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Standing Panel on International Affairs Meeting

National Academy of Public Administration
1600 K Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington DC,

Friday, April 19, 2019 at 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Subject:  Academy’s Standing Panel on International Affairs Meeting, Friday, 19 April 2019 at 1:00pm.


Guest Speaker: Pollster Shawnta Walcott, Senior Consultant for the Institute of Caribbean Studies and former Director of Communications, Zogby International, LLC (Bio)

Latin American and Caribbean economic recoveries remain fragile, as multiple economic and geopolitical factors continue to stagnate their growth. Challenges include a rise of trade protectionism in the United States; a spillover of Venezuela’s political, economic and humanitarian crisis; policy uncertainty emerging from recent elections in Brazil and Mexico; and disruptions from natural disasters threatening Caribbean economies still recovering from the devastating impacts of the 2017 hurricanes. Strengthening institutions across the region has become a global priority because of the ancillary effects on sectoral growth in areas considered to be central pillars to development on a global scale (such as national security, social capital, checks and balances, transparency, public sector performance, property rights and corporate governance). A NAPA-Brazil project focusing on institutional building could help the government and private sector address the following national trends showing: 1) a homicide rate that ranks 133/140; 2) organized crime rate of 124/140; 3) government regulatory affairs at the lowest level of any country 140/140; 4) business dynamics 108/140; 5) efficiency in hiring and firing practices 138/140; 6) labor tax rates 137/140; 7) trade and tariffs 125/140; 8)debt dynamics 131/140; 9) the ease in finding skilled employees 127/140; 10) internal labor mobility 138/140; 11) formal education 100/140; and 12) digital skills among the population 125/140.

LogisticsWe will meet on Friday, 19 April at 1:00pm until 3:00pm at NAPA’s offices, 1600 K Street, NW, on the 4th Floor.  Please note the entrance is on 16th St. A light lunch will be available at 12:30pm.  

If you wish to attend remotely via the videoconferencing/call-in client Zoom, please email at least 24 hours in advance of the session for a web meeting connection link.

To RSVP please contact Richard Pezzella, rpezzella@napawash.org, (202) 204-3602

For all who attend or call in, this meeting should be an exciting, contemporary and relevant conversation on the need for governments to have strong, dependable institutions with good policy coordination mechanisms. Our guest speaker will offer an action proposal designed to lend assistance to Brazil and to specified transitioning nations in the South American Region. If approved, the plan will present significant opportunities for NAPA engagement and Fellows involvement. To this end, your guidance and recommendations are welcome in advance of a more formal interface with NAPA senior leaders regarding the project’s feasibility and efficacy.

Arnold Fields, Chair

Standing Panel on International Affairs

Member, Academy Board of Directors


Speaker Bio: Pollster Shawnta Regina Watson Walcott is a graduate of the Yale Divinity School and the former Director of Communications for Zogby International. Walcott joined Zogby in 2003 and served as surrogate analyst for the President and CEO John Zogby throughout the 2004 US Presidential election. In addition to overseeing the production of client news releases and data distribution, Walcott provided television and radio commentary on multiple media outlets. During her tenure, the firm’s client list included: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Wall Street Journal Online, Reuters Newswire, NBC/Meet the Press, US State Department-Iraq, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Kissinger- McLarty Associates. Walcott’s polling acumen is enhanced by nearly twenty years of public relations and foreign policy experience that includes both remunerated and pro bono service. Walcott served as Close of Service Director for the United States Peace Corps (Benin, West Africa 1994-1996 and St. Lucia, WI 2003); as faculty and board member of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University (2005-2009); Electoral Information Center Director for the National Democratic Institute (Haiti, 1999-2000); and Presidential Elections Pollster in Haiti for the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (2005 and 2010). Walcott is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park in Government and Politics with a concentration in French. At UMCP, she was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and led a major student initiative that convinced the University of Maryland, Board of Regents to divest all holdings from apartheid ruled South Africa. Walcott was asked to return to UMCP in 2010 to give the winter commencement address for the graduates of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Her published work and guest appearances can be found online in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Miami Herald, Reuters (EU, Italy, US), MSNBC, CNN Money, CNBC, Canada TV News (CTV), Afro- American Newspaper, 2009 Harvard Black Policy Conference and others.