The New School University launched the Argentina Observatory in 2003, an initiative of the Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA), in order to create a space dedicated to understanding the country at a time when Argentina was presented as a paradigm of economic, social and political recovery after the severe economic crisis in 2001.
The Argentina Observatory was launched during the visit of then-President Néstor Kirchner and then-Senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. It was introduced by 2001 Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz, GPIA Director, Michael Cohen, The New School Associate Professor Margarita Gutman and then-Policy and Press Advisor Argentine Consulate in New York, Ernesto Seman.
Since its launch, the Argentina Observatory quickly positioned itself as an advocate of creative debate, attracting top-level speakers from different areas. In May 2004, President Kirchner visited the Observatory for a public talk with Paul Krugman, The New York Times columnist and Princeton University Professor. The event attracted over 400 participants and was webcasted live to the world. In April 2005, Senator Fernández de Kirchner, now President of Argentina, lectured at the Argentina Observatory to an audience of 250. Also in 2005, the Observatory welcomed the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo for the presentation of the Memory Archives.
Fernandez de Kirchner was the Argentina Observatory Honorary President, while the prestigious Advisory Council included Stiglitz, the President of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, Estela de Carlotto, philosopher and writer José Pablo Feinmann, then-Secretary of Culture of Argentina, José Nun and then-General Consul of Argentina in New York, Héctor Timerman, as ex-officio member, among others.