IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Understanding Political and Economic Systems in the U.S.

Pefro Prado, Economic Researcher, ASIES, Guatemala


 IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflect on the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we feature an alumnus who participated in a Multi-Regional Project that examined programs and strategies to encourage economic development, economic restructuring, and global commercial cooperation. The participants spent three weeks in the United States meeting with government officials, academic and think tank researchers, small business development centers and accelerators, global trade experts, and analysts focused on the impact of globalization and technological innovation on socio-economic systems.

Visitor: Pedro Prado
Title: Economic Researcher, Association for Social Research and Studies (ASIES)
Country of Origin: Guatemala
Itinerary: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Sacramento, CA; San Diego, CA; and Boston, MA
IVLP Project: Economic Cooperation and Revitalization, Multi-Regional Project, 2015

Pedro Prado kneeling in Central Park
Pedro Prado kneeling in Central Park

What have you been up to since your IVLP experience?

Since my IVLP experience in June 2015, I have continued with my activities as an economic researcher in a think tank (ASIES) and as a research professor at the public university in my country (Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala). I have shared with my colleagues, friends and relatives the wonderful experience that I had in the US, visiting many institutions related with the economic development and, most importantly, meeting people that taught me a lot in terms of economy, development of enterprises, the important role of Think Tanks, government organization, etc.

Since that experience, I understand in a better way how development was achieved in the US and how other countries – such as mine – can learn from a system in which rule of law and a well-organized state are essential.

What one lesson that you learned or idea that you gained on your IVLP experience have you started to apply in your organization?

The IVLP experience “Economic Cooperation and Revitalization” gave me the opportunity to know from a closer point of view the political and economic system in the US. One of the most important things that I learned was the importance of a well-organized society. The importance of formal education was also emphasized as one of the essential conditions for economic and social development. We could see how the small enterprises helped a lot in the revitalization of the economy, as well as the importance of innovation and technology, both directly related with the quality of education. The role of the enterprises, especially the smallest, has continued being a special topic of research in my activities as an economist, now with more elements of analysis. It is important to mention the importance of the Think Tanks as advisors to policymakers as well.

What message would you like to share with the people who hosted and met with you in the US?

I would like to say “thank you very much” because I learned a lot about topics of the culture, life, and economy of the US. I hope to be in touch with those people who shared with us very important knowledge and very important experiences in many social and economic aspects. I would also like to say that I have shared with my colleagues in my country the most important lessons learned during that especial visit to many cities in US. I also value the opportunity I had to share this experience with other international visitors from many countries around the world. Thanks again.