Geoff Thale oversees the entire range of WOLA’s research and advocacy on Latin America policy and human rights issues. He is well-respected for his strategic policy analysis, rooted in his close relationships to people working in the region.
Along with a focus on specific countries and themes, Mr. Thale led the team that authored Forging New Ties, WOLA’s recommendations for new directions in U.S. policy toward Latin America.
Mr. Thale has studied Cuba issues since the mid-1990s and traveled to Cuba more than a dozen times, including organizing delegations of academics and Members of Congress. He coordinates WOLA’s advocacy on this issue with a coalition of business, agricultural and human rights groups who favor lifting the travel ban and rebuilding contacts between U.S. and Cuban society.
He also follows police reform and works with Central American counterparts on community-based responses to youth violence. He serves as an advisor to the Central American Coalition for the Prevention of Youth Violence.
With his breadth of expertise, media and policy makers frequently call on Mr. Thale for background and analysis. He has testified before Congress on a variety of issues and has published on citizen security, U.S.-Cuba relations, and Central America.
Before coming to WOLA in 1995, Mr. Thale was the founder and Executive Director of the El Salvador Policy Project in Washington, D.C., which followed the negotiations to end El Salvador’s civil war and the construction of post-war institutions. He taught high school for nine years prior to working on Latin America issues.
- M.S. Industrial Relations, University of Wisconsin, Madison
- B.A. English, Education, Beacon College
- Forging New Ties: A Fresh Approach to U.S. Policy in Latin America (WOLA: Washington, D.C., November, 2008).
- “The United States and Post-Castro Cuba” in Opting for Engagement (WOLA: Washington, D.C., 2008).
- Youth Gangs in Central America (with Elsa Falkenburger), (WOLA: Washington, D.C., November 2006).
- “Las pandillas juveniles centroamericanas y las respuestas de mano dura: sus efectos negativos en la reforma policial y el estado de derecho”, in Seguridad Ciudadana,
- Violencia Social y Políticas Públicas (CICODE: Madrid:2007).
- “Maras Centroamericanas” in Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals (Fundacio CIDOB: Barcelona, 2008).
- Chapultepec: Five Years Later; El Salvador’s Political Reality and Uncertain Future, by Jack Spence, David Dye, Mike Lanchin, Geoff Thale, with George Vickers (Hemisphere Initiatives: Cambridge, MA, January, 1997).
- The New York Times - February 27, 2013 - As Castro Era Drifts to Close, a New Face Steps In at No. 2
- Los Angeles Times - January 28, 2013 - Former Guatemalan dictator to stand trial on genocide charges
- Associated Press - January 11, 2013 - Cubans upbeat on eve of liberalized travel, though some may still be barred or priced out
- NBC Latino - November 9, 2012 - Surprise! Obama won Florida’s Cuban vote
- The Wall Street Journal - November 8, 2012 - Cuban-Americans Move Left
- EFE - October 30, 2012 - Comercio y seguridad, promesas comunes de Obama y Romney hacia Latinoamérica
- The Christian Science Monitor - October 24, 2012 - Less is more? Little mention of Cuba in presidential debate could be positive sign
- Washington Post - October 16, 2012 - Cuba to ease travel abroad for many citizens
- Fox News Latino - July 31, 2012 - Gang Peace in El Salvador: The Opportunity We Can't Afford to Miss
- Washington Post - June 21, 2012 - Ballet Hispanico takes all-Cuban program to Wolf Trap
- Reuters - April 16, 2012 - Despite Obama charm, Americas summit boosts U.S. isolation
- Reuters - March 29, 2012 - Analysis: Springtime in Cuba?
- Financial Times - March 23, 2012 - Papal blend of politics and marketing
- Global Post - March 8, 2012 - Colombia president visits Cuba amid summit friction
- World Politics Review - February 29, 2012 - Despite Improved U.S. Relations with Cuba, Barriers to Progress Remain
- Reuters - February 7, 2012 - Cubans say U.S. embargo a failure at 50
- Associated Press - February 7, 2012 - No Cigar: Economic Embargo on Cuba turns 50
- NPR - April 22, 2011 - U.S. Seeks To Deport Salvadoran Accused Of Torture
- Newsweek - September 13, 2010 - Fidel Tells the Truth in Cuba
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