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Dan Restrepo

Former Special Assistant to President Obama & Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs


When the most powerful people in America want to know the future of Latin America and U.S. Hispanics, they turn to Dan Restrepo. Adept at navigating some of the most complicated international relationships in history, Restrepo is the principal advisor to President Barack Obama on all issues related to Latin America, as well as issues related to the Caribbean and Canada. Restrepo also provided direct counsel regarding Latin America to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden and CIA Director John Brennan. As the political, economic and social impact of the United States Latino population rapidly increases, Restrepo remains a crucial liaison between the not only the government, but also the rest of the nation, and this powerful community. In fact, he is the man who created and directed the Americas Project — focused on the future of Latin America and the role of Hispanics in the United Sates — at the center for Americas Progress.

Repeatedly named as one of America’s most influential Latinos by Poder Magazine, Restrepo has spent his career crafting successful strategies and solving problems at the intersection of policy, politics, communications and law. Energetic and intelligent, Restrepo is an expert at advising diverse communities on how to best work together. A brilliant communicator, Restrepo able to smoothly operate between many cultures. Restrepo served as the principle Spanish-language media surrogate one the 2008 and 2012 Obama presidential campaigns. He also made history as the first person to speak a language other than English, Spanish, during a White House Daily Press Briefing. With homeland security and immigration being two of the hottest issues in the country, Restrepo has been responsible for developing and implementing the U.S. national and homeland security policy related to the Western Hemisphere.

Dan Restrepo is also a crucial advisor to American business. Not only has he created the American economic, energy and trade policy with the rest of the Western Hemisphere, he has directly advised clients engaged in or exploring business opportunities throughout the Americas. Restrepo has worked on behalf of a wide-range of multinational media and technology companies, independent energy producers, private equity funds, major consumer products companies and global law firms.

Lively and informative, Restrepo provides business and individuals alike with the most relevant and crucial information about the relations between the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. Restrepo not only explains how these relationships currently function, but what needs to be done to maintain, improve and capitalize upon them, so both sides benefit. As the country moves to a majority-minority future, Restrepo also understands how to efficaciously engage with this transition. In his presentations, he skillfully shows audiences how to navigate the increasingly diverse and complex American landscape. An electric and engaging speaker, Restrepo guides audiences into the future of the Western Hemisphere, leaving them not only feeling prepared, but full of hope.


  • 2013 - Present: Independent Member, Board of Directors MasTec, Inc.
  • 2013 - Present: On-air Contributor CNN Español
  • 2013 - Present: Center for American Progress Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
  • 2013 - Present: National Security Network Member, Board of Directors, National Security Network
  • 2012 - Present: Founder & Managing Director Restrepo Strategies LLC
  • 2012: Spanish Language Surrogate & National Security Advisory Committee Member Obama for America
  • 2009 - 2012: Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs National Security Staff, The White House
  • 2004-2009: The Center for American Progress Director, The Americas Project The Center for American Progress
  • 2008-2009: State Department Transition Team Member, Obama-Biden Transition
  • 2007 - 2008: Obama for America/Latin America Policy Advisor & Spanish Language Surrogate
    Obama for America
  • 2001 -2004: Associate Williams & Connolly LLP
  • 2000: Research Director Florida Democratic Coordinated Campaign
  • 1993 -1996: U.S. House of Representatives Professional Staff, Foreign Affairs Committee U.S. House of Representatives


It’s Complicated: The Relationship Between the U.S. & Latin America

"It's complicated" is not just a way to describe a status on Facebook. It is also an excellent way to describe the relationship between the United States and Latin America. Deep historical, family, business and geographic ties unite the United States and the other countries of the Americas, but also divide the region. With experience beside President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Biden and other US political leaders, Dan Restrepo has seen the ups and downs of the American Relations firsthand. In this presentation, he shares his knowledge on the past, present and future of relations between the 35 countries that make up the Western Hemisphere and the implications for policy, trade and hemispheric security.

The United States of America: The Increasing Role of Latinos in the U.S.

From Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor and Senator Ted Cruz to Univision to the popular food brand Goya to Juanes, Shakira and Sofia Vergara, with each passing, Latinos in the United States today are most important - in politics, in the economy and culture. As the United States rapidly enters a majority-minority future, it is vital to understand the country’s fastest growing minority group - its diversity, values, aspirations, fears and challenges. As one of the most influential Latinos in the country, Dan Restrepo describes these dynamics and focuses on its implications in the presidential elections of 2016 and beyond, for businesses and those seeking to enter or even survive in the US market.

U.S. Immigration: Broken System; Broken Politics

With tens of thousands of children traveling thousands of treacherous miles alone to reach the United States only to be met with jeering crowds yelling at them to go home it has never been clearer the U.S. immigration system is profoundly broken. Yet the likelihood of immigration reform legislation seems further away than ever. In this presentation, Dan Restrepo unpacks the dynamics fueling immigration as well as the factors standing in the way of fixing the system both in the United States and in countries of origin, including some of the most dangerous countries in the world.

Strategic Trends in the Americas: Keys to Doing Business in Latin America & the Caribbean

Never before have the economic, political and security contexts been more dynamic across the Americas. Tens of millions move from poverty to middle class in Brazil; energy revolutions unfold in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil; Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru band together to form the most dynamic trade initiative in the world; eight Latin American and Caribbean countries are among the 10 most violent countries in the world; tens of thousands of unaccompanied children pour out of Central America looking for a better future in the United States; and Venezuela teeters on the edge of collapse despite having the largest oil reserves in the world. Speaker Dan Restrepo, after six years advising President Obama on Latin America and the Caribbean, offers his insights into what these trends and others mean for those doing business across the Americas.

United States & Mexico: From Distant Neighbors to Strategic Partners

More than 175 years since the United States absorbed half of Mexico and twenty years after the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Mexico relationship is again undergoing seismic shifts fueled by immigration and demographics, energy revolutions on both sides of the border, and expanding joint manufacturing from automobiles and aerospace to smart phones and tablet computers. In this speech, Dan Restrepo, who visited Mexico 17 times as President Obama’s chief Latin American policy advisor, shares his unique insights into the rapid evolution of bilateral relations and what it means going forward on both sides of the Rio Grande.

Canada: America’s Forgotten Neighbor

Quick, name the United States’ largest trading partner; or its largest source of imported energy; or the country with the world’s wealthiest middle class. That’s right, it’s Canada, Canada and Canada. Despite its economic and strategic importance to the United States, Canada is often an afterthought in the United States. In this talk, Dan Restrepo, who advised President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Vice President Biden and others on U.S.-Canadian relations, delves into the vital, but oft overlooked, U.S.-Canada relationship, its future and what that future means for politicians and businesses on both sides of the world’s longest undefended border.

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