WASHINGTON — The Wilson Center announced today that it was launching a new program on Argentina. The Argentina Project aspires to be the premiere institution for policy-relevant research on Argentina’s political and economic transformation, as the country rebuilds from a decade of isolation and populism.

The project will provide independent analysis for senior decision makers, lawmakers, investors, diplomats and journalists. It will be led by Dr. Benjamin N. Gedan, who recently served as a South America director on the National Security Council at the White House. The Argentina Project will be housed in the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program, which has provided non-partisan expertise to a broad range of stakeholders for 40 years.

Ambassador Noah Mamet and friends.
Ambassador Noah Mamet and friends.

“The level of interest today in Argentina and in our bilateral relationship is extraordinary,” said former U.S. Ambassador Noah Mamet, a Latin American Program board member who spends part of the year in Buenos Aires. “It is critical that the U.S. and Argentine governments take full advantage of this historic moment. The Argentina Project at the Wilson Center will work to ensure both countries maximize this great opportunity.”

Following a decade of economic protectionism, Argentines elected the pro-market mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, in late 2015. President Macri has advanced structural reforms to open the Argentine economy and reestablish regional and global leadership. That process has triggered significant interest from the public and private sectors in the United States. Argentina is Latin America’s third largest economy, the 2018 G-20 president, and a Major Non-NATO Ally.

The formal launch of the Argentina Project will take place at the Argentine Embassy tomorrow, September 27, 2017, and involve senior U.S. policymakers, as well as business leaders and prominent academics.

Woods Staton, the chairman of the Latin American Program’s advisory board and executive chairman of the world’s largest McDonald’s franchisee, Arcos Dorados, praised the initiative. “The Argentina Project couldn’t have come at a better time” he said. “For a country with a dizzying history of differing policies, this project will help to institutionalize the historic reforms underway and pave the way for sustainable economic growth.”

The initiative will expand Wilson Center programming on South America’s dynamic Southern Cone region, and address issues such as trade, energy and infrastructure, according to Cynthia Arnson, the Latin American Program director. “Argentina and its neighbors are at a critical moment, as they adjust to developments in Brazil and the United States,” she said. “The next few years will determine whether the economic repositioning is real and permanent. The Argentina Project will provide policymakers insights to help manage this historic process.”

Three people smiling.
Cynthia Arnson, Director of Latin American Program, with LAP Board Member Riordan Roett and Argentine Chargé d'Affaires Sergio O. Pérez Gunella.

Notes to editors:

1. The Wilson Center provides a strictly nonpartisan space for the worlds of policymaking and scholarship to interact. By conducting relevant and timely research and promoting dialogue from all perspectives, it works to address the critical current and emerging challenges confronting the United States and the world.

2. For further information, please reach out to Dr. Benjamin N. Gedan, Benjamin.Gedan@wilsoncenter.org