Committee Name: José Domingo de Obaldia’s Cabinet, Panama 1903
Undersecretary-General: Suraag Srinivas
Deputy Undersecretary-General: Yasmeen El-Hasan
Chair and Crisis Manager: Aaron Bennett and Kyle Tillotson
The Topic Abstract for this committee can be accessed here.
A Letter from the Chair and Crisis Manager
Our names are Aaron Bennett and Kyle Tillotson, and it is our pleasure to welcome you to Governor Obaldia’s Cabinet.
In 1903, Panama is in transition. The United States and Colombia have reached an agreement on a lease for construction of a canal on the isthmus. When Bogotá failed to ratify it, the U.S. began encouraging a Panamanian separatist movement. Recently, a revolutionary junta formed under the protection of the American Navy, and just weeks ago, President Roosevelt recognized it as the de facto government of Panama.
Still struggling to free itself from Colombia and grappling with questions surrounding continued U.S. influence in the state-building process, Panama faces many questions at what may become the beginning of its history– the majority of which revolve around the canal. As a critical waterway for global trade, America continues to push hard to construct the canal– a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. Governor Obaldia, the last governor of the Isthmus of Panama while still under Colombia rule, wields significant influence over the course of Latin American history. Will he cooperate with the United States and embark on a path to freedom? Will he splinter from the American vision for the isthmus? Or will he realign with Colombia to reject foreign influence in the region?
Your chair, Aaron, is a junior at Georgetown studying political economy and theology. Originally from New Jersey, Aaron joined the Model UN team on campus with no experience and has been heavily involved ever since. Last year, he served as Director of Programming at NAIMUN, and is very excited to be back this year as your chair. His interests include Hoya basketball, all things politics, and playing FIFA with his roommates.
Joining Aaron will be your Crisis Manager, Kyle Tillotson. Originally from Rochester, New York, Kyle is a senior in the School of Foreign Service studying International Political Economy and pursuing a certificate in Latin American studies. Since coming to Georgetown, Kyle has discovered a passion for Latin American government and history, an interest explored by studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador in the fall of 2016. He hopes to use his regional interest to create a more substantive, immersive crisis experience. Outside of Model UN, Kyle is the Latin America editor for the Caravel, Georgetown’s international affairs newspaper, and a brother in Delta Phi Epsilon professional foreign service fraternity as well as an avid fan of the New York Giants.
Looking forward to seeing you this February!
Aaron Bennett & Kyle Tillotson
Chair and Crisis Manager, Governor Obaldia’s Cabinet