ASU strengthens its partnerships in Mexico

By

Skip Derra

Arizona State University President Michael Crow led an ASU delegation on a mission to Mexico City, May 19-21, to continue developing strategic relations with Mexican higher education institutions, federal agencies and international agencies.

Accompanying Crow were Greg Patterson, a member of the Arizona Board of Regents; ASU senior vice presidents Jim O'Brien, Jose Cardenas and Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan; Rafael Rangel Sostmann, ASU special advisor to the president; and other ASU officials who work with Mexico.

During the trip, Crow, Patterson and Sostmann attended the official launch of the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research, headed by U.S. Department of State Secretary John Kerry and by Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade and Secretary of Education Emilio Chuayffet.

The ASU delegation met with Yoloxóchitl Bustamante, general director of the National Polytechnic Institute. The two institutions explored collaboration in topics such as technology transfer, entrepreneurship and innovation.

ASU and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) signed a memorandum of understanding that provides the legal framework for collaboration to conduct joint research projects and facilitate exchange of students, researchers and professors, among other activities. The initial themes of mutual interest to collaborate include research on solar energy and biodesign.

ASU representatives visited Tec de Monterrey, an internationally renowned Mexican Higher Education Institution with which ASU has had a fruitful partnership for more than a decade. Topics of collaboration with Tec included a Decision Theater facility in Mexico City established after the ASU model. This facility will help expand the use of state-of-the-art modeling and visualizations to support the decision-making processes for complex societal issues. Tec de Monterrey’s new Decision Theater will be connected to the branch in Tempe, adding one more member to ASU’s Decision Theater Global Network.

President Crow met with Hazel Blackmore, executive director of Fulbright-Garcia Robles COMEXUS Scholarships Program, and with representatives of the Ministry of Education. ASU reiterated its commitment to supporting the 100,000 Strong in the Americas presidential initiative, and to developing programs that facilitate student exchange between the United States and Mexico.

Crow and the delegation held discussions with Jose Luis Fernandez Zayas, executive director of Mexico’s Electrical Research Institute, and with Jorge Soto, adjunct general director of Civic Innovation, at Mexico’s Office of the President.

The ASU delegation also met with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Anthony Wayne, USAID Mexico Mission director Richard Goughnour, IDB Mexico and World Bank Mexico representatives and other bilateral officials.

This trip was part of ASU’s strategy to engage globally and leverage the capabilities of ASU and those of the Mexican partners to expand the benefits of education, research and solutions to improve our local and global communities.

Written by Paola Garcia, Paola.Garciahicks@asu.edu