Skip to main content

A Message from the Heart: I’m Stepping Down as Director of the Latin American Program

Cindy Arnson

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As many of you may have heard, after 27 years at the Wilson Center and 16 years as director of the Latin American Program, I’ll be stepping down as director in the coming days.  I feel enormously privileged to have worked with so many outstanding, committed, and thoughtful colleagues from throughout the Americas.  I have learned so much from all of you.  I’m grateful for your collaboration on innumerable projects as well as for the interest and participation of broad audiences in our work.  

I feel extremely proud that, over the course of these many decades, the Latin American Program has remained true to the Wilson Center’s mission of connecting the worlds of scholarship and public policy.  We have given voice to a broad range of perspectives from the region, connecting them to relevant stakeholders in the United States and vice-versa.  I hope it doesn’t appear self-serving to share my conviction that our work has made an important difference on many issues and in the overall quality of U.S.-Latin American relations.  This, of course, is an accomplishment shared with current and former LAP staff and leadership.   

At this point in my life (and that of my husband and adult children), it’s time to step back a bit--but not entirely.  I am grateful to Wilson Center President and Director, Ambassador Mark Green, for inviting me to stay on as a Distinguished Fellow.  And there is never enough I could say about my extraordinary colleagues in the Latin American Program and Brazil Institute--Benjamin Gedan, Anders Beal, Beatriz García Nice, Oscar Cruz, and Nick Zimmerman.  Their talents and creativity are an inspiration​!  I'm also pleased to announce that as of May 9th, my outstanding colleague, Latin American Program Deputy Director Benjamin Gedan, will serve as Acting Director.

Thank for your help in writing the previous chapters, as well as the ones to come.

Fond regards,


About the Author

Cindy Arnson

Cynthia J. Arnson

Distinguished Fellow, Latin American Program
Read More

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Argentina Project

The Argentina Project is the premier institution for policy-relevant research on politics and economics in Argentina.   Read more

Brazil Institute

The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and U.S. institutions in all sectors.  Read more