Beyond the Border: U.S.-Mexico Relations
September 27th, 2021 12:00PM -1:00PM
The Biden administration inherited a tense U.S.-Mexico relationship that was largely narrowed to two key issues: stopping migration and renegotiating NAFTA. President Biden has already recalibrated the relationship--and Mexican President López Obrador may not welcome a renewed U.S. policy orientation that already includes restarting economic and commercial talks and could also include rule of law, police and justice system reforms, corruption, treatment of U.S. companies, labor standards, opioid flows, and climate change.
Join the World Affairs Council on September 27, 2021, for a discussion with Ambassador Roberta Jacobson, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, and Dr. Carlos Pérez Verdía, former Chief of Staff to the President of Mexico, on the opportunities and challenges for the U.S.-Mexico relationship.
About the Speakers
Ambassador Roberta S. Jacobson is a Senior Advisor at ASG, where she draws on more than 30 years of distinguished diplomatic experience to advise clients of the firm’s Americas practice.
Most recently, Ambassador Jacobson served as Special Assistant to President Joseph R. Biden and coordinator for the Southwest border on the National Security Council. From 2016 to 2018, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, where she oversaw the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship and managed a broad array of issues, including trade and investment, security and immigration, the environment, and human rights.
Previously, she was Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Canada, Mexico and NAFTA; Director of the State Department’s Office of Mexican Affairs; and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Peru. In the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, she also served as Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination and as coordinator for Cuban affairs. Earlier in her career, she worked at the United Nations’ Center for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs.
Ambassador Jacobson was a Fall 2018 Pritzker Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago. She is regularly interviewed on Latin American business and politics in outlets including Axios, CNN, NBC, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Reuters, and The Washington Post.
Ambassador Jacobson holds an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a B.A. from Brown University. She is fluent in Spanish.
She is based in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Carlos Pérez Verdía is an economist with over 25 years’ experience in economic and public finance analysis.
In the Mexican public sector, he has had notable experience in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Undersecretary for North America and as Chief Advisor to the Chancellorship. At the Office of the President of the Republic, he served as Chief Advisor, and he participated in the operations area of the Bank of Mexico.
On the international stage, he served as an Executive Director in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), representing Mexico, Central America, Spain, and Venezuela.
In the private sector, he currently holds the position of Senior Advisor at Infraestructura México and is a member of the National Committee for Economic Studies at the Mexican Finance Executives’ Institute (IMEF).
He studied Economics at the Iberoamerican University and earned a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago, where he also taught macroeconomics courses.
About the Moderator
Dr. Roberto Dondisch is an international negotiator and strategist, former Diplomat and chief negotiator to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, UN SDGs, and the Arms Trade Treaty. Roberto Dondisch has worked in Government, NGO, academia, International Organizations and the private sector.
Living currently in Seattle, WA, where he previously served as Head Consul of Mexico, he is a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson center, Business Growth Lead at SeaReal Investments Inc, and Principal at INTIVIS, where he consults on international political risk, cross-national investment and multilateral processes.
Dr. Dondisch served as Director-General (Assistant-Secretary) for Global Issues within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, and Chief Negotiator of Mexico for the Paris Climate Change Agreement, where he presided the negotiations on cycles and future commitments for mitigation. He also headed negotiations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and facilitated the outcome document of the 1st United Nations Environmental Assembly.
Roberto was Mexico’s Chief Negotiator for the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), where he facilitated the section on Diversion, and coordinated various groupings of progressive and affected countries. He first started working on the ATT as an NGO member, co-founding the Latin-American coalition Against Armed Conflict (CLAVE). Before that, he served as Special Advisor for International Security, General Coordinator for the Youth-20 Summit, Deputy Coordinator of the COP-16/CMP-6 climate meetings in Cancun and focal point for the Mexican participation as elected member of the UN Security Council.
Mr. Dondisch holds a PhD and Master of Arts in International Studies (Johns Hopkins SAIS); a Master of Science in Foreign Service (Georgetown University) and a Licenciatura in International Relations (Universidad Iberoamericana). He has authored diverse books and articles on political risk, drug and arms trafficking, security and democratic governance and has taught at various Universities.