Tower Center Forum Event | Peña Nieto’s Debut: The First Days of the Mexican President

Thursday, September 12, 2013 (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
Location TBA (map)


The Honorable Antonio Garza, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (2002-2009)

JJarman_AGarzaPortraits_186_copyAntonio Garza serves as Counsel in the Mexico City office of White & Case LLP, one of the world’s leading global law firms with 38 offices in 26 countries. Additionally, Amb. Garza is Chairman of Vianovo Ventures, a management consultancy with a focus on cross-border business development.

Drawing on decades of high-profile, political, legal, and business experience, Garza serves as a strategic counselor to CEOs, investors, and entrepreneurs. He is acknowledged as one of the top experts on U.S.-Mexico relations and on the business and political environments of both nations.

Ambassador Garza currently serves as a director of Basic Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE: BAS), an oil and gas well services company, Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU), a rail based transportation company and MoneyGram (NYSE: MGI), a global money transfer company. Mr. Garza formerly served on the boards of BBVA Compass and the U.S. holding companies of BBVA (NYSE: BBVA).

Mr. Garza is a member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University, the Development Board of the University of Texas at Austin and Dean’s Council at the Harvard School of Public Health. The Ambassador is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a past recipient of the “Aguila Azteca” or Aztec Eagle, the Mexican government’s highest honor bestowed upon a foreign national.

From 2002 to 2009, Garza was the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Prior to that time, Mr. Garza served as chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, having been elected to statewide office in 1998. Mr. Garza is a past partner at Bracewell & Patterson (now Bracewell & Giuliani) and served as Secretary of State of the State of Texas and Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor of the State of Texas from 1994 to 1997, and as Cameron County Judge from 1988 to 1994.

Garza holds a BBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Southern Methodist University School of Law and has been honored as a distinguished alumnus at both institutions. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the District of Columbia Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Garza is married to Dr. Liz Beightler.


Duncan Wood, Director of the Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

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Duncan Wood is the Director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. For 17 years, Dr. Wood was a professor and the director of the International Relations Program at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City. He also held the role of researcher at the Centro de Derecho Económico Internacional (CDEI) at ITAM. He is a member of the Mexican National Research System (level 2), a member of the editorial board of Foreign Affairs Latinoamerica and has been an editorial advisor to Reforma newspaper. In 2007, he was a non‐resident Fulbright Fellow. Between 2007 and 2009, he was technical secretary of the Red Mexicana de Energia, a group of experts in the area of energy policy in Mexico. He has been a Senior Associate with the Simon Chair and the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. His research focuses on Mexican energy policy, including renewable energy, and North American relations. He studied in the UK and Canada, receiving his PhD in Political Studies from Queen’s University, Canada in 1996.


Lee Cullum, Senior Fellow, Tower Center

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Lee Cullum is host of CEO, KERA’s original monthly series of interviews with North Texas business leaders that airs on KERA television and radio.  She is also a commentator for Morning Edition on KERA-FM and contributes columns to The Dallas Morning News.  A veteran journalist, Lee was previously a commentator for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and All Things Considered on NPR. In addition, she was editor of the editorial page of the Dallas Times Heraldand host of Conversations, a series on KERA with major newsmakers. Lee also worked as a reporter, on-air moderator and executive producer of Newsroom on KERA.

Lee is a senior fellow of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at SMU and a fellow at the Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture. On the board of the Council on Foreign Relations for 10 years, she currently serves on the board of the American Council on Germany, the Pacific Council on International Policy, the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations and the Social Sciences Foundation benefitting the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the InterAmerican Dialogue, and serves on the advisory board of the International Programs Center at the University of Oklahoma.


Members, SMU students, faculty and staff please RSVP to tower@smu.edu.

If you are interested in joining the Tower Center Forum, please contact Luisa del Rosal at lmdelrosal@smu.edu.