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The Mexico Initiative

Staff Contact:

Aberto Díaz-Cayeros
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Encina Hall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6055



The strategic importance of Mexico for California and the United States goes well beyond the traditional issues of security, migration and trade. With a common border extending 2,000 miles and bilateral trade of more than $300 billion per year, the U.S.-Mexico relationship is among the most complex bilateral relationships in the world. However, the relationship is not just about the continued flow of finance and people or the linkages created by licit and illicit trade. It extend into areas such as arts and culture, renewable energy, water resources, epidemiological threats, and demographic transitions. 

Stanford has had a long scholarly engagement with Mexico, both through its Mexican and Mexican origin students as well as a long engagement of its faculty in research projects involving Mexico. The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies is launching the Mexico initiative to broaden and deepen Stanford’s work and to take advantage of key opportunities to strengthen its programs of research, education and outreach in Mexico. The greater aim of the initiative is to make a significant contribution to the study of contemporary Mexico by leveraging Stanford University’s unconventional approach to development, and promoting innovative thinking linking science, technology, society and the humanities. 


The Mexico Initiative is hosted at the Freeman Spogli Institute, and works in partnership with the Center for Latin American Studies, the Bill Lane Center for the American West, and the Institute for Economic Policy Research.


The Mexico Initiative is working to promote and disseminate events and programs occurring in the campus. Some recent and upcoming events on Mexico at Stanford are highlighted below.

Please email us if you wish to have your event featured.

Upcoming Events




November 20, 2014

Securing Resources: Securing Futures in Mexico's Heritage Landscape

Stanford Archeology Center


Enrique Cabrero, Director of Mexico's National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT)

Freeman Spogli Institute


Stanford Looking South

Freeman Spogli Institute


The Institutional Architecture of Mexico’s Energy Sector

Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, FSI


Jose Antonio Gonzalez, director of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS)

Freeman Spogli Institute


Geronimo Gutierrez North American Development Bank Director

Bill Lane Center for the American West


Past Events




November 5, 2014

Stanford Community Vigil and Information Session

Center for Latin American Studies

November 5-8, 2014

Annual Summit

U.S.-Mexico FoCUS

October 24, 2014

Notas sobre la poesía de Octavio Páz with David Huerta

Center for Latin American Studies

October 6, 2014

"Retail Globalization and Household Welfare: Evidence from Mexico" with David Atkin

Department of Economics International Trade Workshop

June 1-2, 2014

Mexico Transboundary Water Issues

Bill Lane Center for the American West

April 28-28, 2014

Security, Police Reform and Social Fabric in Latin American Cities

Program on Poverty and Governance, CDDRL

March 14, 2014

Indigenous Histories of Colonial and Mexican California” with Lisbeth Haas

Center for Latin American Studies

March 12, 2014

Economic, Cultural, and Adaptationist Models of Technological Change in Colonial Mexico” with Enrique Rodriguez-Alegria

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Stanford Archaeology Center

February 3, 2014

From Maize to Haze: Agricultural Shocks and the Growth of the Mexican Drug Sector” with Oeindrila Dube

Department of Political Science Comparative Politics Workshop

January 9, 2014

Illegal Drug Markets and Violence in Mexico: The Causes Beyond Calderón” with Daniel Mejia Londoño

Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law Seminar Series

December 9, 2013

Nafta at Twenty

The Hoover Institution

December 6, 2013

The Drainage of Mexico City Lakes: Christianity, Technology, and Secularization in Colonial Mexico” with Ivonne el Valle

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures

December 2, 2013

Can a For Profit Microfinance Institution Stay True to Its Mission?” with Iván Mancillas and Alejandro Puente of Fundación Gentera and Banco Compartamos

Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Center for Global Business and the Economy

November 20, 2013

Territoriality and health governance in Mexico” with Alberto Diaz-Cayeros

Stanford Libraries Geospatial Center GIS Day 2013

November 14, 2013

State of the West Symposium

Co-Sponsored by the Bill Lane Center for the American West and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

November 6-9, 2013

Annual Summit, US-Mex FoCUS

U.S. - Mexico Forum for Cooperation, Understanding and Solidarity

November 5, 2013

Closeness and Gay Culture in Modern Mexico” with Michael Schuessler

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures

October 30, 2013

The Poetics of Protest and Policy: Poet and Activist Javier Sicilia on Peace Beyond the Drug War

Co-Sponsored by the Freeman Spogli Institute and the Institute for Diversity in the Arts

October 11, 2013

Can Contract Failures Foster Ethnic Assimilation? Evidence from Conicheal in Mexico” with Alberto Diaz-Cayeros

Center for Latin American Studies

October 4, 2013

Luis Buñuel: Treinta Años Ausente” with Jorge Ruffinelli

Center for Latin American Studies


Graduate Student Fellowships and Exchanges

Stanford supports several unique fellowship opportunities for international graduate students from Mexico:

  • Claudio X. Gonzalez Graduate Student Aid Fund: In the Graduate School of Education, the Claudio X. Gonzalez Graduate Student Aid Fund provides financial support through fellowships to ICE/IEAPA students who are citizens of Mexico.
  • Claudio X. Gonzalez Graduate Fellowship in Engineering
: In the School of Engineering, the fellowship aims to attract exceptional students from Mexico to Stanford and prepare them for leadership roles in society.
  • CONACYT Stanford Graduate Fellowships 
Established by CONACYT (Mexican National Council of Science and Technology) and Stanford University, this fellowship is designed to attract talented students from Mexico to pursue graduate study in engineering at Stanford. By doing so, the university and CONACYT plan to promote cooperation among scientists and scholars in the United States and Mexico and help enhance the quality of the relationship among people from the two countries.

In addition to these Stanford programs, the Fulbright-García Robles scholarship is a prestigious award administered by the Mexico-U.S. Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (COMEXUS), which seeks promote mutual understanding between the two countries through educational and cultural exchanges.

Undergraduate Engagement

The Freeman Spogli Institute and the Mexico Initiative provide funding and advising to the Forum for Cooperation Understanding and Solidarity (US-Mex FoCUS). FoCUS is a product of the collaborative effort of students at Stanford University and at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). Through this partnership, students from both universities are attempting to develop and strengthen a network of young leaders committed to improving the academic exchange between the United States and Mexico.


The Stanford University Press has published over 40 titles focused on Mexico. Below is a list of the books published by the Stanford UP since 2012: