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SMU MISSION FOODS TEXAS-MEXICO CENTER CELEBRATES OFFICIAL OPENING WITH DINNER, INAUGURAL SYMPOSIUM

April 6, 2017

DALLAS (SMU) – This week marks the official opening of the SMU Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center, an action-oriented, research policy center looking to understand and explore the dynamic political, cultural, economic and business relationship between Texas and Mexico. The center is celebrating its opening with a private dinner April 6 and the center’s first annual symposium from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 7.

Geronimo Gutierrez
Geronimo Gutierrez

The symposium will feature a keynote luncheon address from Geronimo Gutierrez, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States.

“The center will help shape important regional and national conversations on topics such as education, trade and energy – topics that impact our communities every day,” said Luisa del Rosal, founding executive director of the center. “As a research policy center, it is a place not of rhetoric, but of facts and idea sharing. Our unique mission will influence policy questions and carry out the critical goals of engaging and mentoring our next generation of leaders.”

The Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center is part of the Dedman College of Humanities and Science, in partnership with the Cox School of Business. It is a sister center to Dedman College’s John G. Tower Center for Political Studies.

“The Texas-Mexico economic integration under NAFTA is one of the great global success stories of the past 20 years,” said Albert Niemi, Dean of SMU’s Cox School of Business. “The SMU Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center will provide great research opportunities for Cox students and faculty.”

The Center was made possible by a $4 million gift from GRUMA-Mission Foods.

Friday’s symposium will include five panels from each featuring a Texas expert and a Mexico expert discussing one of the Center’s five focus areas of the cross-border relationship: trade and Investment, Mexico’s energy reform, immigration, border issues, and human capital and education. The panels will run from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

The symposium will conclude with keynote luncheon featuring Geronimo Gutierrez at 12:15 p.m.  Gutierrez was appointed Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States in January. The panels and luncheon will be held at the Meadows Museum on SMU’s campus.

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The Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center is an action-oriented, research policy center looking to understand and explore the dynamic political, cultural, economic and business relationship between Texas and Mexico. The center focuses on the following key areas of research and policy: border issues, energy, human capital and education, immigration and trade.

Mission Foods is a leading manufacturer of tortilla products in the United States. Headquartered in Texas, it is the US subsidiary of Mexican company GRUMA, the world’s leading tortilla manufacturer. In 2016, Mission Foods made a commitment to establish the Texas-Mexico Center at SMU, the first one of its kind, dedicated to the research and promotion of public policy initiatives between Mexico and Texas.