SOURCE: Burson-Marsteller

September 16, 2008 15:55 ET

The 12th Annual Americas Conference® to Address the Good Governance and Economic Development of the Hemisphere

Premier Business and Political Forum to Discuss Pivotal Issues Facing Latin America

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - September 16, 2008) - An internationally distinguished group of government officials and business leaders will gather in Coral Gables on October 1-3, 2008 for the 12th annual Miami Herald Americas Conference®, an event co-hosted by Florida International University.

The acclaimed forum, covering economic, political and public policy issues facing the region, is expected to draw top executives and political leaders from the region. They include Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez and Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

The conference will kick off with a special address by David Landsberg, president and publisher of the Miami Herald Media Company, followed by roundtable discussions that will focus on the region's good governance and economic development.

This year, The Miami Herald and FIU joined forces, combining the Americas Conference® with the university's First State of Florida Conference on Good Governance in the Hemisphere. Along with the support of the State of Florida's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, FIU's Institute for Public Management and Community Service (IPMCS) and the Inter-American Development Bank, the conference will draw more than 500 of the hemisphere's key decision makers.

"By coming together, FIU and The Miami Herald are providing a forum for leaders in our hemisphere to discuss the issues that are defining our region in the 21st century," said FIU President Modesto A. Maidique, who will participate in the conference. "This is an extension of FIU's commitment to make 'international' a part of every student's education. The Americas play a pivotal role in the global community and it is our duty to train the next generation of leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean."

The opening day will feature panels and discussions on important topics such as strengthening democracy, political parties, elections and civic engagement and public accountability. The second day will open with a dialogue with Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald columnist, The Oppenheimer Report, and top U.S. presidential campaign advisors to discuss U.S. policy towards Latin America and the upcoming elections. Other panel topics on this day include discussions on free trade, energy, security in the region and technology and innovation.

Other confirmed panelists include:

--  Samuel Lewis Navarro, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs,
--  Genaro Garcia Luna, Secretary of Public Security, Mexico
--  Hugo Lavados Montes, Minister of Economy, Chile
--  Rebeca Patricia Santor, Minister of Finance, Honduras
--  Ricardo Esmahan, Minister of Economy, El Salvador
--  Carlos Filizzola, Senator, National Congress of Paraguay
--  Dan Restrepo, Foreign Policy Advisor, Obama Campaign and Senior Fellow
    and Director, The Americas Project, Center for American Progress
--  Sam Pitroda, Chairman and CEO, World-Tel Limited
--  Carlos St. James, President, Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber and
    Managing Director, Santiago & Sinclair LLC
--  Anthony Johnson, Ambassador to the United States, Jamaica
--  Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Ambassador to the United States, Brazil
--  Leopoldo Lopez Mendoza, Mayor, City of Chacao, Venezuela
--  David Martinez, President, Fundacion Pais, Guatemala
--  Jaime Trobo, President, International Committee, House of
    Representatives National Legislators, Uruguay
--  Victor Flecha, Director, COPLANEA, Paraguay
--  Marisol Argueta de Barillas, Minister of Foreign Affairs, El Salvador
--  Mauricio Nicholls, General Manager, Chevron
--  Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief Economist, General Motors

For more information about the Americas Conference® 2008, please visit

About the Americas Conference®

The Americas Conference®, organized by The Miami Herald and Florida International University, is the region's largest and most acclaimed annual forum of international executives and top government leaders, who gather for two days to discuss a wide spectrum of relevant business and political issues of crucial importance for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Miami Herald Americas Conference® is supported by General Motors as Official Sponsor; Greenberg Traurig and Chevron as corporate sponsors and the Inter-American Development Bank as a programming partner; American Airlines and Burson-Marsteller as Associate Sponsors. Media Partners include: Radio Caracol, América Economía, Revista Competencia and Marketwire.

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