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Concordia Americas Summit returns to the University of Miami

The two-day international forum convenes thought leaders to address issues dealing with the Western Hemisphere, with a focus on Latin America. The 2023 edition will occur March 9-10 on the Coral Gables Campus.
Concordia Americas Summit

University of Miami President Julio Frenk speaks during one of the panel discussions featured during the 2022 Concordia Americas Summit, held at the Shalala Student Center. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami

The Concordia Americas Summit—a two-day international forum that convenes a cross section of decision-makers, thought leaders, and influencers wanting to foster dialogue and forge partnerships around critical issues facing the Western Hemisphere—will return to the University of Miami from March 9-10.

The summit will be held at the Donna E. Shalala Student Center on the Coral Gables Campus.

Now in its seventh year, the gathering also provides a hub for dialogue, collaboration, networking, and innovative thinking on issues affecting Latin America. This is the second year that the summit has been held at the University. Last October, thanks to the generosity of trustee emeritus Jose Bared, the University became a principal programming partner for the 2023 Concordia Americas Summit and will host the annual Americas Summit through 2025.

In addition to hosting the summits, key experts and researchers from the University will regularly contribute to and participate in Concordia’s annual meetings.

“As the premier gathering for thought leaders on crucial challenges and opportunities facing the Western Hemisphere, I am pleased to welcome the Concordia Americas Summit back to Miami and our university,” said University President Julio Frenk. “The summit provides a unique opportunity to foster necessary conversations, collaboration, and partnerships among the private, public, and nonprofit sectors related to a variety of topics, including the state of our democracies, environmental sustainability, health care challenges, and emerging technologies.”   

Among the top speakers confirmed to be in attendance are Iván Duque Marquez, former president of Colombia; Alejandro Eduardo Giammattei Falla, president of Guatemala; Chan Santokhi, president of Suriname; Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava; and Anna Wellenstein, regional director, Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Bank.

The conference will build upon the topics discussed at the last summit, which was held at the Coral Gables Campus in July 2022. These ranged from the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy to the mental health crisis to the emerging threats to democracy in the region and the critical need to transition to net zero.

The summit is “our longest-standing regional initiative, born in Miami back in 2016,” said Matthew Swift, co-founder and CEO of Concordia.

“We are honored to continue our work to highlight the most pressing issues facing the Western Hemisphere,” he said. “The region needs to be more interconnected and aligned. And hosting the summit at such an important center of culture, commerce, and environment is an important next step as we bring governments, corporations, and leading NGOs together to highlight important opportunities existing in Latin America to the rest of the world,’’ he added.

“Our partnership with the University of Miami not only demonstrates the need for more convenings in Miami, but also the powerful role the university plays as one of the leading educational institutions in the world and as a key platform to elevate the voices of our next generation.” Swift concluded. 

Many University of Miami faculty members and administrators will take part in the summit.

Frenk, who served as Federal Secretary of Health of Mexico from 2000-2006, will participate in a fireside chat, “Bipartisan Solutions to Health Challenges,” which will include the participation of president emerita Donna E. Shalala, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. The chat will be moderated by Karoline Mortensen, professor and associate director of the Center for Health Management and Policy at the Miami Herbert Business School.

Frenk also will serve as moderator for the panel “Climate Resilience’s ‘Ground Zero’—Miami Seas.” Participants on the panel include Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of the School of Architecture; Antonio Nanni, professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering; Katharine Mach, professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science; and Abigail Fleming, the Mysun Foundation Practitioner in Residence at the School of Law’s Environmental Justice Clinic.

Felicia Knaul, director of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, will moderate the “Health Equity Among Women with Cancer” panel that will feature experts from the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Health System. She also will participate in a fireside chat, “Women’s Social Movements that Shaped Latin America’s Political Terrain,” and will serve as a panelist for “The Pivotal Impact of Women in Informal Roles Across Society” seminar, alongside Carmen Correa, CEO of Pro Mujer, and Sheila Davis, CEO of Partners in Health.

Alejandro Portes, sociologist and School of Law professor, will participate in the “Public Policy Perspectives: Refugee Integration” seminar.

Other prominent discussions to be held during the summit will focus on issues of cultural diplomacy and youth advocacy.

The two-day conference also offers a host of networking opportunities through one-on-one or group meetings, roundtables, and receptions. Select University students have been invited to participate in roundtable discussions during the summit, as well as a networking breakfast with Concordia Leadership Council members. 

Visit for more information on the summit.