Inaugural Portuguese-American National Conference 

Saturday, June 23, 2018 

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In coordination with the Embassy of Portugal, and the sponsorship of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal and the Luso-American Development Foundation, PALCUS hosted its Inaugural Portuguese-American National Conference in celebration of the "Month of Portugal." Community, education and business leaders from across the country came together with elected and appointed officials to discuss the future of the Portuguese-American community.

Keynote Speaker: H.E. António Guterres

Secretary-General of United Nations




Driven by the results of the PALCUS Index 2017 National Survey, the topics of discussion focused upon the three issues of greatest concern identified by the survey's respondents: 1) participation of Portuguese-Americans in public office, 2) maintenance of Portuguese-American organizations, and 3) promotion of Portuguese language education.  At the end of the conference, a plan of action and full report will be created that organizations and individuals alike can use to drive new momentum in their local communities.


The conference was followed in the evening with a Dinner Reception and Concert at the Residence of the Ambassador of Portugal.

Final Report: "Proceedings of the Inaugural Portuguese-American National Conference"

Conference Panel Recordings on 

Conference Slide Deck

Photo Gallery by Henrique Mano

Media Coverage (click on photo)








Saturday, June 23, 2018

Washington Marriott at Metro Center

775 12th St., NW

Washington, DC 20005


8:00 a.m.       Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.       Plenary Session:

                      Welcome: Angela Simões, Chair, PALCUS

                                       Dr. Vasco Rato, President, Luso-American Development Foundation

                                       H.E. Domingos Fezas Vital, Ambassador of Portugal to the United States

                      Opening Remarks: H.E. Augusto Santos Silva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal   
9:30 a.m. -     Panel: “Integration of Portuguese-Americans in Public Office”

10:30 a.m.     Moderator: Dulce Soares Scott, Ph.D., Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana

                      Panelists:   Congressman Jim Costa, (D, CA-16), Co-chair, Portuguese-American Congressional Caucus

                                         Congressman Devin Nunes (R, CA-22), Chair, House Intelligence Committee

                                         Hon. Phillip Rapoza, Chief Justice, MA Appeals Court (Ret.)

                                         Maria Z. Carvalho, President, Board of Education, Elizabeth (NJ) Public Schools 

10:45 a.m. -   Panel: “Building Social Capital Through Portuguese-American Organizations"

11:45 a.m.     Moderator: Silvia Oliveira, Ph.D., Rhode Island College, Providence, Rhode Island   

                      Panelists:   Isabelle Coelho-Marques, President, New York Portuguese-American Leadership Conference (NYPALC)

                                         Silvia Curado, Ph.D., President, Portuguese-American Post-graduate Society (PAPS)

                                         Anthony Pio, Manager of Financial Services, Luso-American Financial

                                         Diniz Borges, President, California Portuguese-American Coalition (CPAC)

12:00 p.m.-    Lunch and Keynote Address

1:30 p.m.       H. E. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

1:45 p.m. -     Panel: “Portuguese Language Education: Challenges and Solutions”

2:45 p.m.       Moderator: Onésimo Almeida, Ph.D., Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

                      Panelists:   João Caixinha, Coordinator for the Portuguese Language Programs and Education Affairs in the

                                                     United States of America, Instituto Camões

                                         Silvia Oliveira, Ph.D., Assoc. Professor of Portuguese, Director of Institute for Portuguese and

                                                     Lusophone World Studies, Rhode Island College

                                         Jamie Leite, Portuguese Director, Utah Dual Language Immersion Program, Utah

3:00 p.m. -     Closing Session: “Establishing a Plan of Action”

4:00 p.m.       Moderator: Diniz Borges, PALCUS Director

                      Moderators of each panel present summaries for discussion with the goal of identifying action items

6:30 p.m. -     Dinner Reception and Concert at Ambassador’s Residence

10:00 p.m.     2125 Kalorama Road, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008                  

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With the generous support of
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