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Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, COMEXUS Launch Mexico Studies Chair at UC San Diego

Fulbright-Garcia Robles scholar will join USMEX fellows program for 2017-2018 academic year

Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies fellows program

The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies fellows program is entering its 35th year. (Photo courtesy of the School of Global Policy and Strategy)

To help promote cooperation between educational institutions in the United States and Mexico, the UC San Diego Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies (USMEX) co-launches the Mexico Studies Chair, hosting a Fulbright-Garcia Robles scholar to research and teach on campus.

The Mexico Studies Chair at UC San Diego will be complemented with the newly launched U.S. Studies Chair at the University of Guadalajara, in Mexico. The awards are jointly funded by each government through the Mexico-U.S. Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange, or COMEXUS.

Marking the start of a five-year partnership, the visiting scholars will be selected from an open, competitive process administered by COMEXUS and reviewed by USMEX. The selected researcher will work with students, faculty, experts in public policy and key officials to cultivate knowledge and education in topics concerning Mexico and bilateral relations.

Melissa Floca

(center) USMEX interim director Melissa Floca and School of Global Policy and Strategy board members in Mexico City. (Photo by Christopher Gagne)

“The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies is privileged to engage in research on Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico relationship from our location on the border, and we look forward to welcoming top scholars from Mexico to our unique cross-border community,” said USMEX interim director Melissa Floca. “In addition, each Fulbright-Garcia Robles scholar will also participate in the USMEX fellows program, which is entering its 35th year.”

USMEX has one of the largest residential fellowship programs in the U.S. for research on Mexico, receiving more than 650 academics at UC San Diego to date. Each year, USMEX brings together fellows from the social sciences and related fields to engage with students, faculty and the larger San Diego cross-border community.

COMEXUS is a binational organization founded in 1990 by a signed agreement between the U.S. and Mexico governments. Through the Fulbright-Garcia Robles fellowships, COMEXUS supports students, professors and researchers from both countries in their postgraduate research and professional teaching programs. The group’s mission is to foster a bilateral understanding through educational and cultural exchange.

COMEXUS has awarded more than 3,500 Mexican and U.S. citizens with Fulbright-Garcia Robles scholarships. The program currently consists of four host institutions for the U.S. Studies Chair in Mexico and two institutions for the Mexico Studies Chair in the U.S.

“We have overseen the Fulbright Program in Mexico since 1990, and launched both chair awards in 2016 to build stronger relationships and generate knowledge in topics that concern both the U.S. and Mexico,” said Hazel Blackmore, executive director of COMEXUS. “Both the University of Guadalajara and UC San Diego are key partners for continuing our scholarly programs on both sides of the border.”

The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies is a policy research institute based at the School of Global Policy and Strategy. Since 1979, it has been the go-to source for serious academic research on Mexico and U.S.-Mexico relations, informing the creation, implementation and evaluation of public policy.

Additionally, USMEX is an affiliate of University of California’s UC-Mexico Initiative. The initiative’s purpose is to create a sustained, strategic and equal partnership between the UC and institutions in Mexico to address common issues and educate the next generation of leaders.

Following the March announcement in Mexico City, the application process to select the first Fulbright-Garcia Robles Mexico Studies Chair at UC San Diego will commence, closing May 16. After initial review by COMEXUS and USMEX, the selection will be passed to the Fulbright Foreign Selection Board for final approval.

The anticipated first Mexico Studies Chair at UC San Diego scholar will be confirmed for the 2017-2018 academic year. Following the initial five-year term, leaders from each institution will have the opportunity to review and continue the collaborative commitment.