The Venezuelan Diaspora: A Crisis with Andean Impact

Back to Events


Diego Arria
Former Venezuelan Permanent Representative to the UN and President of the Security Council. Former Governor of the Federal District of Caracas

Diego Arria is a former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, former Venezuelan Ambassador to the United Nations, and former Chairman of the United Nations Security Council. He is known for initiating the eponymous “Arria formula,” a consultation process that affords members of the Security Council the opportunity to hear persons in a confidential, informal setting. He was a witness in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, where he testified that the defendant and the Serbian authorities were aware of the genocide against the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica from 1993 to 1995.

In 2011, he filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court against Hugo Chávez for crimes against humanity. “It is a complaint to defend the rights of thousands and thousands of victims of Hugo Chávez,” he said (El Universal, 2011). Chávez died before the court issued a ruling. In 2015, he gave testimony against Venezuela and other authoritarian countries’ election to the UNHRC. Ambassador Arria is on the board of advisors for Freedom Now, the Center for International Policy and Ethics at Brandeis University, and the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. He was also a Diplomatic Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Patrick Gage
Director of Development
Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN)

Patrick Gage is the Director of Development at the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN), a leading nonprofit serving migrants and refugees in 35 countries.
He has spoken about human trafficking at the White House, United Nations, United States Capitol, and Vatican; co-chairs the NEXUS Working Group on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery; and serves on Nomi Network’s Board of Directors. Patrick holds a B.S.F.S. in International History Honors from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Dany Bahar
David M. Rubenstein Fellow – Global Economy and Development
Brookings Institution

He is an Israeli and Venezuelan economist, an associate at the Harvard Center for International Development, and a research affiliate both at CESifo Group Munich and IZA Institute of Labor Economics. He has worked and consulted for multilateral development organizations, such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.
His research sits at the intersection of international economics and economic development. In particular, his academic research focuses on the diffusion of technology and knowledge within and across borders, as measured by productivity, structural transformation, exports, entrepreneurship and innovation, among other factors. Lately, his research has focused on migrants and refugees as drivers of this process, alongside trade and capital flows. His academic work has been published in top economic journals and he often contributes to leading media outlets in the United States and around the globe.

Ana Julia Jatar
President of the Venezuelan American Association of the U.S. (Moderator)
El Planeta Media (Editor in Chief)
El Tiempo Latino (Editor in Chief)

She has served as a member of the Executive Committee and Director of the Political Discrimination Project at SUMATE, an NGO established in 2003 to defendpolitical and electoral rights in Venezuela. While at SUMATE, she wrote a book titled Apartheid in the XXI Century. In the early 90’s she served in the Venezuelan government and was appointed head of the anti-trust agency. During her term, she was also responsible for drafting the norms and regulations for implementing competition policy in Venezuela for the first time. From 1994 until 2001 she was a Senior Fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington DC, where she dealt with trade, antitrust and other US/Latin-American policy issues.

In 1995 she became the director of the Dialogue’s Cuba Program and wrote a book on Cuba titled The Cuban Way, which received the Choice Award as Outstanding Academic Book. From 2001 to 2003 she was a visiting fellow at the David Rockefeller Center, Harvard University where she investigated the growing economic and political bonds between Fidel Castro’s and Hugo Chavez’s governments. She is member of the Editorial Committee of El Nacional, Venezuela’s leading daily newspaper where she also writes a bi-weekly op-ed piece.