Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border

Webcast available

Webcast Recap


The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute, the Border Trade Alliance, and the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos invite you to our second annual high-level "Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border" conference. Speakers will discuss the state of the art in border and transportation infrastructure, growth in the energy sector, border-region innovation, and the need for efforts that simultaneously support security and efficiency in border management.


8:00 – 8:30am Registration 

8:30 – 8:40am  Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor
Welcome, Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute

8:40 – 9:35am   Legislative Opportunities to Strengthen Border Competitiveness
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23)
Senator Ernesto Ruffo Appel, Presidente de la Comisión de Asuntos Fronterizos Norte
Introduction: Roger McCrary, Director, Global Customs, Global Trade & Compliance, Delphi
Moderator: Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico Institute Advisory Board Member and Former Mexican Ambassador to the United States

9:35 – 10:15am  Keynote, Senator John Cornyn (TX), Majority Whip, United States Senate
                         Introduction, Andrew Selee, Executive Vice President, Wilson Center

10:30 – 12:00pm  Building Tomorrow’s Border Today: The State of the Art in Infrastructure Financing, Customs, and Port of Entry Management
Jesse Hereford, Chairman, Border Trade Alliance, Director of Business Development, S&B Infrastructure
Jose Martin Garcia, Representative for the Mexican Treasury and Tax Administration Service in Washington, DCS
Calvin Shuler, Associate Executive Director for Field Operations, Animal and Plant Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Moderator: Erik Lee, Executive Director, North American Research Partnership

12:00 – 12:25pm  Keynote, Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection
                           Introduction: Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

12:25 – 1:30pm Lunch, Wilson Center Dining Room
Lunch Keynote: Building the U.S.-Mexico Border for a Competitive North America
Geronimo Gutierrez, Director, North American Development Bank
In conversation with Michael Camuñez, President and CEO, ManattJones Global Strategies, Board Member, Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos

1:30 – 2:15pm Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor
Energy Revolutions: How Shale is Changing the Border Energy Landscape for the United States and Mexico

Omar Garcia, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable
Thomas Tunstall, Research Director, Institute for Economic Development, The University of Texas at San Antonio
Moderator: Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

2:35 – 3:25pm Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Building Ideas, Human Capital, and New Businesses in the Border Region
Rachel Poynter, Acting Director, Office of Mexican Affairs, Department of State
Ricardo Alvarez, Professor, CETYS University, Baja California
Rogelio de los Santos, Managing Director, Alta Ventures Mexico (Invited)
Moderator: Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

3:25 – 4:05pm A Conversation on the Evolution of U.S.-Mexico Cooperation in Border Management
Ambassador Alejandro Estivill, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Mexico
Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, Department of Homeland Security
Moderator: Denise Ducheny, Center for US-Mexico Studies, UC San Diego, and member, BECC NADB Board of Directors

4:05 – 4:15pm Concluding Remarks
Glafiro Montemayor, President, Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos, Laredo Chapter
Noe Garcia, President, Border Trade Alliance


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