U.S.-Mexico Futures Forum 2017


August 26, 2017 

Group of people in front of a bay view


The U.S.–Mexico Futures Forum, jointly organized by the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of California, Berkeley and the International Studies Department at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), began almost fifteen years ago, bringing together social, intellectual and political leaders from both countries. Participants have ranged from those with extensive knowledge of the region to those who bring fresh perspectives.


United States

  • Harley Shaiken, Professor, UC Berkeley; Chair, Center for Latin American Studies
  • Ram Ramanathan, Professor, UC San Diego; Director, Center for Atmospheric Sciences
  • Maria Echaveste, Senior Scholar, CLAS; White House Deputy Chief of Staff, 1998-2001
  • Steve Silberstein, Entrepreneur
  • Beatriz Manz, Professor, UC Berkeley; Anthropologist and scholar of Central America
  • Chris Edley, Professor, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary and Chief Officer, California Labor Federation
  • Gordon Hanson, Professor and Acting Dean, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego
  • C.R. Hibbs, Principal, C.R. Hibbs LLC; Former Senior Advisor, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Stephanie Leutert, Director, Mexico Security Initiative, Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, University of Texas at Austin
  • Pete Gallego, U.S. Representative, Texas, 2013-2015; Member, Texas House of Representatives, 1991-2013
  • Linda Sánchez, U.S. Congresswoman, California; Vice-Chair, Democratic Caucus, U.S. House of Representatives
  • James Cavallaro, Professor, Stanford Law School; Commissioner and Former President, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights


  • Rafael Fernández de Castro, Professor, ITAM
  • Gerardo Esquivel, Professor of Economics, UNAM
  • Soffía Alarcón-Díaz, Director, The Carbon Trust, Mexico
  • Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, Former Mayor, Mexico City
  • Amalia García, Secretary of Labor, Mexico City
  • Juan Pardinas, Director, Mexican Institute for Competitiveness
  • Paola Rojas, Television Presenter, Televisa
  • Yulma Rocha Aguilar, Congresswoman, Guanajuato, Mexico

Articles from this Conference

A photo of U.S.–Mexico Futures Forum participants in the field: a visit to Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico, in 2011.  From center to right: Harley Shaiken, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, and Gil Cedillo. (Photo by Dionicia Ramos.)

U.S.-MEXICO FUTURE FORUM: 15 Years of Engagement

By Harley Shaiken | Looking at the 15-year history of the U.S.–Mexico Futures Forum.

A photo of Ram Ramanathan and Soffía Alarcón-Díaz confer before the start of the panel on climate change at the 2017 U.S.–Mexico Futures Forum. (Photo by Perla Nation.)

U.S.–MEXICO FUTURE FORUM: Collaborating for Our Common Future

By James Gerardo Lamb | An overview of issues facing both Mexico and the United States, including inequality, globalization, and political instability.

A damaged coastal amusement park seen from an aerial tour of Hurricane Sandy damage to New Jersey’s barrier beaches, November 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert.)

U.S.–MEXICO FUTURES FORUM: Climate Change: Existential Threats in a Time of Denial

By James Gerardo Lamb | Ram Ramanathan and Soffía Alarcón-Díaz lead a conversation on the moral obligation to combat the threats climate change poses to both Mexico and the United States.

A woman holds a photo of her husband, one of “Los Otros de Iguala,” the other disappeared whose cases have gained new attention. (Photo by Dario Lopez-Mills/AP Photo.)

U.S.–MEXICO FUTURES FORUM: Macro Trends: Security, Violence, and Migration

By James Gerardo Lamb | Highlights of a conversation on crises of violence and human rights, including forced northern migration from Central America and the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa.

A Chinese container ship in San Francisco Bay: NAFTA negotiators failed to take into account the explosive growth of China’s economy. (Photo by Thomas Hawk.)

U.S.–MEXICO FUTURES FORUM: On the Table: NAFTA, Wages, and Development

By James Gerardo Lamb | The panel engages in discussion and examination of the effectiveness of NAFTA, inequality and wages.

A young girl hauls away family possessions though deep mud after a flood in Honduras. (Photo by Globovision.)

U.S.–MEXICO FUTURES FORUM: Fleeing the Storms

By Stephanie Leutert | An explanation of the link between climate change and the northward migration of certain Central American populations.