February 4, 2009 Challenges in Latin America: The Importance of Increased Economic and Political Integration A part of the from the CLAS Latin American Briefing Series (http://clas.uchicago.edu) A talk by Ambassador Charles S. Shapiro, Senior Coordinator for the Western Hemisphere Free Trade Agreements Task Force, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Ambassador Charles Shapiro was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of State's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (2005-2007) and U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela (February 2002 until August 2004). In addition to his posting as Ambassador to Venezuela, he has served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassies in Santiago, Chile and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Other overseas postings include El Salvador and Denmark. His Washington assignments include Director of the Office of Cuban Affairs as well as various assignments in Public Affairs, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and Western Hemisphere Affairs. Ambassador Shapiro was the recipient of a Presidential Meritorious Service Award in 2005.