Lee gave career advice and provided professional suggestions to advance women’s roles in the workplace. “I have a soft spot for helping women,” she said. She noted how organizations can utilize three key concepts to promote the professional advancement of women: awareness to evaluate your corporation’s current programs, development of skillsets, and advocacy of women by the firm's leadership.
Throughout her career, she was usually the only woman in the room. “I always faced it as I was one of many businesspeople,” she said. “I was just a businessperson putting my best skills forward to try and solve these problems.”
When asked about how to manage a dual-career family, Lee said, “You need to be completely genuine and authentic to who you are and what is right for your family.” She added that she has always benefited from taking the biggest risk. “Maybe it seemed like a step back, but every time I followed it…the risk paid off. In every experience, my family unit grew closer.”Susan Segal
The pandemic undercuts Latin America’s educational advances, but highlights innovations, too. Brookings’ Emiliana Vegas and Tinker Foundation’s Caroline Kronley explain....
We need to be less harsh about returning to work after family leave, says Panama’s former vice president in the debut podcast episode, hosted by AS/COA’s Susan Segal....
October 14, 2020
Hospitality is synonymous with diplomacy, said the chefs, and the authentic porteño experience encompasses that....
In its fourth round of Gastrodiplomacy events, Young Professionals of the Americas (YPA) spent the evening cooking with Argentine chefs Martín Auzmendi and Martín Molteni, who created a traditional meal and spoke about what food means to Argentines. Auzmendi, who is the co-creator of La Fuerza, a vermouth winery sourced at the foot of the Andes, also taught us to make a classic vermouth (75 percent wine, and the other 25 is alcohol and herbs), and soda drink, perfect for pairing with meat at a traditional Argentine asado. "The vermouth has to be an expression of a place," said Auzmendi.
The food and wine experts started off the cooking class by talking about how versatile Argentina is in its territory, which translates into many climates and possibilities for food, but an authentic porteño experience means food, ambience, and hospitality. They started cooking with the minuta meal, meaning made in minutes, which was the scrambled gramajo (a mix of eggs, a potato, peas, and butter). Next, they showed how to make a chimichurri sauce for the steak, and on the side, roasted butternut squash with salted butter. As they cooked, the experts dove into the history of their ingredients, including the vermouth, wine, and steak. After all, hospitality is synonymous to diplomacy, said Molteni.
October 13, 2020
Americas Society Visual Arts invited Christina de León, associate curator of Latino Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design to a virtual conversation on October 8, 2020 in which she discussed her curatorial research and experience building a collection of U.S. Latinx and Latin American design at Cooper Hewitt. De León discussed her work and process and the importance of highlighting Latinx design from the collections. “Thinking about the way in which the history of design, the history of needle work, of textiles, of wallpaper and all of these things—I think in many ways we take for granted. I feel it's really fascinating when we contextualize it and we think about it in relation to more contemporary objects”, said de León when making the connection between Dichoso será el pajarito (1995), currently on view at Abrigo by Feliciano Centurión at Americas Society’s gallery, and Sampler (1853), a silk embroidery on cotton which is part of the Cooper Hewitt’s textile collection by Dolores Obando.
About Christina de León: Prior to joining Cooper Hewitt, de León served as associate curator at Americas Society, where she organized numerous exhibitions and publications throughout her six-year tenure. She has also held previous positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters. De León is currently a doctoral candidate at the Bard Graduate Center, where her research focuses on the design and decorative arts of the Americas.