Global Americans and the Canadian Council for the Americas present “Two Gringos with Questions,” an interview series featuring political and cultural leaders from across the Americas. In episode 26, Chris and Ken speak to Laura Alonso, former head of Argentina’s Anti-Corruption Office (AO) and Secretary of Public Ethics, Transparency and Fight Against Corruption under President Mauricio Macri’s administration (2015-2019).
Hosts Chris and Ken speak to Alonso about her anti-corruption efforts, the future of Argentina and the recent attacks against her work and the AO by Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. On top of these attacks, Alonso is being accused of non-compliance with her duties and functions as head of the AO for allegedly covering up infractions by former Energy Minister Juan José Aranguren, accused of malfeasance and conflict of interest for signing deals that benefited Grupo Royal Dutch Shell PLC oil company.
During her time at the AO office, she promoted the now enacted Corporate Liability Law, asset recovery regulations and the Whistleblower Act. Under her leadership, the AO published the “Guidelines for Integrity Programs” and the “Complementary Guide for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).” In 2018, Alonso was chair of the G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group.
As Secretary of Public Ethics, Transparency and Fight Against Corruption, she promoted the presidential decrees that regulated gift policy, the prevention of conflicts of interest in public procurement and the network of ethics focal points throughout the public sector, opening more than 1,000 investigations and participating in historic corruption investigations against former Presidents and high-ranking officials.
Prior to her time at the AO, she was a Member of the House of Representatives from 2009 to 2015. Alonso promoted the access to public information law, political and campaign funding and open government policies. She also drafted legislation on judicial and criminal reforms, electoral issues and gender parity. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of “Poder Ciudadano” (Citizen Power), the Argentine chapter of Transparency International.
Alonso is a Chevening Scholar, an Eisenhower Fellow and a Draper Hills Fellow. She was a U.S. International Visitor in 1995 and 1998, was selected Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012 and received an award by Vital Voices Global Partnership in 2008 for her public leadership.
Alonso holds a Master’s degree in public administration and public policy from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Buenos Aires.