USC Price School of Public Policy

USC Price signs MOU with Sonora, Mexico, promoting policy dialogue, joint research

May 5, 2017

USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott and Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich (bottom row) sign an MOU promoting policy discussions. (Photo by Deirdre Flanagan) More photos available on Flickr »

By Matthew Kredell

The USC Price School of Public Policy, through its Office of Global Engagement, established a memorandum of understanding with the Mexican state of Sonora that promotes policy dialogues between faculty and government leaders, leading to joint research on areas such as immigration, border trade, climate change, public health and sustainable development.

The USC Price School hosted the MOU signing ceremony on April 19 at Lewis Hall (Photo by Deirdre Flanagan).

Professor Eric Heikkila and Angela McCracken (second from right), director of USC’s Mexico office (Photo by Deirdre Flanagan)

Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich and Ernesto de Lucas Hopkins (center), Minister of Education of Sonora were among the attendees of the signing ceremony. (Photo by Deirdre Flanagan).

“This agreement with Sonora is an excellent opportunity to increase the Price School’s global impact, especially in a region that is so important to the U.S. politically and economically,” said Angela McCracken, director of USC’s Mexico office. “The Price School is engaging deeply with Mexico through consulting, research collaboration and training.”

A signing ceremony took place April 19 at USC featuring Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich, USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott, and Ernesto de Lucas Hopkins, Minister of Education of Sonora.

The agreement grew from separate initiatives launched by Mexico and the USC Price School.

The government of Mexico and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have called 2017 the Year of Mexico in Los Angeles, a collaboration of arts and cultural events. This is only the third time Mexico has collaborated in this kind of international initiative where it links to another place; the previous two were both countries (England and France).

The “Year of Mexico in Los Angeles” initiative focuses on one specific Mexican state each month. In April, the spotlight was placed on Sonora, which is one of Mexico’s 31 states and shares a U.S. border with Arizona and New Mexico.

At the USC Price School, Knott launched an initiative last year to establish a Latin America task force. Faculty participants made a set of recommendations around more systematic engagement with counterparts in Mexico, as well as better coordination by working with the consul general and others decision makers.

“Because it is the Year of Mexico in Los Angeles, they’re looking to bring more senior officials to L.A. and link to USC broadly, and the Price School specifically,” said Professor Eric Heikkila, director of the Office of Global Engagement. “So we think that’s the perfect way to move forward on the recommendations of the Latin American task force.”

“This MOU is a gateway,” Heikkila added. “We all have a strong sense that there is a quite serious intent behind the establishment of this MOU. They were particularly interested in the range of policy questions for which the Price School has expertise.”