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October 25, 2021

Alejandro Werner Named Director of Georgetown Americas Institute

Alejandro Werner, who recently completed almost nine years as director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund, has been named the founding director of the new Georgetown Americas Institute (GAI).

Alejandro Werner has been named the founding director of the Georgetown Americas Institute.
Alejandro Werner has been named the founding director of the Georgetown Americas Institute.

A Mexican citizen, Werner has had an accomplished career in government, business, and international organizations. As GAI director he will lead a university-wide platform for dialogue, research, and impact around the key challenges facing Latin America and the hemisphere. His term begins in January 2022.

"I look forward to working with Georgetown faculty, students, and administrators to connect and strengthen our engagement across the Americas," said Werner. "The Georgetown Americas Institute is ideally positioned to build knowledge and address concrete policy challenges in the region."

A Transformative Gift

A transformative $25 million commitment from longtime Georgetown supporters Rolando (C’68) and Monica Gonzalez-Bunster (Parents’00, ’05, ’14, ’16) made the creation of the GAI possible. The institute brings Georgetown University's existing Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) and Latin American Leadership Program (LALP) under a university-wide umbrella that connects with other programs, including Georgetown Law’s Center for the Advancement of the Rule of Law in the Americas (CAROLA) and the Americas Forum in Georgetown College.

The institute aims to advance research, teaching, and impact in the Americas across four strategic pillars: governance and the rule of law, economic growth and innovation, social and cultural inclusion, and sustainability and the environment.

An Interdisciplinary Approach for the Common Good

Werner, who received his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, looks forward to the opportunity to lead a university-based effort. "The complex challenges that Latin America faces—exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic—demand interdisciplinary analysis and solutions," he says. 

"Georgetown's diverse academic expertise, strong policy linkages, and the Jesuit network give us tremendous capacity to engage across multiple issues confronting the Americas."

The institute was launched in summer 2021 under the interim leadership of CLAS director Rev. Matthew Carnes, S.J., and LALP director Ricardo Ernst. Its events this fall have featured dialogues with Roberto Alvarez (L'76), foreign minister of the Dominican Republic, and Juan Gonzalez (G'07), a member of the U.S. National Security Council responsible for Latin America.

"Georgetown is delighted to welcome Alejandro Werner to the Hilltop," says President John J. DeGioia. "Under his leadership we look forward to deepening our engagement with Latin America and the hemisphere through excellence in research, teaching, and service to the common good."