For the past three years, the alumni networks of Georgetown University's Latin America Leadership Program have come together to co-present annual events that help them share knowledge, create synergies, and promote platforms that foster collaboration and knowledge exchange among the different generations, countries, and programs with the goal to advance the competitiveness and governability of the region.
In 2020, in the context of their first joint annual event, “Building Community," the alumni networks of the programs that make up the Latin America Leadership Program (LALP) at Georgetown University – Global Competitiveness Leadership (GCL) and Innovation and Leadership in Government (ILG) – aimed to leverage the knowledge of their alumni base and translate the conversations into action to better face the challenges presented by the then-current pandemic. In 2021, in their commitment to strengthening the ties made across both programs and generations, the GCL and ILG alumni networks continued to work together toward transformational change. On that occasion, they presented their second LALP alumni conference under the theme "Connecting to Transform" in a hybrid format, with the opening sessions hosted virtually and the remaining program held in person in Panama, to facilitate alumni participation during the challenging times. The 2021 reunion opened new opportunities to continue discussing and learning about topics of interest to the Latin American region. The discussions held during the pandemic years in 2020 and 2021 became essential for the networks to reflect on a way out of the pandemic, establishing a path to a “new normal” and outlining strategies to connect with one another to transform the reality of the region.
Day 1, Thursday, October 27, 2022
In 2022, from October 27 to 29, the Latin America Leadership Program hosted the third joint LALP alumni reunion on campus to celebrate 25 generations of LALP alumni representing 16 generations of the GCL program and 9 generations of the ILG program. The theme for this special event was “Driving Change” as a way to rethink strategies that may contribute to improving the realities of local communities with a perspective of active regional cooperation. This reunion was attended by over 120 members of the LALP alumni networks, attesting to their commitment to advancing their learning and collaborating in joint projects for a better region.
The 2022 LALP Alumni Reunion began on Thursday, October 27, in the afternoon, right after the graduation ceremony of the 9th cohort of the Innovation and Leadership in Government Program, ILG 2022. The event kicked off at the Lohrfink Auditorium (McDonough School of Business) featuring welcome remarks from Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia and Ambassador Todd Robinson Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
The opening remarks by Georgetown University President DeGioia and Ambassador Todd Robbinson were followed by those of MSB Professor Ricardo Ernst, executive director of Georgetown University's Latin America Leadership Program (LALP), Alejandro Werner, founding director of the newly established Georgetown Americas Institute (GAI), Denisse Yanovich, managing director of GAI, and Daniel Korn, director of Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Latin America. Romina Sarmiento and Carina Silva, Presidents of the ILG and GCL alumni networks, respectively, followed suit. They introduced the agenda for the day and gave the floor to various ILG and GCL alumni, who presented the new LALP alumni project dashboard and updates to LALP Alumni Melian, the online platform for alumni to continue to connect and collaborate across programs, countries, sectors, and generations.
It was an opportunity to reconnect with my Global Competitiveness Leadership (GCL) 2021 cohort. How incredible to feel that we knew each other when the pandemic challenged us to live the program remotely! How much inspiration for action. My total admiration and appreciation…
Maricella Castillo, GCL 2021, Peru
The key event of this opening ceremony was a panel discussion titled “Latin America in Focus: Debts and Challenges of the Region.” The conversation was moderated by Ricardo Ernst, executive director of LALP and McDonough School of Business professor, and featured leaders from the public and private sectors, international organizations, and civil society across the region.
Featured panelists of this plenary session included Betilde Muñoz Pogossian, director of the Department of Social Inclusion, Organization of American States; Daniel Korn, director of Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Latin America; Susana González, prefect of Guayas, Ecuador; and Antonio Sola, president of the Common Sense Leadership Foundation. The conversation aimed to provide different perspectives on the structural issues that still persist and have become more complex in Latin America and discuss ways in which the different sectors can contribute to the creation of innovative proposals and solutions.
As a perfect closing for the opening session, LALP alumni and special guests attended a welcome reception at the Hall of Arts of the Embassy of Uruguay. The reception was hosted by the Ambassador of Uruguay to the United States, Andrés Durán Hareau, a Georgetown University alumnus. Event attendees were able to view the show "Democracy in Motion," a photographic exhibition organized by The Center for the Study of Economic and Social Affairs (CERES) that illustrates the peaceful transition to democracy in Uruguay through its last decades. The exhibit is a selection of outstanding photographs from Expo Democracia, the renowned project developed by CERES throughout 2021 in conjunction with photographer Leo Barizzoni. Since the presidential inauguration of Julio María Sanguinetti in March 1985 to date, Uruguay has experienced the longest period of uninterrupted democracy since its 1830 Constitution. During his remarks, Ambassador Andrés Durán Hareau highlighted the importance of the exhibition because it makes visible one of the greatest assets that Uruguay represents for the region, its democracy.
Day 2, Friday, October 28, 2022
On Friday, October 28, over a hundred LALP alumni loaded buses to explore all that institutions around DC have to offer. The day started with a very engaging conversation with Fred Humphries, vice president of U.S. Government Affairs, and Daniel Korn, director of Corporate Affairs, at the Microsoft Policy and Innovation Center. LALP alumni were able to learn about the upcoming U.S. mid-term elections and the innovative work of Microsoft in the cloud and in public policy projects across Latin America. Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent environment. Their mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet so they can achieve more. Microsoft has been an active supporter of the Innovation and Leadership in Government program (ILG) since its inception.
It’s amazing to see how something that started just as an idea has flourished and become a transformational experience that has changed the lives of more than 800 people that are, in turn, going back to their countries to impact even more people.
Diane Garza, CEO, iCatalyze
Following the visit to the Microsoft Policy and Innovation Center, participants continued on to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) where they met with Irene Arias-Hoffman, CEO of the IDB Lab, and representatives from IDB Invest and IDB Lab. The visit was organized with the support of Luis Simon, Communications Associate for the IDB Group.
After lunch, alumni visited the National Endowment for Democracy, a private nonprofit foundation with the mission of growing and strengthening democratic institutions around the world. Within its efforts, NED supports projects of non-governmental groups who are working toward democratic goals through grants. Additionally, it supports and houses the Journal of Democracy, the World Movement for Democracy, and the Network of Democracy Research Institutes, among other key initiatives. During the visit, alumni engaged in conversation with the coeditor of the Journal of Democracy Will Dobson, and the executive director of Due Process Law Foundation (DPLF) Katya Salazar to explore the topic of political problems and public management in Latin America. The conversation was moderated by Maria Rebeca Barron Rodriguez, a research analyst in Global Education Practice at the World Bank.
At Gallup, LALP alumni learned about the state of the world with Jon Clifton, CEO, and Gerver Torres, Gallup specialist in Latin America, and explore some of the new measurement variables that should be monitored by the public sector across the region. Gallup is an analytics and advice firm that helps leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Although mostly known for Gallup Poll, their research and management consulting services are renowned worldwide as they provide organizations with relevant knowledge to create positive transformation. After the event, LALP alumni received a signed copy of Jon Clifton’s latest book “Blind Spot, the Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It”, as a compliment from the author. This Wall Street Journal best-seller approaches the rising unhappiness as one of the blind spots of global leaders. The author urges policymakers and organization leaders to measure and quantify the well-being and happiness in their communities to mitigate the negative effects of disregarding this trend.
Day 3, Saturday, October 29, 2022
The 2022 LALP Alumni Reunion closed on Saturday, October 29 with a series of morning panels led by LALP Alumni, a lunch and closing ceremony, and group working sessions to facilitate drafting an alumni agenda for the region.
The first panel, “Innovation in different sectors: experiences designed for new demands and services'' was moderated by Pablo Marín (GCL 2018, Mexico) and Romina Sarmiento (ILG 2019, and president of the ILG Alumni Network, Argentina) and featured alumni from both programs from the different generations spanning the public and private sectors throughout the region. Panelists included guest lecturer Silverio Zebral, head of the Government Innovation Unit at OAS, Luis Felipe Monteiro (ILG Brazil) former secretary of Digital Government of the Ministry of Economy of Brazil and CEO of Cateno Payments, Elizabeth Arredón Mier (GCL 2013, Mexico) Microsoft executive recruiter, Daniel Tricarico (GCL 2021, Argentina) CEO of Impactlatam, and Melina Masnatta (GCL 2017 and GCL Impact Award Winner 2019, Argentina) Global Director of DEI and learning at Globant.
The second panel covered the topic of "Risks, crises, and emergencies in the context of climate change: the importance of transversal management" and was moderated by Camilo Santa (GCL 2015, Colombia) and Ángel López (ILG 2020, Guatemala) and included the participation of Natalia Lever, Mexico & LATAM director of the Climate Reality Project. Panelists argued that climate change is no longer a hypothetical scenario and that global institutions have had to react to face this emergency. Implementation of the Paris Agreement required economic and social transformation, working on a 5- year cycle of increasingly ambitious climate action carried out by countries. Nonetheless, the slow implementation of these actions is now risking the goal to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. Camilo, Angel, and Natalie agreed that it is no longer sufficient to decarbonize our economies and that the world has to strive for the regeneration of ecosystems and transition from Carbon Neutral to Nature Positive. This is the new paradigm, and we are seeing more and more how nature-centered solutions are leading the way, in the COP27 on Climate, the COP15 on Biodiversity, the EU Green Deal, or the consideration of ESG indicators in stock markets.
The closing ceremony and luncheon was the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the vision and work of MSB Professor Ricardo Ernst, executive and academic director of LALP programs since their inception. The ceremony included acknowledgments to the members of the Georgetown University Latin America Leadership Program team, Georgetown faculty, guest lecturers, corporate supporters, and individual donors throughout the years that have been crucial in enriching and continuing this dream.
And after this intense 3-day alumni event, the energy and commitment continue to be palpable as ILG and GCL alumni joined forces again to organize their annual country meetings and set their agenda for 2023 in light of the experiences shared in the 2022 LALP Alumni Reunion at Georgetown University.
The next generations of GCL and ILG alumni have good role models to follow!
What a weekend! Thank you to all my classmates and the extraordinary Georgetown University faculty, staff and (GCL and ILG) alumni for a unique weekend. #25generations of Georgetown University Latin America Leadership program alumni. And the future is looking brighter! So grateful to be part of this team!
Emiliano Dominguez, ILG 2022, Argentina