AUSTIN, Texas—U.S. Ambassador to México Antonio Garza will host a reception to honor William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, Thursday, Jan. 25, at the ambassador’s residence in México City. Garza will welcome hundreds of university alumni who live in México, an Austin delegation and the university’s partners on both sides of the U.S.-México border.
The following morning, Powers joins Kirk Watson, Texas senator, and Jorge Guajardo, México’s consul general to Austin, to exchange ideas on the future of U.S.-México relations with a delegation of Mexican and Central Texas business, academic and government leaders. The Honorable Carlos Rico Ferrat, México’s undersecretary for North American affairs, will provide the keynote address. Thompson and Knight, a Texas law firm with offices in México City and Monterrey, will sponsor the private breakfast.
The university is partnering with the International Partnership of Greater Austin (IP Austin) to promote the growing, close bilateral relationships between Central Texas and México in key areas—from research and education to government collaboration and business exchange.
“Texas gains strength from our diverse population and from our border with México,” Powers said. “We are collaborators in education, in commerce, in scientific research and in the arts. It’s vitally important that our ties remain close, that our interactions remain open and effective, and that our partnerships be strengthened by new and creative initiatives.”
Donna Wilcox, IP Austin’s president, said it is important for business and governmental leaders to work with the university to expand the influence and benefits of its international programs.
“In order to contribute to the development of a vibrant Central Texas culture and economy,” she said, “we must reach out, embrace and encourage the change created in our community by international influences: foreign students, international companies, visitors, foreign innovation, international trade, and influences from art, music and literature.”
The university has more than 1,200 Mexicans among its international alumni. Nearly 300 students from México are at the university this year pursuing undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.
From the executive MBA program in México City to scientific collaborations with Mexican institutions, the university offers an array of Mexican programs. The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and its Mexican Center continue to attract the hemisphere’s most respected professors and researchers.
The meetings in México City are part of the university’s cross-border efforts to encourage scholarship and dialogue about the evolving relationship between the United States and México.
In February, researchers and policymakers will explore binational issues such as politics, media, immigration, poverty, technological exchange and global competitiveness as part of the conference, “NAFTA and U.S.-México Relations: In Retrospect and Prospect.” In May, LLILAS will collaborate with professors throughout the university to expand the discussion beyond the trade agreement in a week-long series of activities titled, “Deepening U.S.-México Collaboration Beyond NAFTA.”
The university and Austin delegations traveling to México include Terri Givens, vice provost overseeing the university’s international efforts; James Huffines, chair of The University of Texas System Board of Regents; and Buddy Garcia, Texas deputy secretary of state.
The state’s NAFTA Office in México City and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce also are providing support for the visit.
For more information contact: Christian Clarke Cásarez, communication coordinator, Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs, and director of public affairs, College of Liberal Arts, 512-471-4945.