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The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1975. In its own words, it was established to "promote the common interests of the [Western] hemisphere, raise the visibility of regional affairs and increase the importance of the inter-American relationship, as well as encourage the formulation of rational and constructive U.S. policies towards Latin America." [1]

COHA is dedicated to monitoring Latin American affairs, especially within the context of United States and Canadian foreign policy and its effect on the region. Working with a large number of unpaid "research associates" (undergraduate and graduate interns) and a small core of professional "research fellows" to improve hemispheric relations and advance the public good, Cohistas, as COHA staff is sometimes known, constantly analyze a number of ongoing themes including social justice, equal rights, anti-corruption measures, and the enhancement of democratic rights. COHA's staff spends a great deal of time gathering information to write and publish research memoranda that may later be published around the world by the international media. COHA also produces its bi-weekly publication, the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, which is circulated globally to various universities and organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS). It has been acknowledged and praised by members of the U.S. Congress, other media sources who rely on COHA for news regarding the Western Hemisphere, scholars, and individuals of various backgrounds who have an interest in the region.

The Director

Larry Birns has been the director of COHA since its founding in 1975. A former defense researcher and strategist and member of the Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and a member of Oxford's All Souls College, he was a senior grade public affairs officer for the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America in Santiago, Chile during the Allende government. Birns taught and lectured for 15 years in the fields of Latin American studies, comparative government, and international law at a number of U.S. and British colleges and universities.

What Others Say

The Boston Globe describes Birns as a lobbyist and a liberal critic of U.S. policy, [2] and The New York Times says the Council on Hemispheric Affairs is a liberal research group specializing in United States-Latin America relations.[3] The Los Angeles Times describes the COHA as a liberal think tank.[4]

See also


  1. About COHA - Council on Hemispheric Affairs
  2. Stephen Kinzer, Globe Correspondent. Coping with Latin America; At issue: how should we deal with leftists. Boston Globe Boston, Mass.: Jul 15, 1980. pg. 1
  3. TREASTER, JOSEPH B. MAN IN THE NEWS; LATIN ENVOY: MR. SIMPATICO. New York Times. New York, N.Y.: Jun 2, 1983. pg. A.7
  4. T. Christian Miller and Stephen Ixer. A Top Chavez Foe Jailed for Role in Strike; Renewed protests are possible as the regime targets two business and union leaders. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Feb 21, 2003. pg. A.3

External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:Official website
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