Wilson Center Experts
Sharon Bissell Sotelo
Sharon Bissell Sotelo is Director for the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation’s Mexico Office, which provides grants to civil society organizations in Population and Reproductive Health, Human Rights, and Migration. She has been with MacArthur since 2001. She is the Board Chair of the Funders Network for Population and Reproductive Health and Rights, a donor affinity group that facilitates the exchange of information, strategies and analysis for grantmakers that focus on these issues. Before joining MacArthur, Sharon worked at a leading reproductive rights organization in Mexico, as a consultant for numerous Mexican organizations, and at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. She holds a Master’s from Tulane University, a Bachelor’s from Whitman College, and diploma courses in gender, reproductive health and human rights from El Colegio de México and the Universidad Tecnológica de Monterrey. She has lived in Mexico since 1995, and speaks English, Spanish and French.
High level Mexican political leaders have recently begun to refer to a “new era” in the bilateral relationship with the United States. New developments include the opportunity for US immigration reform and the return of the PRI to Mexico. The PRI has swiftly taken to recreating the image of Mexico, and at a high level, this “new era” reflects the dramatic turnaround of the international perception of Mexico as a “failed state” only a matter of years ago into an emerging economic success. But at the same time, Americans’ overall views of Mexico are at their lowest point ever, while roughly two-thirds of Mexicans have a favorable opinion of the U.S. The interrelation between real and perceived changes is complex. This research project will look into the social and political factors behind current and emerging relations and perceptions between Mexico and the US, with attention to human rights and migration.