Distinguished group to advance a renewed strategy to deepen US-Colombia ties.

WASHINGTON DC, APRIL 18, 2023—The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center today launched the renewed US-Colombia Advisory Group and welcomed Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) as the honorary co-chairs of the group. This nonpartisan, binational group of experts will provide recommendations for navigating a new chapter in the US-Colombia relationship based on opportunities of shared interest. Today’s announcement comes two days prior to the first White House meeting between US President Joe Biden and Colombian President Gustavo Petro.

With decades of combined policy experience, Honorary Co-Chairs Cardin and Hagerty are well-positioned to advance a renewed strategy for US-Colombia cooperation. With their leadership and a diverse set of new members, the advisory group will prioritize four main areas of focus, each key to the future of US-Colombia relations and to our respective interests across the region more broadly:  

  • Strengthening democracy and institutional resilience; 
  • Accelerating a democratic solution to Venezuela’s crisis through multilateral coordination;  
  • Advancing drug policy and security cooperation while promoting best practices and alternative sustainable development; and
  • Fostering inclusive economic growth and prosperity. 

“Today, the US-Colombia relationship is a key pillar of stability in the Western Hemisphere, requiring continued and unwavering multiparty support in our congresses and the sustained attention of policymakers, scholars, the private sector, and the people of both countries,” said Senator Cardin. “As we contemplate new directions for the US-Colombia partnership, our two countries have the opportunity to renew our joint efforts—bringing inclusive economic growth, increased security, more robust solutions to climate and environmental challenges, and a greater commitment to democracy, rule of law, peace, and human rights.”

“I look forward to serving as an honorary co-chair of the Atlantic Council’s US-Colombia Advisory Group,” said Senator Hagerty. “It is more critical than ever to strengthen the important and enduring partnership between our two nations. Over the years, the United States and Colombia have built robust cooperation on trade and investment, rural development, counter-narcotics, energy security, infrastructure, and countering the interference and malign influence of China and other extra regional powers in Latin America. As the world emerges from the catastrophic conditions of coronavirus lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, and spiraling inflation, cooperation around mutual interests is paramount. As a businessperson and former Ambassador, I have a deep appreciation for the need to find opportunities for our nations to cooperate and partner for mutual prosperity and security. I have every confidence we will continue to pursue and expand such opportunities as we deepen our nations’ strategic ties.”

Since its founding in 2017 as the US-Colombia Task Force, the US-Colombia Advisory Group has advanced whole-of-society solutions with broad support in Colombia and the United States to address the most challenging policy issues affecting Colombia, while also promoting US interests in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

“A deep and extensive US-Colombia relationship is pivotal far beyond our two countries,” said Jason Marczak, Senior Director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. “Colombia is a longtime ally that will only gain in importance in the years to come amid global and regional transformations. The new US-Colombia Advisory Group – with Senators Cardin and Hagerty as honorary co-chairs – will serve a strategic purpose in advancing binational ideas and consensus on how to tackle longstanding and emerging challenges and tap into the opportunities that the years ahead could bring.”

The Atlantic Council’s US-Colombia Advisory Group welcomed Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today at 3:00 p.m. EDT at an in-person reception held at the US Capitol Visitors Center that also featured Colombian Minister of Foreign Relations Alvaro Leyva, Atlantic Council President and CEO Fred Kempe, and other distinguished speakers and guests.

For more information on the US-Colombia Advisory Group, its new focus, and members click here.  

For media inquiries, please contact achavez@atlanticcouncil.org or press@atlanticcouncil.org. 

The Atlantic Council’s nonpartisan Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center (AALAC) broadens understanding of regional transformations while demonstrating why Latin America and the Caribbean matter for the world. The center focuses on pressing political, economic, and social issues that will define the region’s trajectory, proposing constructive, results-oriented solutions to inform public sector, business, and multilateral action based on a shared vision for a more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable future. 

 AALAC – home to the premier Caribbean Initiative – builds consensus for action in advancing innovative policy perspectives within select lines of programming: US policy in the Western Hemisphere; US-Colombia ties; Venezuela’s future; Central America’s economic prosperity; Mexico’s role in North America; China’s next steps in the Americas; Brazil’s trajectory; Caribbean development; regional economic development; commercial opportunities; and energy transitions. Jason Marczak serves as the center’s senior director.