Making the Case: Latin America Policy Initiative

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Over the last few weeks, NDN has kicked off an informational campaign, which will continue through mid-July. Each week, Simon will be letting you know about the work your support has funded and making the case for why, in these tough economic times, you should invest in NDN. You can view the whole "Making the Case" series.

Among the consequences of America’s recent wave of immigration is that the United States now has the third largest Latin population of any country in the Americas. As this domestic Latin population grows in the coming years, it will bring great cultural change to the US. Foremost among these changes will be greater cultural affinity to our neighbors to the South, which will in turn necessitate closer and more intimate geopolitical ties between the U.S. and the countries of Latin America.

NDN believes that there is insufficient first-hand knowledge and expertise in the U.S. about our Latin American neighbors and the most salient issues affecting them. Preparing America for this coming day by creating personal, cultural, economic, and political bridges throughout the hemisphere is the purpose of our newly launched Latin American Policy Initiative. It has three parts:

  • The Latin America Policy Seminar – An annual, in-depth educational program for emerging center-left leaders. The seminar will include a 10-day trip to major Latin American capital cities and a consolidated network of seminar alumni and program collaborators.
  • The Latin America Policy Studies Program – This area will leverage a network of policy experts to produce cutting-edge research and proposals on how to meet the 21st century challenges and opportunities of inter-American relations.
  • The Latin America Policy Forum – A monthly high-level Washington-based event series featuring key political, business and non-profit leaders from the region. This forum fosters a network of legislators from the United States, Ambassadors from Latin America and members of the diplomatic corps, as well as policy makers from the governments of the United States and from various Latin American countries to discuss specific challenges in the areas of the economy, security, and social issues.

This new initiative has been in the planning and testing stages for several years. Back in 2006, NDN, working alongside Joe Garcia and Sergio Bendixen, began a discussion about the future of US-Cuban relations that contributed significantly to the new policies – and the very progress – being championed by the Obama Administration. We have already become a consequential convener of Washington-based discussions about the U.S.-Latin American relations. Just last week, Nelson Cunningham, one of Washington’s most respected experts on Latin America, became the Chair of our new Initiative’s Advisory Board.

The Investment Opportunity – NDN has just begun the process of raising a permanent fund and endowment for this special project. Our goal is to raise $4m over three years, and to have it begin operating at full strength next year. By helping NDN expand the interest and expertise in the U.S. in regards to Latin America, you will be helping to forge immediate alliances with political, business, and academic counterparts in Latin America in the short term.

In the long term, you will be helping create an entire generation that has a better understanding not only of the region as a whole, but of specific countries in Latin America, which will only help facilitate intergovernmental relations, international business relations, and international aid and development projects.

But we can only achieve all this with your help. I know that these are uncertain times, and that you have many choices for where to invest this year. I hope that you will continue to support NDN, and help us continue to bring fresh and cogent insight and analysis into the marketplace of ideas.

To support NDN today, you can just go to our Support NDN page. To support our 501(c)3, The New Policy Institute, you can just go to Look for more from us in the weeks ahead that will make our case - a compelling case I believe. I am very proud of what we have done, what we are doing today, and what we have planned for the future.

Thank you,