The Center for Latin American Issues

The Minerva Program

What is the Minerva Program?

The Minerva Program is a 16-week executive education program in modern market economics. Created in 1994, the program is designed specifically for public- and private-sector executives from Latin America.

Why Participate in the Minerva Program?

Minerva Program participants master concepts in economics, finance, economic policy-making, regulation, and public ethics.  Program participants receive:

  • A deeper understanding of modern market economics
  • A broader perspective on the impact of local, state, and national policies have on the welfare of a nation
  • An opportunity to observe how public and private entities operate in the United States
  • An overview of how private and international financial institutions operate in the global marketplace
  • A firm grasp of the domestic and global challenges facing developing economies

Minerva Program participants return to their home countries with an improved understanding of the roles of both the public- and private-sectors, and with an awareness of the policy measures necessary to promote economic development.

To date, the program has graduated more than 500 Latin American executives, many of whom credit the Minerva Program experience for their subsequent promotions to highly prominent positions.

A Focused Curriculum

The Minerva Program’s curriculum combines classroom lectures, seminars, and off-campus visits.

Classroom Lectures

The program’s theoretical content, presented in a small-group lecture format by prominent GW professors, consists of five major modules:

  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • International Trade Theory
  • The Role of the Financial System
  • The Role of Government

Seminars and Presentations

Seminars and presentations focus on current topics in economic theory and their applications, such as:

  • Economic and Financial Stability
  • Financial Systems and Risks
  • Measuring Government Performance
  • The Costs of Corruption

Off-Campus Visits

Because the program takes place in Washington, D.C., participants get to visit many of the federal and multilateral institutions headquartered there, such as the Federal Reserve, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, and other world-class organizations.

Graduate-level GW Elective Course

Participants also take one formal graduate-level university course in the subject area that best fits their individual professional interests.

Research Paper

Each Minerva participant writes a substantial research paper, in English, that applies his or her theoretical studies to current policy issues at home.

Who Can Participate?

Participants in the Minerva Program are chosen through a rigorous screening process.  The program draws participants from all levels of government and industry. Ideal candidates possess:

  • A Bachelor’s degree
  • At least five years of professional experience
  • A command of oral and written English
  • The potential for superior performance in their chosen career paths

Applicants are carefully screened in an interview with the Director of the Minerva Program to determine their suitability for the demands of the program.

Program Sponsors

Since its inception, the Minerva Program has relied on the generous support of numerous corporate, nonprofit, government, and individual sponsors to assist in the continuation and advancement of the program.

Past program sponsors include:

  • Alcoa Foundation
  • AT&T Foundation
  • Banco do Brasil
  • Coca-Cola Foundation
  • Fundación BBVA Bancomer
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Our sponsors value the results of the Minerva Program and the benefits it provides to its participants, their national economies, and the global economy.  Their continued support demonstrates their recognition of the importance of human capital and efficiency to the growth of a nation’s economy and to the improved performance of companies and organizations.


If you would like to become a participant in the Minerva Program, or a program sponsor, please contact the Center for Latin American Issues:

(202) 994-5205

[email protected]

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