As President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba comes to a close, Latin American Program Associate Director, Eric Olson provides analysis.

Eric L. Olson
is the Associate Director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.   His research and writing has focused primarily on security issues and the impacts of crime, organized crime, and violence on democracies.  He has also written about police reform and judicial institutions as a vehicle for addressing the problem of rapidly expanding crime in the Americas.  He has traveled extensively in Mexico, Central America and the Andes.  Prior to joining the Wilson Center he was a Senior Specialist in the Department for Promotion of Good Governance at the Organization of American States from 2006-2007. He served as the Interim-Director for Government Relations at Amnesty International USA, and was Amnesty's Advocacy Director for the Americas from 2002-2006. Prior to Amnesty, he was the Senior Associate for Mexico, and Economic Policy at the Washington Office on Latin America for eight years. He worked at Augsburg College's Center for Global Education in Cuernavaca, Mexico from 1989-1993 where he was the program director. From 1986-1988, he worked in Honduras, Central America as a development specialist for several local non-governmental organizations. He has testified before the United States Congress on several occasions, appeared in numerous press stories as an expert commentator on human rights, drug policy and organized crime.