About the Institute
The Georgetown Americas Institute is a platform for dialogue, research, and impact around the key challenges facing Latin America and the hemisphere.
Latin America has experienced impressive economic growth and democratic development over the past three decades. The Americas have emerged as a leading world region, encompassing one billion people accounting for about a quarter of international trade and a third of global production. At the same time, the COVID-19 crisis has revealed the depth of the political, economic, social, and environmental challenges facing the region. The institute will bring faculty and students together with leaders from the academy, business, government, and civil society to advance solutions to the problems facing Latin America and the hemisphere as a whole.
As a leading research university with robust ties to Latin America that go back more than a century, Georgetown is well-positioned to have a transformative impact in the region. Academic strengths from foreign service and public policy to business, law, medicine, and the humanities provide a critical, interdisciplinary lens on the problems facing the Americas.
A Washington, DC, location gives Georgetown faculty, students, and partners unique access to national and international policy networks. As a Catholic and Jesuit university, Georgetown is also part of a global Jesuit network that includes more than 20 institutions in Latin America who share a commitment to educational excellence and service to the wider society.
What are the institute's key themes?
In the years to come, four thematic areas will be critical for Georgetown’s engagement with Latin America: governance and the rule of law, economic growth and innovation, social and cultural inclusion, and the environment and sustainability. All four are of critical importance for the future of the region, correspond to areas of faculty strength and student interest, and align with the university's mission as a Jesuit institution committed to the global common good.
Governance and the Rule of Law
The advancement of democracy in most of Latin America has unleashed tremendous political, economic, and social dynamism. At the same time, weak political institutions and legal systems continue to plague much of the region. Political polarization and paralysis across the hemisphere, highlighted by the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, make governance and the rule of law critical topics for the work of the institute.
Economic Growth and Innovation
Latin American economies have made tremendous strides over the past two decades, buttressed by market reforms and a burgeoning middle class. More recently, slower growth and the devastating impact of COVID-19 have underscored the importance of more inclusive and sustainable economies across the region. The institute will advance problem-driven research and policy dialogue in these vitally important areas.
Social and Cultural Inclusion
Democratization and growth have contributed to more creative, free, and open societies across much of Latin America. But poverty and deep inequality persist in income, education, health care, and other areas, particularly in exploding urban centers, struggling rural communities, and among indigenous peoples and migrants. A commitment to social justice will inform the institute' research and impact on these issues as part of the wider Jesuit network.
Environment and Sustainability
Accelerating climate change and Amazon deforestation are the most visible signs of the environmental crisis across Latin America — a crisis with far-reaching economic, social, and public health effects that disproportionately impact marginalized populations. Through interdisciplinary research and external partnerships, the institute will help advance sustainability research and strategies for governments, businesses, and civil society.