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Mexico Moving Forward 2015

Mexico Moving Forward

2015 Mexico Moving Forward: Recapturing the Mexico Moment

The 2015 symposium overarching theme was a discussion on the country’s achievements and challenges, as well as the opportunities to chart a course over the next three years to recapture the “Mexico moment.” View photos from the event.


Download the full program (PDF).

9 a.m. Registration and breakfast

10 a.m. Welcome remarks

10:30 a.m. Session I – Recapturing the Mexico Moment 

As President Peña Nieto begins the second half of his term, the much lauded “Mexico moment” seems to have largely disintegrated. This panel will discuss the challenges facing the country and the opportunities that exist to regain the momentum of the Mexico moment. Speakers include Leonardo Curzio and Paz Consuelo Marquez-Padilla.

12 p.m. Luncheon 

1:30 p.m. Afternoon remarks 

1:45 p.m. Session II – The Progress and Pitfalls of Structural Reforms

Unprecedented collaboration among Mexico’s political parties led to an ambitious package of reforms touching key sectors and issues including energy, telecommunications, education and the justice system. This panel will provide an overview of what the reforms have achieved to date, the practical challenges of implementation and the long-term implications for the country. Speakers include Ernesto Canales and Claudio X. Gonzalez.

3:15 p.m. Break 

3:30 p.m. Session III – Transforming Mexico

Innovations in the private sector and in citizen organization and participation are creating mechanisms for transformational change across Mexico. This panel explores the ways in which entrepreneurship, social media and investment create new spaces for dialogue and impact. Speakers include Pepe Merino and Hernan Fernandez.

5 p.m. Dia de los Muertos reception and mariachi


Welcome remarks
with Peter Cowhey and Denise Moreno Ducheny

Session I – Recapturing the Mexico Moment
Carlos Capistran, Pablo Chico Hernandez, Leonardo Curzio, Paz Consuelo Marquez-Padilla
Moderated by Chris Wilson

Afternoon remarks
with Remedios Gomez Arnau and William Ostick

Session II – The Progress and Pitfalls of Structural Reforms
with Ernesto Canales, Claudio X. Gonzalez, Judith Mariscal, Jeremy Martin
Moderated by David Shirk

Session III – Transforming Mexico
with Hernan Fernandez, Andrea Giralt, Jose Merino
Moderated by Alberto Diaz Cayeros


Ernesto Canales, Partner, Canales y Socios Abogados

Carlos Capistran, Chief Mexico Economist, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Pablo Chico Hernandez, Division Director, Grupo Carrix

Peter Cowhey, Dean, School of Global Policy and Strategy

Leonardo Curzio, News Director and Anchor, Primera Emision, Enfoque Noticias

Alberto Diaz Cayeros, Professor, Stanford University

Denise Moreno Ducheny, Senior Policy Advisor, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies

Hernan Fernandez, Managing Partner, Angel Ventures

Andrea Giralt, President, Giralt Consulting

Remedios Gomez Arnau, Mexican Consul General in San Diego

Claudio X. Gonzalez, President and Co-Founder, Mexicanos Primero

Judith Mariscal, Professor, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)

Paz Consuelo Marquez-Padilla, Professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

Jeremy Martin, Director of Energy Program, Institute of the Americas

Jose Merino, Director, Data4 and Professor, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

William Ostick, U.S. Consul General in Tijuana

David Shirk, Director, Justice in Mexico Project

Chris Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center

Media and Press

Education at Top of Agenda at Mexico Moving Forward Symposium
Nov. 5, 2015, This Week @ UC San Diego

Cross Border Terminal Nears Completion
Oct. 30, 2015, La Presna San Diego

UC San Diego Summit: Mexico Must Improve Rule Of Law
Oct. 30, 2015, KPBS

‘Recapturing the Mexico Moment’
Oct. 20, 2015, UC San Diego News Center


Thank you to our sponsors

2014 Mexico Moving Forward

The 2014 symposium engaged business leaders, policy makers and scholars in discussions on Mexico's progress and future goals 20 years after the signing of NAFTA. View photos from the event.


KeynoteDownload program

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 | UC San Diego Faculty Club
• Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, Senior Fellow, Stanford University
• Denise Dresser, Professor, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM)

Symposium Schedule

Thursday, March 6, 2014 | Sanford Consortium Auditorium

Welcome Remarks
• Janet Napolitano, President, University of California
• Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor, UC San Diego
• Peter Cowhey, Dean, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies

Welcome Keynote
• Antonio Ortiz-Mena, Head of Section, Economic Affairs, Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Session I – Mexico Looking Back: NAFTA at 20
• Peter Smith (moderator), Professor, UC San Diego
• Carlos Elizondo, Professor, Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE)
• Juan Gallardo, Chairman of Board, Organizacion CULTIBA
• Kenneth Shwedel, Board Member, Grupo Viz
• Jesus Vizcarra, President and CEO, SuKarne (unfortunately, Mr. Vizcarra had to cancel his appearance)

Session II – Faces of Mexico: Arts and Culture

• Exequiel Ezcurra (moderator), Director, UC MEXUS
• Ignacio Duran, Cinematographer
• Monica Lavin, Writer
• Luis Felipe Ortega, Artist
• Manuel Paz Castillo, Tenor

Afternoon Remarks
• Andrew Erickson, U.S. Consul General, Tijuana
• Remedios Gomez Arnau, Mexico Consul General, San Diego

Session III – Mexico on the Move: Reforms for the 21st Century
• David Shirk (moderator), Professor, University of San Diego
• Edna Jaime, Director, Mexico Evalua
• Juan Pardinas, CEO, Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (IMCO)
• Clare Seelke, Specialist in Latin American Affairs, Congressional Research Service
• Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Session IV – Mexico Looking Forward: Pacific Partnerships
• Gordon Hanson (moderator), Professor, UC San Diego
• Carlos Elizondo, Professor, Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE)
• Arturo Sarukhan, Former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Brookings Institution
• Susan Shirk, Professor, UC San Diego
• Luis Tellez, CEO, Mexican Stock Exchange (unfortunately, Mr. Tellez had to cancel his appearance)

Closing Keynote
• Deborah Riner, Chief Economist, American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico, AC

Closing Reception


Wednesday Keynote: "Mexico Under The 'New' PRI: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"
with Alberto Diaz-Cayeros and Denise Dresser

Welcome Keynote
with Antonio Ortiz-Mena

Session I – Mexico Looking Back: NAFTA at 20
with Peter Smith, Carlos Elizondo, Juan Gallardo and Kenneth Shwedel

Session II – Faces of Mexico: Arts and Culture
with Exequiel Ezcurra, Ignacio Duran, Monica Lavin, Luis Felipe Ortega and Manuel Paz Castillo

Session III – Mexico on the Move: Reforms for the 21st Century
with David Shirk, Edna Jaime, Juan Pardinas, Clare Seelke and Duncan Wood

Session IV – Mexico Looking Forward: Pacific Partnerships
with Gordon Hanson, Carlos Elizondo, Arturo Sarukhan and Susan Shirk

Closing Keynote – "Mexico and the U.S: Forever Together"
with Deborah Riner


Peter Cowhey Peter Cowhey (Welcome Remarks)
Dean, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies
Cowhey served as senior counselor in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under President Obama, and chief of the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission under President Clinton. He currently sits on the bi-national expert group appointed by the U.S. and Chinese governments to address technology policy issues involving the two countries. Full Bio

Alberto Diaz-CayerosAlberto Diaz-Cayeros (Remarks)
Senior Fellow, Stanford University

Diaz-Cayeros previously served as School of International Relations and Pacific Studies associate professor and Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies director. His research specializes in the political economy of development, looking at incentives provided for better service delivery. Full Bio

Denise DresserDenise Dresser (Remarks)
Professor, ITAM
Dresser is a professor at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico, where she teaches comparative politics, political economy and Mexican politics. She is the author of numerous publications on United States-Mexico relations, and is a frequent commentator on Mexican politics in the U.S., Mexican and Canadian media. Full Bio

Ignacio Duran Ignacio Duran (Session II)
Duran is deputy director of the National Institute of Fine Arts Mexico, general director at the Educational and Cultural Television Unit Mexico, director general at the Mexican Film Institute, a vice president at TV Azteca and director at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington.

Carlos ElizondoCarlos Elizondo (Session I)
Professor, Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE)
Elizondo began as professor and researcher at CIDE before becoming director in 1995. In 2004, he served as ambassador and permanent representative of Mexico to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) before returning to CIDE in 2006.

Andrew EricksonAndrew Erickson (Afternoon Remarks)
U.S. Consul General, Tijuana

Erickson oversees the activities of the Consulate in Baja California and Baja California Sur. He has worked on political, economic and multilateral affairs, as well as refuge and migratory affairs.

Exequiel EzcurraExequiel Ezcurra (Session II)
University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (US MEXUS)
Also a professor of plant ecology at UC Riverside, Ezcurra’s 30-year career has been honored worldwide for contributions both as an academic and as an active conservationist. Full Bio

Juan Gallardo Juan Gallardo (Session I)
Chairman of the Board, Organizacion CULTIBA
Gallardo is a successful business person, and was chosen to be the lead coordinator of an alliance of Mexican private-sector organizations formed in 1990 to promote expanded trade with Mexico, particularly in the context of NAFTA.

Remedio Gomez ArnauRemedio Gomez Arnau (Afternoon Remarks)
Mexico Consul General, San Diego
Gomez Arnau has served as consul general for 13 years, six in San Diego. She was academic secretary and associate researcher at the Center for Research on North America at UNAM, where her research interests included the Mexico-U.S. bilateral relationship. Full Bio

Gordon Hanson Gordon Hanson (Session IV)
Professor, UC San Diego
Hanson holds the Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations, and is the director of the Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies and co-director of the Policy Design and Evaluation Lab. Full Bio

Edna Jaime Edna Jaime (Session III)
Director, Mexico Evalua
Jaime is the founder and CEO of Mexico Evalua, an organization dedicated to the analysis, monitoring and evaluation of public policies in the area of safety and government spending. She was previously director of the Center for Development Research. Full Bio

Pradeep Khosla Pradeep K. Khosla (Welcome Remarks)
Chancellor, UC San Diego
Khosla is a distinguished electrical and computer engineer. He is an elected member of several prestigious academies, including the National Academy of Engineering. Khosla initiated and led UC San Diego’s first-ever strategic planning process, which created a unifying vision for the campus’ future. Full Bio

Monica LavinMonica Lavin (Session II)
Lavin has published more than 20 books, and won several national awards for her short stories, essays and novels. She is a creative writing professor at the Universidad Autonoma de la Ciudad de Mexico and currently writes for El Universal. Full Bio

Janet NapolitanoJanet Napolitano (Welcome Remarks)
President, University of California
Napolitano was named University of California’s 20th president after public service as secretary of Homeland Security, governor of Arizona, attorney general of Arizona and U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona. The recipient of numerous honors, she received the Anti-Defamation League’s Institute Service Award in 2012. Full Bio

Luis Felipe OrtegaLuis Felipe Ortega (Session II)
Ortega has been doing solo and collective exhibitions in sculpture, installation, photography and drawing since 1993. In 2001, the Centre Pompidou acquire his collaboration “Remake, 1994,” and he held his most recent solo exhibition at MARSO gallery in Mexico City in 2013. Full Bio

Antonio Ortiz-MenaAntonio Ortiz-Mena (Welcome Keynote)
Head of Section, Economic Affairs, Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C

Ortiz-Mena was professor of international relations at Centro de Investigation y Docencia Economicas (CIDE) and held the chair of the International Relations Department for three years. He was a member of Mexico’s NAFTA negotiation team.

Juan PardinasJuan Pardinas (Session III)
CEO, Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (IMCO)
As IMCO CEO, Pardinas leads the non-profit think tank with the aim to irritate political decision makers into taking action that is favorable to Mexican prosperity and development. Full Bio

Manuel Paz CastilloManuel Paz Castillo (Session II)

Paz Castillo is a Tijuana native who studied voice training in Mexico, the United States and Russia. After initial interest in ranchera music, he trained in opera, performing with Cecut’s Opera Ambulante, the Tijuana Opera and serving as a core member of the San Diego Opera Chorus.

Deborah RinerDeborah Riner (Closing Keynote)
Chief Economist, American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico, AC
Prior to joining the chamber, Riner was vice president of Bankers Trust Company and has been a guest scholar at several international organizations. She writes extensively on the Mexican economy and speaks regularly to businesses and professionals.

Arturo Sarukhan Arturo Sarukhan (Session IV)
Former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Brookings Institution
Sarukhan has served as a career diplomat in the Mexican Foreign Service for 20 years, and held numerous positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He worked at the Mexico Embassy in the United States during NAFTA negotiations, and was later appointed Mexico ambassador to the U.S.

Clare SeelkeClare Seelke (Session III)
Specialist in Latin American Affairs, Congressional Research Service (CRS)
With special attention to security issues, Seelke focuses on Mexico, Bolivia and Central America at CRS, a nonpartisan research agency that serves the members and committees of congress.

Kenneth ShwedelKenneth Shwedel (Session I)
Board Member, Grupo Viz

Shwedel previously served as executive director of Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory, as well as leadership positions at Banamex and the American Soybean Association. He is graciously taking the place of Jesus Vizcarra in our program.

David Shirk David Shirk (Session III)
Professor, University of San Diego
Shirk is director of USD’s Justice in Mexico Project, with research in comparative politics, international political economy, Latin American studies and U.S.-Latin American relations, with a concentration in Mexico and border politics. From 2003-2013, he directed USD’s Trans-Border Institute. Full Bio

Susan Shirk Susan Shirk (Session IV)
Professor, UC San Diego
Shirk is chair of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies 21st Century China Program. She founded the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, and has authored numerous publications on Chinese education, economic policy-making, political leadership and foreign policy. Full Bio

Peter Smith Peter Smith (Session I)
Professor, UC San Diego
Smith specializes in comparative politics, Latin American politics, and U.S.-Latin American relations. He served as director of UC San Diego’s Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies and director of Latin American Studies. Full Bio

Luiz Tellez Luis Tellez (Session IV)
CEO, Mexican Stock Exchange
Tellez has served in several high-profile positions for the government of Mexico, including secretary of Communications and Transportation. As a public servant, he was a key player in numerous crucial policy decisions and was responsible for negotiating the agricultural sector in NAFTA.

Jesus VizcarraJesus Vizcarra (Session I)
President and CEO, SuKarne
Vizcarra has been active in various business organizations for over 20 years and is considered one of the 100 most influential entrepreneurs in Mexico. He also actively participates in political and social initiatives, previously serving as deputy state secretary of Sinaloa and mayor of Culiacan.

Duncan Wood Duncan Wood (Session III)
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson

For 17 years, Wood was director of the International Relations Program at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico. His research focuses on Mexican energy policy, including renewable energy and North American relations. Full Bio

Laura Casteneda Laura Castaneda (Emcee)
Owner, Press Pass International
Castaneda has more than 25 years of experience in various multi-media platforms. She is an Emmy Award winning journalist, professor and chair of the San Diego City College Communications Department. This is her third year with Mexico Moving Forward.

Media and Press


Conferencia analiza el pasado y el futuro del TLC
March 13, 2014, UT-San Diego features USMEX event (Spanish)

NAFTA at 20
March 13, 2014, UC San Diego News features USMEX event

UC San Diego symposium marks NAFTA’s 20th Year
March 11, 2014, La Jolla Light features USMEX event

NAFTA Birthday Bash Draws UCSD Protesters
March 10, 2014, San Diego Free Press features USMEX event

What’s the Matter With California? Student Dispatches From Santa Cruz to the Border
March 7, 2014, The Nation features USMEX event

Conference looks at Mexico 20 years after NAFTA
March 7, 2014, UT-San Diego features USMEX event

Janet Napolitano habla de la frontera y de impulsar intercambios educativos con Mexico
March 7, 2014 Milenio features USMEX event (Spanish)

Sorprende ‘Opera Ambulante' en simposio
March 7, 2014, Milenio features USMEX event (video)

A 20 anos del TLC, tema central del simposio’“Mexico Moving Forward’
March 6, 2014, Milenio features USMEX event (Spanish)

UC Program To Be NAFTA of Higher Education
March 6, 2014, KPBS features USMEX event

20 Years Later: NAFTA’s Impact On San Diego-Mexico Trade
Mach 5, 2014, KPBS interviews Peter Cowhey and Gordon Hanson (video)
Related link (KPBS (audio))

Mexico Moving Forward Symposium to Look at NAFTA '20 Years of Beyond'
Feb. 27, 2014, UC San Diego News

Putting the NAFTA Puzzle Together
Jan. 16, 2014, IR/PS News


Patron Sponsors

Sempra SIMNSA Sunroad Automotive


Border Legislative Conference IICAS Smart Border Coalition
San Diego Unified Port District USAID

Supporters and Friends

Baja California Cerveza Tijuana

Background Readings

Declaración Conjunta de los Líderes de América del Norte
Feb. 19, 2014, México Presidencia de la República

FACT SHEET: Key Deliverables for the 2014 North American Leaders Summit
Feb. 19, 2014, The White House: Office of the Press Secretary

Joint Statement by North American Leaders - 21st Century North America: Building the Most Competitive and Dynamic Region in the World
Feb. 19, 2014, The White House: Office of the Press Secretary

Al margen un sello con el Escudo Nacional, que dice: Estados Unidos Mexicanos.- Secretaría de Economía. (Spanish)
Jan. 24, 2014, Diario Oficial de la Federación

United States-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue
Nov. 25, 2013, Department of Commerce

Towards a Region of Knowledge: Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research
October 2013, Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores

América del Norte del siglo XXI: Construyendo la Región más Dinámica y Competitiva del Mundo
Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores

2012 Mexico Moving Forward

The 2012 symposium overarching theme was promoting development in Mexico by addressing the issues of regulation, human capital, social protection, informal economy and entrepreneurship. The theme was inspired by a paper written by IR/PS Professor Gordon Hanson titled "Why Isn't Mexico Rich?" Throughout the day guests enjoyed the Mexico Street Fair and concluded with the Best of Baja Expo reception highlighting the culture and food of Baja California. Download the summary.

2011 Mexico Moving Forward

This first event was designed as part of UC San Diego’s 50th Anniversary campus wide programming. The day-long symposium with Mexico’s visionary leaders celebrated the excellence of their country and generated a rare and open dialogue on Mexico’s future. Sessions focused on arts and culture, museums and the culinary arts, science and the environment, philanthropy and the corporate community. Throughout the day guests enjoyed the Mexico Street Fair and concluded with the Best of Baja Expo reception highlighting the culture and food of Baja California. Download the summary.

Mexico Moving Forward