Convening for Grantees of the Ford Foundation's Cuba Portfolio

The SSRC Cuba Program organized a meeting June 13 & 14, 2018 in New York City for the Ford Foundation’s Cuba portfolio. The meeting served as an opportunity for grantees to reflect on the current state of U.S.-Cuba relations as well as to share ideas and insights as we think about our work moving forward. In the past three years, there have been numerous changes, which have both aided as well as hindered our ability to work effectively in Cuba. In the wake of restored diplomatic relations, the Trump administration unveiled new measures to limit travel to Cuba and prohibit financial transactions with certain Cuban entities. In addition, a reduction in U.S. embassy staff in Havana and the cessation of virtually all consular operations have impeded educational, cultural, and professional exchanges. There are also significant changes underway in Cuba, including impending leadership changes this past spring. These are important developments, which raise many logistical questions and whose results and consequences remain to be seen. Thus, it was an opportune moment to convene Ford’s Cuba grantees to share information and experiences so that we can strategically plan for the future. In addition to the grantees, we invited several experts from Cuba to share their thoughts on possibilities and opportunities for international collaboration. All that participated in the meeting were appreciative for the opportunity to engage and learn from their colleagues.