Spring 2012 Conference
The Council of American Ambassadors held its Spring Conference in Washington, DC on Monday, May 14 and Tuesday, May 15, 2012. Approximately 60 Ambassadors and guests participated in the two-day event.
The program opened on May 14 with the Council’s spring Board of Directors meeting, chaired by CAA President Ambassador Abelardo L. Valdez. Among the topics considered were President Valdez’s report on the Council’s accomplishments since November 2010. These included the completion of two international missions (Scandinavia and Cuba), the recruitment of 24 new members and the establishment of two new programs, an orientation program for newly appointed non-career ambassadors and a cooperative CAA-State Department program to utilize the talents of CAA members. Also discussed were the Council’s financial achievements during the past two years and plans for the fall 2012 conference in Los Angeles, CA and the Council’s 30th anniversary celebration in May 2013. On Monday evening, Ambassador Selwa Roosevelt hosted a reception for Council members and spouses at her residence.
On May 15, the Council convened its spring conference in the Choate Room at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The conference theme was “U.S.-Brazil Relations.” CAA President Ambassador Abelardo L. Valdez welcomed the audience of ambassadors, spouses, Annenberg Fellowship alumni, Davis Public Diplomacy Fellows and students from American University and The George Washington University. United States Ambassador to Brazil Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., the conference keynote speaker, presented a detailed analysis of the multi-faceted Brazil-United States relationship.
Mr. Larry Rohter of The New York Times and author of Brazil on the Rise: The Story of a Country Transformed, outlined the key factors leading to Brazil’s transformation.
Dr. Riordan Roett, Sarita and Don Johnston Professor of Political Science and Director of Western Hemisphere Studies and the Latin American Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and author of The New Brazil, followed Mr. Rohter and discussed the dynamic Brazil-U.S. economic and business relationship.
The morning program culminated in a presentation on Brazil’s role in the Americas and the world by Mr. Paulo Sotero, Director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Question and answer sessions, moderated by Ambassadors Brenda LaGrange Johnson, Diana Lady Dougan, Timothy A. Chorba, and John F. Maisto, followed each presentation.
A luncheon followed the conference. The Honorable John D. Negroponte, Chairman of the Council of the Americas and the Americas Society, Vice Chairman of McLarty Associates, and former Ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, the United Nations and Iraq, delivered the luncheon address, providing a cogent analysis of United States relations with its neighbors in the Western Hemisphere.
At the conclusion of the spring 2012 conference, Ambassadors Abelardo L. Valdez and Timothy A. Chorba assumed new positions in the organization. Ambassador Valdez was named President Emeritus of the Council of American Ambassadors and Ambassador Chorba was elected President. Ambassadors Valdez and Chorba greatly appreciate the outstanding participation of the speakers and attendees in the spring events and look forward to continued collaboration with their CAA colleagues.