Toward the New Agenda for the Western Hemisphere: The V Summit of the Americas

April 15, 2009 - 4:00 pm

The Summit and Development in the Americas
H.E. Gert Rosenthal, Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the UN

NAFTA at 15: Implications for the Hemisphere
Anthony DePalma , Seton Hall University

Brazil’s Changing Role in the Americas
Mauricio Font and Janaina Saad, Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies

A New Energy Regime: Opportunities and Constraints
Alberto Cisneros, Global Business Consultants

About the speakers:
Gert Rosenthal first held the position of Guatemala’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1999 to 2004, and was re-appointed in 2008. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Óscar Berger. Mr. Rosenthal had a distinguished career as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) from 1988 to 1997. He joined the United Nations regional commission in 1974 as Director of its Mexico Office, and in 1987 was appointed Deputy Executive Secretary. In 1998, he was a member of the Follow-up Commission of the Guatemalan Peace Accords. H.E. Rosenthal held various positions in Guatemala’s national public administration since joining its Secretariat of Economic, in addition to serving as the Minister of Planning and Secretary-General of his country’s National Council for Economic Planning. From 1970 to 1974, he was Professor of Public Finance and Economic Development at the Universidad Rafael Landivar in Guatemala. Mr. Rosenthal has published more than 120 articles and essays on development issues, with a particular focus on Latin America and Central America.

Anthony DePalma was the first foreign correspondent of The New York Times to serve as bureau chief in both Mexico and Canada. Starting in 1993, he covered some of the most tumultuous events in modern Mexican history, including the Zapatista uprising, the assassination of the ruling party’s presidential candidate and the peso crisis. In Canada, he reported from all ten provinces and three territories, covering devastating natural disasters and important political events such as the creation of the territory of Nunavut. Mr. DePalma has also reported from Cuba, Guatemala, Suriname, Guyana, and during the Kosovo crisis, Montenegro and Albania. He is the author of Here: A Biography of the New American Continent (2001) and The Man Who Invented Fidel (April 2006). He also wrote over 85 of the Portraits of Grief that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2002. In 2003 he was awarded a fellowship at Notre Dame’s Institute for International Studies where he wrote Myths of the Enemy about Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

Alberto Cisneros is Director/Partner of Global Business Consultants; a consulting firm specialized in strategic planning and energy. He is also a lawyer and professor in the Doctoral Program of the School of Law and Political Science at Central University, Caracas. Mr. Cisneros has been Senior Advisor on Geopolitics of Oil at the Planning Coordination of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. Mr. He previously worked with the Institute of Higher Administrative Studies in Caracas, Venezuela, as a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, and Doctoral Professor at the Center for Development Studies. Mr. Cisneros holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of North Carolina.

Mauricio Font is director of the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies and Professor of Sociology at The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York. His research examines problems of development and reform in Brazil, Cuba and Latin America as well as international cooperation in the Western Hemisphere. Font’s current research focuses in part on reform processes in Latin America, where institutional and social actors at all levels of government have advanced strategies to address social needs and economic disparities. Font has extensive publications on Brazil and Cuba, and has also published a variety of essays on Latin America, the North American Free Trade Agreement, US-Latin America relations, and the comparative-historical study of development trajectories in settler societies.