2023: Democracy in the Americas – The Monroe Doctrine and the Past and Present of US Policy in Latin America

The American Academy of Diplomacy
The University of Virginia Center for Politics,
The Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello

Democracy in the Americas – The Monroe Doctrine and the Past and Present of US Policy in Latin America

This year’s discussion at Monticello took place on November 17 and welcomed Lino Gutierrez, Donna Hrinak, Luis Arreaga and Timothy Walker to examine, “Democracy in the Americas – The Monroe Doctrine and the Past and Present of US Policy in Latin America.” Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and United States Ambassador to Brazil, Ambassador Thomas Shannon delivered the keynote address.


Keynote Speaker:

Thomas A. Shannon

Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. brings more than three decades of government service and diplomatic experience to his practice, providing strategic counsel to clients across a range of legislative, foreign policy, and national security issues.

Most recently, Ambassador Shannon served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the third highest ranking position at the State Department. Holding the personal rank of Career Ambassador, he was the highest ranking member of the United States Foreign Service, the country’s professional diplomatic corps. During his tenure as Under Secretary, Ambassador Shannon was in charge of bilateral and multilateral foreign policymaking and implementation, and oversaw diplomatic activity globally and in our missions to international organizations. He managed the State Department during the presidential transition, led bilateral and strategic stability talks with the Russian Federation, worked with our allies to oversee Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and expanded US engagement in Central Asia, among other things.

Prior to that appointment, he served as Counselor of the Department, where he acted as a troubleshooter and roving envoy for Secretary of State John Kerry. In that capacity, he focused on Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and led US support for the UN-sponsored peace processes in Yemen and South Sudan. Ambassador Shannon spent nearly 35 years in the Foreign Service, and has served 6 US presidents and 11 secretaries of state.

Prior to his 2016 appointment by President Obama as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Shannon was the United States Ambassador to Brazil. Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Shannon served as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2005-2009. He served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council (2003-2005), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State (2002-2003), and Director of Andean Affairs (2001-2002). From 2000-2001, he was US Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, with the rank of Ambassador. During his career, Ambassador Shannon served in the US Foreign Service at embassies in Guatemala, Brazil, South Africa, and Venezuela.


Timothy Walker

Dr. Timothy Walker is a Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. At UMD, he serves as Fulbright Program Advisor (faculty and students) and was previously Director of Tagus Press and Director of the UMass in Lisbon Study Abroad Program. Dr. Walker laid out the historic foundation of America’s commitment to democracy and the Monroe Doctrine, with a particular focus on Brazil.


Lino Gutierrez 

Ambassador (ret.) Lino Gutiérrez is the President of Gutiérrez Global LLC, a consulting firm specializing on strategic advice for corporations and individuals interested in investing in Latin America and Europe. He is a professional lecturer at George Washington University and is on the Board of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. From 2010 to 2022 he served as the Executive Director of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, which is dedicated to a strong and professional Foreign Service.

In his 29-year Foreign Service career, Mr. Gutiérrez served six U.S. Presidents and 11 Secretaries of State. His last posting was as Ambassador to Argentina from 2003-2006. During his tenure, the United States and Argentina signed agreements on counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics cooperation, and container security. In 2005, Ambassador Gutiérrez welcomed President Bush to Argentina as he attended the Summit of the Americas.

Gutiérrez also served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from 1999-2002. He led the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs on September 11, 2001 and beyond. He accompanied Secretary of State Colin Powell to Lima, Peru for the signing of the Inter- American Democratic Charter, and returned with the Secretary’s party to the United States on September 11, 2001. From 2002-2003, Gutiérrez occupied the George Kennan chair as International Affairs Advisor at the National War College.

In 1996, President Clinton nominated Lino Gutiérrez to serve as Ambassador to Nicaragua. While in Nicaragua, Ambassador Gutiérrez coordinated the relief effort after Hurricane Mitch. Other overseas postings included tours in the Dominican Republic, Portugal, Haiti, France and the Bahamas.

Ambassador Gutiérrez served as Senior Advisor to Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutiérrez on Cuba transition and Latin America from 2007-09. In 2010, Gutiérrez Global LLC won a five-year State Department contract to direct and teach a course on the Southern Cone countries at the Foreign Service Institute. From 2008-2018, he was an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. From 2016-2022 he served as a member of the Foreign Service Grievance Board.

Lino Gutiérrez has been the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, Superior Honor Award (twice) and Meritorious Honor Award (three times). He has also earned the U.S. Army’s Civilian Award.

A native of Havana, Cuba, Gutiérrez has a master’s and bachelor’s from the University of Alabama, and also attended the University of Miami. After graduating from college, he taught social studies for the Dade County (Fla.) school system and the Urban League. He is married to the former Miriam Messina from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The couple has three daughters and six grandchildren.

Donna Hrinak

Donna Hrinak has a proven record of international success in both the public and private sectors.

As a career officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, she worked in Eastern Europe and Latin America, including as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic. In Washington, DC she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Mexico and the Caribbean and worked in the Congressional office of Rep. Patricia Schroeder, on a fellowship from the American Political Science Association.

After leaving government service, Donna joined the Miami law firm of Steel Hector & Davis as Senior Counselor for Trade and Competition. Her private sector experience also includes serving as President of Boeing for Latin America and Canada and Vice President for Global Public Policy at PepsiCo, where she led the International Food & Beverage Alliance.

Donna is a member of the boards of Adtalem Global Education and the Interamerican Dialogue. She is a proud Spartan from Michigan State University, which also awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, and attended The George Washington University and the University of Notre Dame School of Law.  She and her husband, Frans Boetes, a native of The Netherlands, live in Miami, Florida and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Luis Arreaga 

Luis E. Arreaga served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Guatemala from October, 2017 until October, 2020.  Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Arreaga served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs from November, 2013 to September, 2017.  In this capacity he was responsible for State Department programs combating illicit drugs and organized crime, as well as support for law enforcement and rule of law in the Western Hemisphere.

Ambassador Arreaga also served as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland from 2010 to 2013.  Ambassador Arreaga led State Department efforts to recruit and hire the largest increase in Foreign Service personnel in the U.S. State Department history.

He previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Panama, U.S. Consul General in Vancouver, Canada and as director of the Executive Secretariat Staff at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.  He has also served as Deputy Director of the State Department´s Operations Center and Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs.  Other overseas postings include the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, the United States Embassy in Spain, and the Agency for International Development in Peru, El Salvador, and Honduras.

In 2018, Ambassador Arreaga’s contributions were recognized with a Presidential Rank Award.  He was born and raised in Guatemala before immigrating to the United States.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee where he received a Ph.D. in economics and a Master’s Degree in Management.