We are excited to announce the launch of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s (AALAC) new Venezuela Transatlantic Fellowship. Join our transatlantic community!
The Fellowship seeks to advance transatlantic US-EU bipartisan engagement on Venezuelan issues, promote a deeper understanding of the complex Venezuelan crisis, identify action-oriented policies that could address the most salient issues around the crisis, and encourage policymakers to align on foreign policy priorities and international cooperation toward Venezuela.
As part of the Fellowship, we will convene US congressional staff, European parliamentary staff, international experts, and emerging Venezuelan political and civil society leaders to open new spaces for transatlantic cooperation and coordination. By promoting a stronger and more cohesive relationship, this cohort of Fellows could play a critical role in identifying new international and domestic avenues towards the resolution of the Venezuelan crisis.
Join us and become part of a diverse group of transatlantic policy staffers and stakeholders with a desire to enhance the coordination of non-partisan action-oriented policies in support of a peaceful and sustainable political resolution to Venezuela’s multi-dimensional crisis.
Throughout this Fellowship, we will:
- Generate a more nuanced understanding of existing transatlantic policymaking processes and the implications of policy decisions on the Venezuelan crisis
- Stimulate new thinking on existing coordination mechanisms between US Congress and the European Parliament
- Enhance transatlantic engagement and cooperation to identify new opportunities for joint Venezuela-focused planning among mid-level legislative staffers
- Open a unique transatlantic space to influence, shape, and inform policy recommendations towards Venezuela through sustained interactions with international experts, Venezuelan stakeholders, and congressional/parliamentary staffers from Europe and the United States.
Interactive virtual strategy sessions: The Transatlantic Fellowship will consist of five virtual strategy sessions covering some of the most important aspects of the state of affairs in and around Venezuela policy. Each session will kick-off with an expert-guest speaker who will give a short informative topic-specific presentation, providing examples of policy recommendations that could stimulate joint action between the United States and European Union. We have designed these sessions to stimulate engagement and participation among our fellows. Hence, following the expert-led presentation, fellows will be sorted into breakout rooms with three other members to discuss the recommendations they consider most important to the development of US-EU joint policies about the specific session topic. Fellows will also be encouraged to present new alternatives regarding what the United States and European Union can do to generate consensual policies. After these sessions, fellows will come back to discuss their findings with the expert speaker and other fellows.
In-person Session: The sixth, and final Transatlantic Fellowship meeting will consist of a two-day, in person session in Washington, DC. During day 1, the Transatlantic Fellows will come together to prepare a draft resolution based on the conclusions drawn from each virtual session. The joint draft resolution will be developed with direct writing and research assistance from AALAC staff and other experts. On day 2, fellows will meet with high-level stakeholders for a discussion on the role of transatlantic cooperation in matters of foreign affairs, particularly pertaining to the current situation in Venezuela. The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will cover travel and boarding expenses for European Fellows.
Tentative Date: Mid-to-Late July
Benefits of the fellowship
VWG mentorship: Transatlantic Fellows will have opportunities to connect directly with high-level stakeholders and members of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s Venezuela Working Group (VWG). The VWG brings together an influential group of experts from the United States, Latin America, and Europe, including former government officials, heads of in-country humanitarian organizations, oil industry practitioners, economists, civil society leaders, and academics to propose innovative ideas and galvanize support for actionable recommendations around pressing issues in Venezuela. Select VWG members will participate in virtual and in-person sessions to help guide discussion groups, serving as knowledge partners for all Fellowship activities.
Atlantic Council network access: The Fellowship will provide participants with privileged access to select Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center events, and connecting fellows with Atlantic Council experts for hearings, briefings, and background meetings, providing a bridge to the larger Atlantic Council community.
Issue expertise: This program will position fellows as experts among their peers in matters related to Venezuela and provide collaborative ownership over the mock draft resolution, creating precedent for future Venezuela-related deliberations.
Writing support: The Atlantic Council will provide writing, research, and logistics support for all deliverables.
Trip to Washington, DC (specific to EU fellows): As part of the Transatlantic Fellowship, European participants will be invited to the Washington DC to participate in a series of in person events, including workshops and high-level meetings.
In-person participation (specific to US fellows): Participants from the United States will be given the opportunity to participate in the sessions in-person, either at the Atlantic Council Headquarters or at the Capitol Visitor Center (subject to availability). Tea, coffee, and other breakfast foods will be provided COVID-19 permitting.
Networking cocktail: As part of the Fellowship, AALAC will organize a networking cocktail for all participants during the visit of European Fellows to Washington, DC. With this cocktail, we hope to encourage relationship building between Congressional and Parliamentarian Fellows for more positive and collaborative future partnerships.
Activities and engagement opportunities
As part of this Fellowship, participants will have the opportunity to engage in the following activities:
Content Creation: Each Fellow should engage in at least one of the following content creation opportunities. The Atlantic council will provide research, writing, and logistics support for each of these activities. We are happy to help guide you through any of these opportunities.
- Co-author a blog post for the New Atlanticist in collaboration with a transatlantic counterpart on one or more of the subjects touched upon during the virtual strategy sessions. Guidance from a VWG member will also be offered.
- Organize and participate in a Twitter Space, a new way to have live audio-visual conversations with an audience on Twitter.
- Organize and participate in a Foro Chat, an innovative form of communication that can be hosted through various messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, Telegram or WeChat.
Participation for in-person session: In culmination of the series of virtual sessions, fellows will come together to work on elaborating a mock draft resolution. This resolution should reflect the Fellowship’s perception of how the United States and European Union can collaborate to generate policy towards Venezuela. The draft resolution will be created based on all five strategy session topics. Note: this draft joint resolution is non-official, non-binding, and does not tie participants to future actions. We believe that the greatest value that this Transatlantic Fellowship will create is connections among Congressional and Parliamentary Staffers on either side of the Atlantic. To create lasting ties between US and EU fellows, we will sponsor a trip for EU Fellows to travel to the United States to join our US Fellows in an in-person session.
Preparation and attendance: To maximize the effectiveness of the discussion, we encourage participants to read the provided reading materials and submit any questions prior to each session, which will take place between 8:00-9:00am ET (1:00-2:00pm GMT) on the second Wednesday of the month starting February 2022.
Note: We highly encourage fellows to turn their cameras on to ensure dynamic engagement.
The fellows will be mid-to-senior level bicameral and bipartisan US congressional staffers; as well as staffers from the European Parliament representing different parties, and/or staffers from the European External Acton Service. Through a competitive application process, the Atlantic Council will accept approximately sixteen fellows, evenly split between the United States and Europe. Applicants will be asked to submit a short written statement or video (no more than 2-minutes) regarding their interest in program before January 30. The list of finalists will be made public shortly after.
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.