FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kevin Madden
February 28, 2007
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY ANNOUNCES
LATIN AMERICAN POLICY ADVISORY GROUP
Boston, MA – Today, Governor Mitt Romney announced the members of his Latin American Policy Advisory Group. Governor Romney will meet with them today to discuss issues vital to America's relations with Latin America.
"As we begin to craft an agenda for America's relations with our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere, I am gratified to have the counsel and guidance of this group. Each member has decades of experience working in Latin America, the Foreign Service and business. Together, they have been involved at every step of the policy-making process – from oversight in Washington to representing their country in foreign capitals," said Governor Romney.
Ahead of today's meeting, Al Cardenas said, "Governor Romney rightly
believes that the best ally of peace in the world is a strong America.
He sees the new generation of challenges confronting our nation from abroad,
and he is ready to lead our country. I am proud to be among this
distinguished group working with Governor Romney."
Members Of Governor Romney's Latin American Policy Advisory Group:
Alberto R. Cardenas:
International Business Consultant And Adviser To Successive Republican
Administrations. He served President Reagan as
head of his Commerce Department transition team; chair of the Commission
on Small and Minority Business Affairs in 1982; and Special Ambassador
to St. Kitts and Nevis in 1983. President George H. W. Bush appointed
Cardenas to the Trade Policy Commission and the Federal National Mortgage
Association's Board of Directors (1985 to 1990). Cardenas sits as
a national board member of the American Conservative Union. He is
a regular opinion editorial columnist for El Diario, the largest circulating
Spanish-speaking newspaper in the country, and is a frequent commentator
in the national media. He holds a law degree from Seton Hall University
(J.D., 1974) and was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948.
Ambassador Roger Noriega:
Assistant Secretary Of State For Western Hemisphere Affairs And Former
U.S. Ambassador To The Organization Of American States.
From July 1997 to August 2001, he was a member of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee staff of Chairman Jesse A. Helms (R-NC) and from July 1994 to
July 1997, he served on the House International Relations Committee staff
of Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman (R-NY). Noriega is currently a Director
of Tew Cardenas, LLP, and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute, focusing on Latin America. He is a native of Kansas and
graduated from Washburn University.
Congressman Cass Ballenger:
U.S. Representative (R-NC) And Former Chairman Of The House International
Relations Subcommittee On The Western Hemisphere. Congressman
Ballenger worked to bring fiscal responsibility to the federal government,
eliminate the excessive taxation of American families, and reduce regulations
which place an unnecessary burden on our families and businesses.
He is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Plastic Packaging, Inc.,
in Hickory, NC, which he began in 1957. Before being elected to Congress,
Ballenger served in the North Carolina House of Representatives and Senate.
He also has a long and distinguished record of community service, including
as founding member of the Ballenger Foundations which equip schools and
hospitals with critical supplies throughout Africa, Latin America and the
Ambassador Jose S. Sorzano:
U.S. Deputy Representative At The United Nations And Senior Latin America
Policy Staffer To President Ronald Reagan. He
is chairman of The Austin Group, Inc., an international corporate consulting
firm, and since 1989, a former director of Ultra Scan Corp., a privately
held biometric company. Sorzano was Special Assistant to President
Reagan for National Security Affairs from 1987 to 1988; Associate Professor
of Government at Georgetown University, from 1969 to 1987; and U.S. Deputy
Representative to the United Nations from 1983 to 1985. In the 1970's,
he was director of the Peace Corps program in Colombia. He graduated
from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service (B.S.F.S., 1965;
Ph. D., 1972). He is married, has two children, and resides in Arlington,
VA. He was born in Havana, Cuba in 1940.
Robert Charles: Former Assistant
Secretary Of State For International Narcotics And Law Enforcement Affairs;
House Subcommittee Staff Of Rep. J. Dennis Hastert; And Staff To The Speaker's
Task Force On A Drug Free America. At the State
Department, Charles managed U.S. anti-drug and law enforcement programs
globally, including Colombia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He played a central
role in anti-drug aid programs preceding Plan Colombia. In 1999,
he founded The Charles Group, LLC upon leaving service as Staff Director
and Chief Counsel for the House National Security, International Affairs,
and Criminal Justice Subcommittee (1995-1999). In the first Bush
administration, Charles served in the White House as Deputy Associate Director,
Office of Domestic Policy. He authored Narcotics and Terrorism,
a 2004 volume explaining national security and homeland security implications
inherent in the worldwide illicit drug trade. He is also a Navy Reservist
who served on active duty at the Pentagon immediately following the September
11th attacks. Charles received his J.D. from Columbia Law School
in New York, M.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University
in England, and A.B. from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Ambassador V. Manuel Rocha: Former
U.S. Ambassador To Bolivia And Career Foreign Service Officer.
also served as Charge d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires (1997-2000);
Deputy Principal Officer of the U.S. Interests Section Havana, Cuba; Director
for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council in Washington,
DC; Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic;
Deputy Political Counselor for the U.S. Embassy Mexico; and other positions
in Honduras and Italy. Ambassador Rocha graduated cum laude from
Yale University in 1973, received his Master's Degree in Public Administration
from Harvard University in 1976, and a Master's Degree in International
Relations from Georgetown University in 1978.
Dr. Mark Falcoff: Former Professional
Staff Member Of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Senior Consultant
To The 1983 Kissinger Commission On Central America; And Resident Scholar
Emeritus Of The American Enterprise Institute. He
served on the faculty of the Universities of Illinois, Oregon, and California
at Los Angeles, and earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in political science at Princeton
University and B.A. from the University of Missouri.
Ted Brennan: Congressional Staff
For 12 Years, Specializing In Western Hemisphere And Anti-Drug Policy.
Since 1994, Brennan served on the staff of U.S. Representatives Cass Ballenger
(R-NC) and Henry J. Hyde (R-IL). He was a senior
staff member of the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Western
Hemisphere and Staff Director of the Senate International Narcotics Control
Caucus. During his tenure, Brennan advised Congressional leaders
on all aspects of U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere, helped develop
and oversee U.S. foreign assistance to Latin America through the U.S. Agency
for International Development and other agencies, and played a critical
role in planning and implementing U.S. counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism
strategies. He also led successful Congressional efforts to provide
reliable aid to Colombia, worked to resolve trade disputes with Peru and
Ecuador, and helped develop the proposed social investment fund for the
Americas. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and
International Relations from The University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Larry Storrs: 30-Year Latin
America Expert At The Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service
(CRS). At present, he is writing a book on "Congress'
Major Role in United States-Mexico Relations, 1986-2006." While at
CRS, his work focused on U.S. policy toward Mexico, Brazil, and Central
America. Among his most recent CRS reports, he authored a report on Mexico-U.S.
Relations: Issues for the 109th Congress, coauthored another report on
Border Security and the Southwest Border, and he coordinated a report on
the United States-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement
(CAFTA). He earned a B.A. in Political Science and History from Brigham
Young University, a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University, and has
taught at Vassar College, George Washington University, and American University.