Geoff Thale is the Acting President at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a leading research and advocacy organization advancing human rights in the Americas. He follows hemispheric trends as well as U.S. policy toward the region, and works with senior staff across WOLA’s multiple program areas.
More specifically, Thale oversees WOLA’s work on Central America, which follows issues of human rights, citizen security, and economic opportunity in the region, with a particular emphasis on El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. He also directs the Cuba program, which supports normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba, and facilitates dialogue between Cuban society – academics, religious leaders and others – and their counterparts in the United States and elsewhere.
Thale has followed U.S.-Central America policy since the mid-1980s, and travels to the region several times a year. He started WOLA’s Cuba program in the mid-1990s, and has visited the island over thirty times. Thale has taken multiple congressional delegations to Cuba, and has spoken and been published extensively regarding internal issues in Cuba and U.S. policy towards the country. Prior to joining WOLA, he was the founder and Executive Director of the El Salvador Policy Project in Washington, DC. Thale holds a Masters degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin.