Inter-American Dialogue

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Inter-American Dialogue
IAD logo horiz tagline.jpg
Abbreviation IAD, the Dialogue
Formation 1982; 35 years ago (1982)
Type Latin America Public Policy Think Tank, Forum of Leaders
Headquarters 1211 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 510
Michael Shifter
Carla Hills Ernesto Zedillo

The Inter-American Dialogue is a U.S. based center for policy analysis, exchange, and communication on issues in Western Hemisphere affairs based in Washington, D.C. The Dialogue brings together public and private leaders from across the Americas to address hemispheric problems and opportunities. Founded in 1982 by co-chairs Sol M. Linowitz (a U.S. diplomat) and Galo Plaza (former President of Ecuador) the Dialogue is one of the oldest and most influential think tanks on Latin American and Western Hemisphere affairs.

Intended to "foster democratic governance, prosperity, and social equity in Latin America and the Caribbean," the Dialogue's research areas focus on the rule of law; China & Latin America; education; energy, climate change & extractive industries; and migration, remittances, and development. Its has 132 members from Latin America, the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. 17 of its members served as presidents of their countries, 40 served at the cabinet level, 17 served in national legislatures, 25 are leaders in business or finance sectors, and seven are associated with the media.[8] Since 2010, the Dialogue has been ranked in the top 2% of U.S. think tanks according to the University of Pennsylvania's Global Go To Think Tank Index[9]. In 2014, it was named "US Think Tank of the Year" by London's Prospect Magazine.

Board of Directors[edit]

The Inter-American Dialogue is currently chaired by former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo and former U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Carla A. Hills. Its vice-chairs are Mack McLarty, former White House Chief of Staff, and L. Enrique Garcia, president of CAF – Development Bank of Latin America.

Carla Anderson Hills and Ernesto Zedillo at a dinner of the Inter-American Dialogue

Other members of the Board of Directors:


The Dialogue's 100+ members are from the United States, Canada, and 22 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean—including political, business, academic, media, and other non-governmental leaders. Sixteen Dialogue members served as presidents of their countries, more than twenty have served at the cabinet level, and seventeen have held seats in congress.[citation needed] Twenty per cent are in the business or finance sectors. Seven Members are associated with the media and nine with universities.[citation needed]


The Inter-American Dialogue convenes events ranging from small briefings to major conferences throughout the year across an array of critical issue areas—Latin American trade and investment links, economic and political trends, energy integration, globalization and poverty, education reform, women and political power, remittances and migration, race discrimination in Latin America, the challenges facing the countries of the Andean region, the changing politics and economics of Cuba, the precarious equilibrium in Haiti, and ongoing threats to press freedom in the Americas.