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Summit of the Americas Summit of the Americas

Knaul to promote health equity at Summit of the Americas

Felicia Marie Knaul, director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, is representing the University and participating in several panels this week at the triennial conference being held in Los Angeles.


Professor and global health expert Felicia Marie Knaul plans to advocate for measures that advance equitable access to health care throughout the hemisphere as part of her participation in the Summit of the Americas, the largest gathering of leaders from around the Americas and the Caribbean, which is underway through June 10 in Los Angeles. 

“By bringing together leaders from throughout our hemisphere, the summit provides a uniquely effective space to advocate for change,” said Knaul, director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and professor at the Miller School of Medicine.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to represent the University of Miami, advancing the goals of our hemispheric road map as well as the strategic goals of the summit and particularly around increasing health system resilience and access to health care for marginalized communities, she said.”

Knaul will participate principally in the civil society forum, which convenes civil society organizations, representatives of Indigenous cultures, civic leaders, and business executives and young entrepreneurs, within the larger summit context. She will also be active in several health-related events as part of the IV CEO Summit, a component of the gathering focused on private enterprise. 

The Summit of the Americas occurs every three years with the purpose of advancing shared respect for democracy, fundamental freedoms, the dignity of labor, and free enterprise in the region. The United States is hosting the summit for the first time since the inaugural meeting took place in Miami in 1994. 

For this ninth summit, themed “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future,” leaders will seek to advance five political commitments: democratic governance, health and resilience, the clean energy transition, a green future, and digital transformation. 

For its own agenda, the U.S. has developed five action areas: an economic agenda aligned with the regions that builds on existing free trade agreements; promoting health systems and health security, and bolstering health security supply chains; food insecurity and its effects on vulnerable populations; a new partnership on climate and energy; and a migration declaration to bring the regional migration crisis under control. 

In addition to Knaul’s appearance and message, Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, currently on leave from the University of Miami School of Law as a senior advisor on gender and equality at the U.S. Department of Justice, is scheduled to moderate a panel on “Gender Equality and Democracy in the 21st Century” on June 7 in her official White House capacity.

Watch the livestream of the Civil Society Forum panel “Strengthening regional and national emergency preparedness” here.

Written by Michael R. Malone
Published on June 6, 2022