By Carolyn Gray Anderson
In March, as the first American president in 20 years to engage in high-level diplomacy with an Argentine leader, President Barack Obama declared a fresh era of trade partnership between the United States and Argentina, expressing support for President Mauricio Macri. One result of the visit is a trade mission to California this month, led by U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Noah B. Mamet. The 30-person delegation visited UCLA on May 9 for a sustainability-focused tour and a cross-campus lunchtime gathering at UCLA Anderson. Focusing on the renewable energy sector, the mission is described as one of the first bilateral initiatives to attract U.S. investors to Argentina.
As a global hub of business innovation located on a campus rising rapidly to the challenges posed by climate change, Anderson was an ideal stop on the ambassadorial tour, which brought Martín Lousteau, Ambassador of Argentina to the United States, and a cadre of other Argentine government officials and business leaders to California. As announced in late 2015, the University of California is the sole institutional investor to join Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which is committed to investing in technology that solves the urgent energy and climate challenges facing the planet.
At the luncheon honoring the delegation, Dean Judy Olian welcomed the group and introduced Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Sciences, who grew up in Argentina. Suárez-Orozco described Los Angeles as “an amazing experiment” and “a city of nations.” He introduced Mamet, a native Angeleno, who noted that Buenos Aires is a hub for UCLA’s presence in Latin America. He added that he wants Argentina to think first of Los Angeles when they think of the USA.