#2021WCA: Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Gregory Meeks

Now Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the congressman said Western Hemisphere affairs will be “on the front burner of my agenda.”


  • Gregory Meeks, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Clay Neff, President, Chevron Middle East, Africa, South America Exploration and Production Company

“In my new role, the Western Hemisphere remains one of my foremost priorities and will be very much on the front burner of my agenda,” said U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY) as he addressed the 51st Washington Conference on the Americas. After an introduction by Chevron's Clay Neff, Rep. Meeks spoke on a wide variety of hemispheric issues, but noted that his leadership in Congress is guided by four principles: diplomacy, democracy, development, and diversity.

Meeks expressed that the pandemic is an area where he wants to see increased U.S. engagement in the region. “I’ve called on President Biden to prioritize Latin America and Caribbean countries in donating surplus vaccines,” he said while noting that he has pressed for U.S. vaccine loan programs to be expanded throughout the hemisphere. He also highlighted the need to adapt the Mérida initiative with Mexico, secure the Northern Triangle region, tackle climate change, and build opportunities for Afro-descendent and indigenous citizens. He stressed the importance of continuing to fight for democracy in Cuba, Haiti, and Venezuela. “Our power is by our example,” he said.