Institute of the Americas 2021 Annual Report
President & CEO’s Letter
Across the Americas there is much work to be done as the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to not only a public health crisis in Latin America but also the region’s most widespread economic contagion in a generation. At the same time, democratic institutions have weakened in various countries in the region as income inequality and poverty is growing. In many respects the challenges faced across Latin America mirror those faced by our founder, Ambassador Theodre Gildred II, who was inspired to establish the Institute forty years ago amidst the social strife and economic challenges brought about by the Latin American debt crisis of the early 1980s. To pro-actively respond to the region’s economic challenges, in 2022; IOA will be expanding its programmatic focus in the area of economic competi tiveness and the underlying conditions necessary to attract expanded investment in Latin America. As we celebrate the Institute‘s 40 th anniversary and honor the vision of Ambassador Gildred, IOA stands ready to lean in and do our part by striving to make a meaningful social impact in the work that we do. Thank you for all your on-going support to further the Institute of the Americas’ mission!
Institute to raise $4.5 million in three years for this construction. It was accomplished in two years. He matched the Institute’s fundraising with a gift from the Gildred Foundation to create the Institute’s endowment fund. A second campaign took place in 2000, enabling the expan sion of the Institute’s headquarter building offering additional office space and the creation of the Weaver Center. Upon his passing in 2019, Ambassador Gildred made a transformational legacy gift of $5 million through his estate to the Institute to ensure that our work in support of our mission would continue. On behalf of the Institute, I would like to formally thank the Gildred family for their steadfast support of Ambassador Gildred’s vision. Over the years, our programming has focused on a variety of issues and sectors including privatization, energy, mining, telecommunications and information technology, hemispheric policy, water, free trade, and more. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have successfully transi tioned to offer programming virtually and in a hybrid format. Our programs now consist of Energy & Sustainability, Environment & Climate Change, and other special programs. We are advancing fast to increase our programming in 2022. Our new President & CEO, Richard Kiy and our Board of Directors --that I have the privilege to chair—are committed to keeping Ambassador Gildred’s vision very much alive. Here, we’re collectively working to ensure the Institute is an important player in the hemisphere, as a convener, a neutral meeting place for dialogue, and a relevant institu tion developing thoughtful apolitical analysis in response to the challenges of the region. As we come out of this pandemic, it is clear there is much work to be done. Many of the challenges from 40 years ago have unfortunately resurfaced again in the region including democracy, free trade, rule of law, and education, among other issues. We are up to the challenge and intend to be both active and proactive. We look forward to working with our partners both locally and abroad to provide high quality programming, dialogue, and networking opportunities.
It is with pleasure that we mark our 40th Anniversary honoring our founder, Ambassador Theodore E. Gildred II. Ambassador Gildred had a vision to create an Institute of the Americas, a neutral and robust place to bring together public and private sector leaders along with academia and
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 has proven to be another challenging year requiring the need for flexibility and adaptation among govern ment, business and nonprofit institutions across the Americas. The Institute of Americas (IOA) was no different. Over the past year, IOA has worked to pro-actively to respond to the changes
representatives of non-governmental organizations to “promote better understanding across the Americas.” This dream was realized in 1981 with the establishment of the Institute as a nonprofit organization. Ambassador Gildred was generous not only funding the construction of the Institute’s headquarters building, but also in creating an endowment fund for the Institute, and later by making a transformational endowment gift. When founding the Institute, Gildred recruited both local and international leaders for the Institute’s Board of Governors, now known as the Board of Directors. Among them were Helen Copley, my boss and mentor from Chile Edgardo Boeninger, Donald Kennedy and Richard Lyman both former presidents of Stanford University, Ambassador Gildred’s alma mater, Mexican businessman Lorenzo Servitje of Bimbo, Peter Bell of CARE International, Brazil ian Foreign and Commerce Minister Celso Lafer and Richard Atkinson, then the Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego). Thanks to the encouragement of Atkinson, Gildred agreed to co-locate the Institute on the campus of UC San Diego in 1983. The high caliber of Institute leadership was unquestioned. Dr. Joseph Grunwald of the Brookings Institution was the Institute’s first president. He was followed by two Institute Presidents who played instrumental roles in the Institute’s development, specifically Ambassadors Paul Boeker and Jeffrey Davidow who brought and sustained Ted’s vision to life. They made the Institute a key player in the hemi sphere convening high level public dialogue, bringing together public policy, private sector, non-governmental, journalist, and academic leaders, and hosting several Latin American heads of the state to receive either the board’s Award for Democracy and Peace or its Leadership in the Americas Award. In 1993, Ambassador Gildred again collaborated with Chancellor Atkinson, this time to expand the Institute’s footprint here on campus to double the size of our plaza and construct the Gildred building and the Copley Interna tional Conference Center providing top notch conference indoor and outdoor facilities for Institute, university, and community gatherings. Ambassador Gildred challenged the
brought forward by COVID with expanded virtual programming and published research on emerging issues impacting in the Americas. In 2021, IOA launched its Hemisphere in Transition webinar series with programs featuring recognized experts on Cuba, Central America’s Northern Triangle Region, Canada, Ecuador, as well as the future of U.S. Engagement in the Hemisphere and Energy & Climate Financing in Latin America. IOA also launched its new Environment & Climate Change program, hiring the program’s director and published a report entitled Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Across the Americas: A Comparative Hemispheric Analysis” in support of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Additionally, the Institute advanced work on its new Las Californias Blue Carbon Initiative to explore opportunities for expanded cross-border cooperation on biodiversity protection and climate action. Additionally, the Institute partnered with the UC San Diego Center for U.S-Mexico Studies on a U.S-Mexico Climate Change Working Group together with the Tecnológico de Monterrey and the Brookings Institution. IOA also expanded its research efforts. Besides the referenced NDC report, the Institute published China Stakes Its Claim in Latin American Energy: What It Means for the Region, the U.S. and Beijing and Clean Energy Cost-Savings: A Study of Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission. Additionally, IOA’s Energy Program published a comprehensive analysis of Baja California’s energy access needs. In the area of expanded stakeholder engagement, IOA provided on-going community leadership through the convening of its Baja California Energy Ambassador’s Program and organizing a hybrid, in person, virtual forum in Honduras focused on that country’s energy reform efforts. In spite of COVID-related challenges, IOA adapted its pre-college and teacher focused STEAM related educational programs to benefit students and educators in Tijuana, Mexico; Peru; and Argentina.
Richard Kiy President & CEO
Jorge Rosenblut Chairman Board of Directors
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