July 2, 2019 Print

A newly formed cohort of twenty think tank CEOs from North, Central, and South America gathered in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, and the oldest permanent city established by Europeans in the western hemisphere. 

Dr. Roberto Salinas Leon, Director for the Center for Latin America at Atlas Network kicked off the Summit at an opening reception at Casas del XVI in Zona Colonial. The Casas del XVI represent a juxtaposition of antique and modern structures that harmonize in the colonial city of Santo Domingo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. His talk set the tone for the next couple of days of the Summit, where CEOs came together to learn from each other and challenge each other to think big. 


A serene courtyard located in Ciudad Colonial the oldest European settlement of the Americas.

"CEO Summit was one of the best events I ever attended," said Ricardo Gomes, president of RELIAL. "The chance to discuss delicate matters with peers was priceless—it helps to overcome the 'leadership loneliness' we all face. The balance between north and south america helped to better understand the moment we are in, and having access to my peers’ experiences made me redefine my definitions of success, focusing not only in the products and events we offer, but most importantly, in the results we create (real change in the real world)."

Working from an innovation diffusion model and drawing on doctoral research by Dr. Lyall Swim, Atlas Network’s vice president of training and events, the group worked together to solve specific challenges and opportunities presented by select participants. 

"I found the CEO Summit very useful as a new leader," said Scott Hennig, president and CEO of Canadian Taxpayers Federation. "Having the opportunity to pick the brains of some of the smartest CEOs in the movement is invaluable."


The Universidad de Santo Tomás de Aquino was founded in 1518 and named the first university in the New World.

“I was encouraged and inspired by leaders who are leading boldly in countries throughout Latin America," said Randy Hicks, president and CEO at Georgia Center of Opportunity in United States. "More importantly, I left with some practical ideas for how to ensure that the organization I serve is better prepared to meet the challenges ahead of us.”

Kent Lassman, president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute based in Washington, D.C. concluded that those types of engagements with peers adds unique value to his work. “Progress is not promised” he said. The advance of liberty across the hemisphere is both incomplete and in jeopardy. The CEO Summit provided the institutional structure for me to give more to my friends and allies while informing my work at home."

Matt Warner, Atlas Network’s president, observed at the conclusion of the Summit: “This group of dynamic leaders from the U.S., Canada, and Latin America are redefining think tank excellence with their innovations, ambitions, and creativity. Every time I get to witness one of these intensive exchanges I feel like I’m getting a front row seat to a top-notch graduate course in leadership and entrepreneurial thinking!”