Stylized graphic of text that reads "Juntos, Celebrating 10 Years, Atlantic Council, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center"


AALAC’s ten-year anniversary gala: Honoring work toward a more interconnected, prosperous region

A decade ago, Adrienne Arsht founded the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center (AALAC) with a vision to get Latin America and Caribbean involved in the transatlantic conversation and work together on issues of global importance, such as climate change, food insecurity, and financial inclusion. On October 24, AALAC celebrated its tenth anniversary with a gala honoring policymakers, ambassadors, and business leaders whose work furthers that vision.

The Amazon basin countries received the Catalyst for Global Change Award for their unparalleled commitment to the protection and sustainable development of the Amazon, which is essential in addressing climate change and reducing deforestation. On stage to receive the award were José Antonio Dávalos, minister of environment of Ecuador; Maria Luiza Viotti, Brazilian ambassador to the United States; Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peruvian ambassador to the United States, and Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombian ambassador to the United States. Dávalos, delivering his acceptance remarks in Spanish, highlighted that the eight countries of the Amazon feel reinvigorated to build public policies that protect the forest.

AALAC honored two individuals with the Legacy of the Americas Award for their lifetime achievements and commitment to the region. Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, III, co-founder and chairman of McLarty Associates, was recognized for his extensive foreign policy career and contributions to stronger hemispheric ties. Carlos Gutierrez, chairman and chief executive officer of Empath, was honored for his instrumental role in the passage of landmark free trade agreements and fostering stronger economic relations between the United States and Latin American and Caribbean countries. Gabe Gutierrez, senior white house correspondent at NBC News, moderated a discussion with the honorees, wherein they discussed the business community’s response to immigration and what they wish the international community better understood about Latin America.

Cristina Junqueira, co-founder of Nubank, received the Influencer for Innovation Award in recognition of her leadership in transforming banking in Brazil and working toward economic growth and financial inclusion.

Colombian Grammy- and Latin Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and philanthropist Carlos Vives received the Champion for Social Impact Award for his work supporting local community development, particularly in his home city of Santa Marta, Colombia.

AALAC Vice President Jason Marczak received, to his surprise, the Visionary Leadership Award for guiding the center’s day-to-day operations. Arsht was also recognized for her leadership of the center and her important role in its success.

The celebration included a surprise live performance from Vives, featuring a five-song setlist that included hits such as “Pa’ Mayté” and “La Bicicleta,” as well as Broadway actress Linedy Genao and Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno, both of whom were accompanied by the American Pops Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Luke Frazier. Cristina Londoño, senior Washington correspondent for Telemundo, was the emcee for the evening.

While the gala was a celebration of the center’s past work, the night was also focused on the future of both AALAC and the Latin America and Caribbean region. Atlantic Council President and Chief Executive Officer Frederick Kempe, in his opening remarks, said that he believes AALAC’s work will be “even more crucial in the years to come,” in its mission to work together toward “a more interconnected, secure, and prosperous Latin America—with deeper relations with the United States and across the Atlantic to Europe.”



Media features

Shareable graphics

Event description

Since its founding in 2013, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center has disseminated innovative policy recommendations, ideas, and avenues of exploration, challenging our preconceived notions of Latin America and the Caribbean and its place in the world. The Center’s work is not only esteemed in Washington DC’s Latin America and Caribbean policy world, but throughout the entire region.

In this spirit, the center hosted a gala on October 24, 2023, to commemorate its tenth anniversary. It also celebrated exceptional leaders across the LAC region who embody the center’s values and excelled in the fields of international leadership, business entrepreneurship, and social impact through a special awards ceremony taking place at the Organization of the American States’ Hall of the Americas in Washington D.C.

The event convened a high-level crowd of government officials, business executives, entrepreneurs, innovators, and regional experts to reflect on the decade-long impact and achievements of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and featured astounding performances from regional talent.

Event details

Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Venue: Organization of American States – Main Building (200 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20006)

Attire: Festive cocktail

Transportation: There is no parking available at the venue. Other methods of transportation are encouraged.


All times in Eastern Time (ET)

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Welcome reception

7:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.: Dinner program

9:15 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: Dessert reception

Contact us

For any questions or general inquiries, please contact Eva Lardizábal at

For any press inquiries, please contact Kelsey Page at

En español

Detalles del evento:

Fecha: martes, el 24 de octubre del 2023

Lugar: La Organización de los Estados Americanos – Edificio principal (200 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20006)

Vestimenta: Traje o vestido de cóctel

Transporte: Debido a la falta de estacionamientos disponibles en las cercanías del edificio de la OEA, recomendamos a los asistentes utilizar métodos de transporte alternativos.



Hora de Washington, DC (GMT -4)

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Recepción de bienvenida

7:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.: Programa y cena

9:15 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: Recepción y postre



Para consultas generales, puede escribir a Eva Lardizábal al correo

Para consultas relativas a la prensa, puede escribir a Kelsey Page al correo


Top view of a section of the Amazon river and forest

Catalyst for Global Change Award

The Amazon basin countries

Headshot of The Honorable Tomas F. "Mack" McLarty, III

Legacy of the Americas Award

The Honorable Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, III

Co-founder and Chairman, McLarty Associates

Headshot of Secretary Carlos Gutierrez

Legacy of the Americas Award

Secretary Carlos Gutierrez

Former Secretary of Commerce; Co-founder and CEO, Empath, Inc.

Headshot of Cristina Junqueira

Influencer for Innovation Award

Cristina Junqueira

Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer, Nubank

Headshot of Carlos Vives

Champion for Social Impact Award

Carlos Vives

Grammy and Latin Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, and philanthropist; Founder, Fundación Tras La Perla


Sponsors of the AALAC anniversary celebration and gala are supporting the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s core work and mission of “shaping the global future together” with friends and allies through our several areas of programmatic work, whose projects span the entire Latin American and Caribbean region.

Sponsors are also able to access benefits such as invitations to a reception with the honorees, recognition with their company logo in all printed and online dinner materials, and at the event, a two-page advertisement and/or congratulatory note to the honorees in the printed dinner program, and an acknowledgment from the podium during the dinner.

For customized branding opportunities and additional information, please contact Diego Area, Deputy Director for Strategic Development.

Principal and Co-Chair



Donna and Mack McLarty




ACG Analytics
Carlos and Edilia Gutierrez


C&M International
Tamera Luzzatto
Mary Ann Walker
FTI Consulting

The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center broadens understanding of regional transformations and delivers constructive, results-oriented solutions to inform how the public and private sectors can advance hemispheric prosperity.