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Biography: Jeffrey Davidow

Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow is one of the United States’ leading experts on Latin America and US relations with the area, and is an influential international keynote speaker on the subject. Jeffrey Davidow is available as an international conference speaker for relevant corporate events.

During his 34-year Foreign Service career, Jeffrey Davidow focused much of his efforts on improving relations with Latin America. He served in the U.S. embassies in Guatemala, Chile, and Venezuela, and then later returned to Venezuela as ambassador from 1993-1996. From 1996 to 1998, he was the chief policymaker for the region, serving as Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere. He then served as ambassador to Mexico from 1998 to 2002. Initially appointed to that position by President Clinton, he was asked to remain in his post for an additional 18 months by President Bush.

Early in his Foreign Service career, Davidow served as a congressional staff aide in a program organized by the American Political Science Association.  On another occasion, he spent an academic year at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs where he wrote a book, published by Harvard, on negotiation.

Since Jeffrey's retirement from the State Department in 2003, he has served as President of the Institute of the Americas in La Jolla, California.  The Institute is dedicated to promoting dialogue on public policies in Latin America that will encourage economic development, trade and investment, and regional integration.  Among the Institute’s specific interests are policies relating to energy, telecommunications and informatics, and issues of social relevance.


After leaving Mexico in September 2002, Jeffrey Davidow returned to Harvard to become a Visiting Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the David Rockefeller center for Latin American Studies. During the 2002-03 academic year, he worked extensively with undergraduate and graduate students.

Jeffrey Davidow wrote a book on US-Mexican relations: The US and Mexico: The Bear and the Porcupine which was first published in Spanish in Mexico by Casa Editorial Grijalba and in English by Markus Weiner Publishers in 2004. He is the co-author of an article on the Mexican elections published in 2006 in Foreign Affairs.

Jeffery Davidow is a renowned expert on the subject of Latin American and US relations with the area.  He is a sought-after international keynote speaker. 

Speaking Topics: 

US Policy Toward Latin America –What will the Next Administration Bring?
There has been a significant continuity in American policy to the region through the Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II administrations. The policy emphasis has been on promoting free trade, democratic transition, and anti-narcotics cooperation. But each of these pillars is being challenged by events in the hemisphere and by domestic political considerations in the US. Will the new administration pursue these goals or adopt other policies? And is there any likelihood of new approaches to Cuba, immigration and other concerns of the hemisphere?

The Geopolitics of Latin American Energy
Issues relating to energy production and supply are among the most delicate and complicated in determining the domestic policies, international relations, and the role of Latin America in the world economy. The rise of resource nationalism, the unwillingness or inability of governments to fulfill contractual arrangements with their neighbours and with the private sector,  the decline in production of petroleum in some countries owing to poor management, Brazil’s energy self-sufficiency, and global markets which are everyday harder to predict are a few of the geo-political factors that place energy issues at the heart of the hemisphere’s economic and political future.

The Immigration Scandal in the United States
Once only a problem that affected Mexico, immigration into the United States has become a major issue for other hemispheric states, particularly those in Central America, the Caribbean and other countries, such as Venezuela, that are seeing large numbers of inhabitants seek economic or political refuge in the United States. The inability or unwillingess of the American political system to develop rational and human policies to deal with the massive increase of newcomers is, indeed, a scandal which has deep economic, political and social roots.

A New Vision for Latin American Corporations
There is a growing fatigue with the concept of corporate social responsibility. There has been a lot more talk than action in many situations. The best companies realize that they have responsibilities to their workers, the larger community and the environment, but they often approach these responsibilities with an absence of the rigour that they apply to other business decisions. Governments are frequently indifferent or hostile to these concerns.  What are some of the alternative strategies for both business, government and the NGO community?

For further information or to book Jeffrey Davidow, call us at Speakers Corner on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email info@speakerscorner.co.uk

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