Nov. 1, 2007 by Bob Nosbisch NMSU News Center
New Mexico State University will launch its International Relations Institute at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the Physical Science Laboratory Auditorium on the NMSU main campus with major addresses from Marco Lopez, senior adviser to Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, and Ambassador Delano Lewis, the institute’s founder.
After opening remarks by NMSU President Michael Martin, Lopez will make a major speech on immigration and border issues. Then Lewis will discuss immigration reform and the institute’s role.
Lewis has served as U.S. ambassador to South Africa, president of National Public Radio, president and chief executive of the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co., attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, and on the legislative staffs of Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts and delegate Walter E. Fauntroy of the District of Columbia. Lewis also has worked with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission and has served with the Peace Corps in Nigeria and Uganda.
Only 29, Lopez has served as a Congressional page for U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor of Arizona, on Al Gore’s presidential campaign advance team, on Gore’s presidential campaign, twice as mayor of Nogales, Ariz., as Napolitano’s executive director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, and as Latin American policy adviser to Napolitano. He has since been promoted to senior adviser to the governor and vice chairman of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.
Later in the session, Ambassador Kenton Keith will speak on “The Middle East and Border Issues.” Keith became senior vice president of the Meridian International Center in late 1997 after a career as a foreign services officer with the U.S. Information Agency. At the time of his retirement, he directed the USIA’s Office of North African, Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, managing the budget, field operations and public diplomacy activities for the agency’s largest geographical bureau. Keith has served as ambassador to Qatar and in various posts in Cairo, Paris, Brazil and the Near East.
After Keith’s address, a panel consisting of Martin Brennan, former U.S. ambassador to Uganda; Sharon Wilkinson, former U.S. ambassador to Mozambique; and Vicente Valle, diplomat in residence at the University of New Mexico will discuss Africa border issues.
The International Relations Institute will be organized around a series of international centers. Two such centers that have been initiated are a Center for International Affairs and Diplomatic Studies and a Center for International Partnerships. Other centers may be added to the institute in the future.
Guiding the institute will be an advisory board of eminent international experts including Ambassador Keith; Julia Chang-Bloch, former U.S. ambassador to Nepal; Ambassador Brennan; Ralph Christy, professor of applied economics at Cornell University; Jeffrey Davidow, former U.S. ambassador to Mexico; Richard Emery, a former assistant director for budget review at the Office of Management and Budget; Nick Franklin, senior principal with Public Affairs Dimensions; former Congressman and U.S. Secretary of Housing Jack Kemp; Margery Krause, president of APCO Worldwide; Ken Lehman, managing partner of the KKP Group; C. Payne Lucas, past president of AFRICARE; Princeton Lyman, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa; Charles Manatt, former U.S. ambassador to Dominican Republic; Tom McDonald, former U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe; Edward Perkins, former ambassador to the United Nations and South Africa; Tom Tate, former contracting executive for FLUOR Corp.; Diplomat in Residence Valle; and Ambassador Wilkinson.
Several of these board members are expected to attend the institute’s launch.