Erika de la Garza is the senior advisor of the Latin America Initiative (LAI) at the Baker Institute. Her chief areas of interest include U.S.-Latin America relations; emerging leadership; coalition building between public, private and civil society actors; and trade and business development in Latin America.
De la Garza, the director of the LAI for 15 years, oversaw research on current events facing the region, especially as they related to economic development, politics and institution building. She organized lectures and other programs to increase awareness about Latin America and to foster a better understanding between the countries of this hemisphere. Prior to joining the institute, she worked for several years encouraging foreign direct investment in Costa Rica, her home country.
She holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University in New York and a master’s degree in diplomacy from the University of Costa Rica.