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Date: 2021-02-28 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00002337

Larry Birns

Larry Birns has been the director of Council for Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) since its founding in 1975.

Larry Birns comes on AlJazeera once in a while to add some depth to the discussion. His remarks reflect his many years of association with the area. In a recent appearance he reflected on the fact that while wealth is growing at a fast pace for the nations of the region, the individuals of the region, in the main are exactly where they were decades ago, and this will turn into a big problem at some point as it has in the past.

February 5th 2012
to larry.birns []
Like seeing you on AlJazeera

Dear Larry

Just a quick note to say I always enjoy your observations on AlJazeera English ... my gold standard for international objective journalism.

I have spent more of my professional life in Africa and South and Central Asia than the Americas ... but I did some work in El Salvador, Nicaragua in the 1970s before they got into the US mainstream news.

Maybe I relate more to your observations than people who only have academic credentials. The potential for great progress is in play, but we are using the amazing power of technology for video games and trivia more than for serious socio-economic analysis and the related transparency and accountability. Exciting times!

Peter Burgess

Peter Burgess

COHA’s Director

Larry Birns has been the director of COHA since its founding in 1975. A former defense researcher, strategist and member of the Institute for Strategic Studies in London and the All Souls College, Oxford’s military seminar, he was a senior grade public affairs officer for the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America in Santiago, Chile. Birns taught and lectured for 15 years in the fields of Latin American studies, comparative government, and international law at a number of U.S. and British colleges and universities.

Educated at Bates, Columbia and Oxford, he has authored and edited a study on the overthrow of the Allende government and has published hundreds of articles on U.S.-Latin American relations for The Nation, New York Review of Books, Ottawa Citizen, the Guardian, London Independent, The Village Voice, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Chronicle, Atlanta Constitution, Toronto Star, Orlando Sentinel, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The New York Times and Foreign Policy, among many other publications. He has made frequent appearances on foreign and U.S. network radio and television programs, including the Voice of America and National Public Radio (“Talk of the Nation,” “To the Point,” “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” and “The Diane Rehm Show”), as well as regular analyses for the BBC. He also makes frequent appearances on Radio Havana, Canadian Television (CTV), the CBC radio and TV networks (“As It Happens,” “Newswatch,” “The National,” “Counterspin” and “Morningwatch”), and has made repeated appearances on “The McNeil-Lehrer Newshour,” “Crossfire,” as well as ABC’s “Nightline,” and the CBC’s “Newsworld.” On numerous occasions, he has been quoted by Reuters, AP, UPI, EFE, and Agence France Press news wires.

Birns also has appeared on “This Week With David Brinkley,” C-SPAN, “Firing Line,” CBS’s “Nightwatch,” NBC’s “Today Show,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” INN, CBS, ABC, NBC Evening News and repeatedly on CNN, along with many local TV and radio programs, as well as serving as a special news consultant to ABC. He also has appeared on the Larry King, Gill Gross, and Michael Jackson network talk shows, as well as scores of local talk programs in cities across the country, including Boston, New York, Denver, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Chicago and Washington (WAMU – “The Fred Fiske Show”). In addition, his analyses of Latin American issues are widely cited by the U.S., Canadian, British and Latin American wire services, as well as by scores of foreign and domestic newspapers and news weeklies. His views and analyses also have been cited by almost every major newspaper, radio, and television network in Latin America, particularly on their world services.

He recently co-authored (with Jessica Leight) an article on the Bush White House’s Latin American policy for the American Foreign Service Journal, and also co-authored (with Jessica Leight) the afterword to Dr. Paul Farmer’s The Uses of Haiti, for which Jonathan Kozol contributed the foreword and Noam Chomsky wrote the introduction (Courage Press).

COHA is a 30-year-old, tax-exempt research group that monitors the full scope of U.S.-Latin American relations. It has been described on the Senate floor as “one of our nation’s most respected bodies of scholars and policymakers.” COHA was chaired for many years by Chauncey Alexander, director of the National Association of Social workers, Charles A. Perlik, Jr., past president of the Newspaper Guild, who was succeeded as COHA’s chair by Dr. Peter Bourne of the Carter White House, and then by Judith Loeb Chiara.

To contact Larry Birns please email: or home phone 202.333.1959

Larry Birns ... From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Larry Birns (Born Lawrence Birns on July 22, 1929) is the director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, a liberal, not-for-profit organization monitoring human rights and political developments in Latin America. Birns grew up in New York City and graduated from Columbia University, eventually doing postgraduate work in the social sciences at Oxford University. Before founding the Council in 1975, Birns taught at Hamilton College and served with a United Nations mission in Chile during the Salvador Allende government.

The Boston Globe described Birns as a lobbyist and a liberal critic of U.S. policy, [1] and The New York Times said the Council on Hemispheric Affairs was a liberal research group specializing in United States-Latin America relations,[2] and an organization critical of Reagan Administration policy in Latin America.[3]


  • ^ Kinzer, Stephen, Globe Correspondent. Coping with Latin America; At issue: how should we deal with leftists. Boston Globe Boston, Mass.: Jul 15, 1980. pg. 1
  • ^ TREASTER, JOSEPH B. MAN IN THE NEWS; LATIN ENVOY: MR. SIMPATICO. New York Times. New York, N.Y.: Jun 2, 1983. pg. A.7
  • ^ Mohr, Charles. Ousted Managua Envoy Kept Low Profile. New York Times. New York, N.Y.: Jul 14, 1988. pg. A.6

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