fbpx The Geopolitics of Latin America amid the War in Ukraine and China-U.S. Tensions | Harvard Kennedy School
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Date and Location

March 29, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM EST
L-p-9 Malkin Penthouse



​Please join the Future of Diplomacy Project for a conversation with Erika Mouynes, Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard and former Foreign Minister of Panama; Ambassador P. Michael McKinley, former U.S. Ambassador to Peru, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Colombia; Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, Senior Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project and former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, on the role of Latin America in today's shifting international order. While most countries in Latin America voted in favor of UN General Assembly resolutions condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, and others refuse to join sanctions against Russia or give aid to Ukraine. What does the future of the Western Hemisphere look like in a time of increasing global competition and great power conflict? Negah Angha, Institute of Politics Fellow and former Director for Multilateral Initiatives at the National Security Council, will moderate.


Erika Mouynes brings to ALI extensive experience as a public servant and as a private sector executive. She served her native Panama as minister of foreign affairs, as vice minister of multilateral affairs and cooperation, and as chief of staff of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and was instrumental in negotiating the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement as well as developing her country’s COVID vaccine portfolio.

Erika’s private sector experience includes structuring and financing of large, cross-border infrastructure and investment projects focused on emerging markets. As chief legal officer, she managed the business and legal affairs of a multi-billion-dollar investment company, and earlier and served as an attorney in the New York City office of the global law firm Shearman & Sterling.

Ambassador P. Michael McKinley (ret.) served as the US Ambassador to Peru (2007-2010), Colombia (2010-2013), Afghanistan (2014-2016), and Brazil (2017-2018). His final posting was as senior advisor to the Secretary of State.  His earlier assignments included the United Kingdom, Mozambique, Uganda, Bolivia, Belgium, and the U.S. Mission to the European Union.  Ambassador McKinley earned a PhD from Oxford University in 1982 and is the author of an acclaimed study on colonial Venezuela.  His articles have appeared in various publications to include Foreign Affairs, Politico, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic, as well as in  CSIS, USIP, Atlantic Council, and Wilson Center publications. He joined The Cohen Group as a Senior Counselor after a 37-year career at the Department of State. 

Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky, Ph.D. is a foreign policy expert and former diplomat specializing in national security affairs.  She is a Senior Fellow in the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is Vice Chair of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council.    

From 2010-2012, Ambassador Dobriansky was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Thomson Reuters. In this position, she was responsible for designing and implementing a corporate approach for engagement in Washington, D.C. and other key capitals around the globe.  During this time, she was also appointed the Distinguished National Security Chair at the U.S. Naval Academy.   

Ambassador Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs from 2001 to 2009.  Among her primary accomplishments, she established and led the U.S.-India, U.S.-China, and U.S.-Brazil Global Issues Fora, which advanced crucial work and international cooperation on environment, energy, health, development, and humanitarian issues.  Additionally, she was head of delegation and lead negotiator on U.S. climate change policy. 

In February 2007, as the President's Envoy to Northern Ireland, Ambassador Dobriansky received the Secretary of State’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, for her contribution to the historic devolution of power in Belfast. During her more than 25 years in national security affairs, Ambassador Dobriansky has held many Senate-confirmed and senior level positions in the U.S. Government including Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council, the White House, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Deputy Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 1990 Copenhagen Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and Associate Director for Policy and Programs at the United States Information Agency.   

From 1997-2001, Ambassador Dobriansky served as Senior Vice President and Director of the Washington Office of the Council on Foreign Relations and was the first George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies.  During this time, she also served on the President-appointed U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. 

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy, Ambassador Dobriansky served on the Defense Policy Board, the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, and as Chair of the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank’s Chairman’s Council on China Competition.  She is a Trustee of the Trilateral Commission, a member of EXIM's Advisory Subcommittee on Strategic Competition with the People’s Republic of China, a member of the Advisory Board of Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and Chair of the George W. Bush Institute's Women's Initiative Policy Advisory Council. 

She received a B.S.F.S. summa cum laude in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Soviet political/military affairs from Harvard University.  She is a Fulbright-Hays scholar, Ford and Rotary Foundation Fellow, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a recipient of various honors such as the Foreign Policy Association Medal for her service to country and leadership of the World Affairs Councils of America and the International Republican Institute's Women's Democracy Network Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award (2008).  She has received other high-level international recognition including the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of Poland, Poland's Highest Medal of Merit, Grand Cross of Commander of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, National Order "Star of Romania", Hungary’s Commander’s Cross Order of Merit and Ukraine’s Order of Merit.  She has also received three Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters, one Honorary Doctorate of Laws, and one Honorary Doctorate of International Affairs.   

Negah Angha is an associate vice president with The Cohen Group and brings nearly two decades of experience advising the U.S. Department of State and National Security Council leadership on matters of policy development and strategic communication. She is also a nonresident senior fellow with the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs. 

Prior to joining The Cohen Group, in 2021 Ms. Angha was the director for multilateral initiatives at the National Security Council, where she led and oversaw the management of the Summit for Democracy — a Biden Administration flagship summit. Subsequently, also in the Biden Administration in 2022, she was the director for partnerships and global engagement, where she engaged external stakeholders from the business, labor, think-tank, academic, and diaspora communities on key policy changes and decisions.

Before working at the White House, Ms. Angha served in a variety of foreign policy and program management roles at the U.S. State Department. She represented the United States on complex bilateral and multilateral negotiations; advised on issues related to the Group of Seven, United Nations Security Council, peacekeeping, sanctions, counterterrorism, and anti-corruption; and coordinated international donor and assistance efforts in the Middle East and North Africa and in South Asia.

Ms. Angha is the recipient of numerous State Department Superior and Meritorious Honor awards. She was recognized in the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Diversity in National Security Network (DINSN) 2022 U.S. National Security and Foreign Affairs Leadership List. She holds a Master of Arts in international peace and conflict resolution and an MBA from American University. She is also a Ph.D. candidate at King’s College London. Outside of government, she has taught at King’s College London and the UK Defense Academy Joint Services Command and Staff College. She is fluent in French and Farsi and has basic conversational skills in Italian, Spanish, and Arabic.

Speakers and Presenters

Erika Mouynes, Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard and former Foreign Minister of Panama; Ambassador P. Michael McKinley, former U.S. Ambassador to Peru, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Colombia; Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, Senior Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project and former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs; Negah Angha, Institute of Politics Fellow and former Director for Multilateral Initiatives at the National Security Council.


Additional Organizers

​Future of Diplomacy Project