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Third Annual "Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border" Conference

The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute held our third annual high-level "Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border" conference.

Date & Time

Jun. 15, 2016
8:00am – 4:00pm ET


6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute and the Border Trade Alliance held our third annual Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border conference, which focused on improving border management in order to strengthen the competitiveness of both the United States and Mexico. Special attention will be given to transportation infrastructure, trade facilitation, human capital development, financial transactions, and the need for efforts that simultaneously support security and efficiency in border management.


8:00 - 8:30 Registration / Coffee and Pastries

8:30-8:40 Welcome

Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

8:40 - 9:30 Policymakers Panel: Strengthening Border Competitiveness in a Complex Political Environment

Congressman Beto O'Rourke (TX-16th)

Carlos Sada, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States

Moderator: Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

9:30 - 10:40 Anatomy of a Relationship: The Evolution of U.S.-Mexico Cooperation in Border Management

Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, Department of Homeland Security

Sergio Alcocer, Researcher, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Geronimo Gutierrez, Managing Director, North American Development Bank

Moderator: Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

10:40 - 10:55 Networking Coffee Break

11:00 - 11:25 Keynote Address

Senator Jeff Flake (AZ)

Introduction: Blair Ruble, Vice President, Wilson Center

11:30 - 12:15 Managing the Border for Security and Competitiveness

Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection

Moderator: Michael Camuñez, President and CEO, ManattJones Global Strategies

12:15 - 1:15 Networking Lunch

Welcoming Remarks from Our Partners
Ambassador Mario Chacon, ProMéxico
Michael Camuñez, ManattJones Global Strategies
Noe Garcia, Border Trade Alliance

1:15 - 2:05 Border Banking: How to Prevent Money Laundering while Facilitating Commerce and Financial Inclusion

José Luis Stein, Vice President, Supervision of Preventative Processes, National Banking and Securities Commission of Mexico

Lea Marquez Peterson, President, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Hector Cerna, President & CEO, International Bank of Commerce, Eagle Pass, Texas

Moderator: Russ Jones, Chairman, Border Trade Alliance, and R.L. Jones Customhouse Brokers

2:05 - 3:05 Facilitating Trade and Travel: Improving Infrastructure and Processes at Our Ports of Entry

José Antonio Vidales, President, Confederation of Mexican Customs Agent Associations

Gary Gallegos, Executive Director, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)

Karin Sullivan, Senior Advisor, Office of Mexican Affairs, Department of State

Moderator: Erik Lee, Executive Director, North American Research Partnership

3:05 - 4:00 Building the Knowledge Economy: Education and Human Capital Creation in the Border Region

Melissa Floca, Interim Director, Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies, UC San Diego

Rebeca Vargas, President & CEO, U.S.-Mexico Foundation

Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23rd)

Moderator: Lydia Nesbitt-Arronte, Vice President for Education and Workforce, The BorderPlex Alliance


Thanks to Our Partners

For additional sponsorship opportunities, contact

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Hosted By

Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more

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