About the Lecture Series of the Americas

Board of the Lecture

The Board of the Lecture Series, integrated by the OAS Secretary General, the Chair of the Permanent Council, the Chair of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, the Secretary of External Relations and the Director of the DIA, whose purpose is to develop the program, select and facilitate contact with the speakers, suggest themes, and insure its successful execution.

Academic Advisory Board:

Lecture Series of the Americas The Lecture Series of the Americas and the Academic Advisory Board (8.42 MB)

The Lecture Series of the Americas aims to enrich hemispheric debate on the principal themes of the Inter-American Agenda linked to democracy, social development, human rights, and multidimensional security by holding monthly conferences in which well-known, highly-esteemed speakers share their knowledge and experience with the general public. 

In order to renew our efforts in promoting greater awareness and international understanding of the role of the OAS, as well as the priority issues of the Inter-American Agenda, through the Lecture Series, the Department of International Affairs (DIA), under the terms of the agreement signed with the Universidad San Martin de Porres (USMP) – the Lecture Series’ major co-sponsor and funding partner – proposes the creation of the Academic Council. As an advisory body, the Academic Council will support the OAS General Secretariat’s efforts in the spread and promotion of the use of the Lecture Series throughout universities in the Hemisphere. This initiative seeks to expand the diffusion of the program within academic circles, thereby creating an added value to the Lecture Series.

In providing advice to the DIA, as Lecture Coordinating Secretariat, the Academic Council will enhance the promotion of the program and the use of the Lecture Series among universities in the region, including the use of lecture material for academic purposes.  It will also support OAS efforts in regards to the dissemination of its mission in the hemisphere, particularly in light of the Declaration of Medellin (AG/DEC. 57 (XXXVIII-O/08), adopted on June 3rd, 2008. By this declaration, the OAS General Secretariat, in collaboration with the Member States, commits to continuing to promote the Lecture Series of the Americas as a means of fostering democratic principles and values among young people of the Hemisphere.

  • The Academic Council and its Objective

    The Rector of the Universidad de San Martín de Porres (USMP) will preside over the Academic Council along with other rectors of universities from the different sub-regions of the Hemisphere: North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. These universities will be identified as parts of the Academic Council by the OAS Secretariat.  University representatives will be invited to participate at their own cost on a rotating bi-annual membership in order to give other distinguished universities from the region the opportunity to participate in the Academic Council. The Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE) will also participate as a member of this Council but with a permanent member status.

    The Academic Council will work throughout the year, meeting annually to propose actions and create institutional programs that facilitate the dissemination of the Lecture Series. Members of the council will foster strategic alliances with well-known academics, professors, and representatives from other learning institutions in order to amplify efforts to expand the Lecture Series and ensure that universities and academic institutions have access to the program through multiple media outlets: television, radio, live internet transmission, etc. This Council will also help identify and secure prestigious high-level speakers for the monthly conferences, achieving equal geographic distribution as well as promoting the participation of minority groups.
  • Beneficiaries

    The actions undertaken by the Academic Council will have both direct and indirect benefits to the members of the council, as their networks and other universities become more involved through this effort.  Through their involvement, the participating universities of the council and their academic partners will directly benefit through increased awareness among the student body and professors on the role of the OAS and the issues of the Inter-American Agenda. Greater awareness of these issues and a growing interest in the broadcast and transmission of the lectures, in multiple forms, as per the council’s advice, will result in a potentially larger regional audience. Hence, students and faculty in universities with access to the lectures will be enlightened, broadening their knowledge base on the OAS and lecture topics.

    The Lecture Series benefits all OAS Member States as it will be promoted throughout the region by the Academic Council.
  • Criteria for the Composition of the Academic Council

    The universities will be selected based on the following criteria:
    • Equal Geographical Representation
      The following sub-regions must be represented at all times:
    • North America
    • Central America          
    • South America
    • The Caribbean
    • International Component:
      Selected institutions must:
    • Have an international focus in their programs of study.
    • Offer undergraduate and graduate level degree programs in international relations (IR). as well as doctoral programs specializing in a certain international area.  Courses within these programs should not be centered in a particular school of thought or IR theory, but rather a variety of theories or approaches to the study of IR.  Interdisciplinary courses in an international context should be available.
    • Participate or have participated in the Model OAS and Model United Nations programs.  This would be ideal as participating students desire to influence international and regional policy-making in the future and are therefore preparing to take part in guiding multilateral diplomacy.  Involvement in these student organizations demonstrates further interest in inter-regional relations with neighboring countries.
    • Active in hosting international or hemispheric conferences, lecture series, or other events with visiting international dignitaries and/or university professors.
    • Willing to explore the addition of the Lecture Series to part of their international relations curriculum.
    • Offer study abroad programs with other universities in the region or elsewhere.
    • Possess a body of professors and administrators from different countries.  This reflects the largely international tradition of the university itself.
    • Student Interests
    • Demonstrate interest in the Americas, through participation in international programs such as the Model OAS and Model United Nations.
    • Participate as volunteers for international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), with a special interest in any of the four pillars of OAS work.
    • Belong to a network of international students or any kind of international organization.
    • University Human and Financial Resources
    • Possess a school or department devoted to the study of international relations.
    • Offer similar programs to the Lecture Series of the Americas and have resources and experience necessary to transmit the Lecture Series live, throughout university facilities.
    • Own technological equipment capable of transmitting the Lecture Series to students and staff.
    • Have a sufficient budget to replicate the Lecture Series, including its transmission, the printing of brochures, and funds necessary for the university’s participation in annual meetings.
    • Are well-connected and integrated with other universities in the region.  It is imperative that these universities are part of a network of academic institutions or have alliances/partnerships with others in the same geographic area and, preferably, have joint programs with other regional universities.


    The Academic Council is necessary for the continued promotion and expansion of the Lecture Series of the Americas.  The Lecture Series aims to reach as many individuals in the Americas as possible. This program is intended not only to benefit lecture attendees from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, but also those individuals, including students, who are interested in the Americas and seek to enrich their knowledge of inter-American affairs from the expertise of the speakers. The dissemination of information on the Inter-American Agenda among not only the general public, but the academic community is paramount to the OAS’ mission to maintain, fortify, and further healthy relations between countries of the Western Hemisphere.

    The need for further involvement by universities and academic institutions in the dialogue on hemispheric affairs requires the establishment of an Academic Council comprised of members from different sub-regions to help facilitate the relationship between the OAS and the university community, and, ultimately, to help students around the region.

  • Implementation Plan

    An Academic Council of six universities with rotating, bi-annual membership.

    2009-2011 Cycle:
    • Hold a meeting for the Council of the Lecture Series on August 28th, 2009 and discuss this initiative.
    • Inform the board of the Lecture Series of the progress made by the Academic Board.
  • Expected Outcome:
    • Greater dissemination of the Lecture Series among universities throughout the region
    • Increased knowledge on the role and mission of the OAS
    • Increased international awareness among the students in the Americas of the political, economic, and social challenges facing the Hemisphere
    • Greater use of lecture material in international academic programs
    • Identification of other experts to serve as keynote speakers in the lecture
    • Identification of additional sources of funding
    • Development of university, professor, and student networks
    • Potential development of on-line discussion tools at universities to allow students to continue to debate on the lecture topic through the internet and other avenues

The creation of an Academic Council for the Lecture Series of the Americas should result not only in an increased understanding of the role of the OAS and its mission to promote democracy, protect human rights, foster integral development, and maintain productive and peaceful relations between Member States, but should also allow students from universities in the different sub-regions to have access to important debates on key issues of the Inter-American Agenda affecting the Americas. As stated by OAS Secretary General Insulza: Through the free exchange of ideas and experiences, the Lecture Series of the Americas is helping to build a more prosperous, free, and just region for our future generations.”


The lectures are transmitted live via television, radio, and the Internet in English and Spanish in order to reach out to every possible citizen of the Americas. Many television stations throughout the region broadcast the lectures free of charge to a wide audience interested in the Americas