Mexico Center Visiting Scholars


The Mexico Center offers opportunities for outstanding young scholars from Mexico to research and engage in a public dialogue at Rice University and in Houston over the summer semester, through two distinct programs: The Mexico Center Young Visiting Scholars Program and The Puentes Consortium. The Center also hosts interested scholars during the fall or spring semesters.


Summer 2017 Young Visiting Scholars Call for Proposals

The Mexico Center welcomes outstanding young scholars to take part in its nonpartisan research and public dialogue. The objective of the YVS program is to offer opportunities for scholars at Mexican universities and research centers to conduct independent research on key Mexican and/or U.S.-Mexico policy issues at Rice University’s Baker Institute during the summer. For application guidelines, deadlines and relevant information, click here:


Fall 2016 Visiting Scholar

Camelia-Tigau-thumb.jpgCamelia Tigau, Ph.D., is a fall 2016 visiting scholar at the Baker Institute Mexico Center and a researcher at the Center for Research on North America at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. She is an expert in skilled migration and Mexican diaspora. She is the author of the books "Riesgos de la fuga de cerebros en México: construcción mediática, posturas gubernamentales y expectativas de los migrantes" (“Risks of Brain Drain in Mexico: Media Construction, Governmental Positions and Migrants’ Expectations”, México: CISAN-UNAM, 2013) and "Diplomacia en la era digital. La ayuda alimentaria como maniobra neoliberal" (“Diplomacy in the Digital Era. Food Aid as a Neoliberal Manoeuver”) (Mexico City: CISAN-UNAM/Cenzontle, 2009). At the Mexico Center, Tigau’s research project will be focused on migrant versus native skilled work in the U.S., specifically Mexican professionals in Texas.

Tigau received her doctorate in political and social sciences (2007) and her master’s in communications (2004) from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM). She has studied a diploma specialization course in international journalism given by the Schools of Journalism of Holland and Denmark (1999), and also did postdoctoral research on scientific diplomacy (2007-2009). 


Young Visiting Scholars Program

The Mexico Center Young Visiting Scholars Program funds an international academic visit for one professor or doctoral student from a university in Mexico, preferably outside of Mexico City proper, to conduct independent research on key Mexican and/or U.S.-Mexico policy issues at the Baker Institute.

Luis-Arriola-thumb.jpgLuis A. Arriola Vega, Ph.D., was the summer 2016 Mexico Center Young Visiting Scholar. During the academic year, he works as a researcher within the Migration Studies and Trans-border Processes Academic Group at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, (ECOSUR/ Campeche). His research interests include diverse dimensions of human mobility, as well as border studies. Arriola’s work at the Mexico Center focused on examining the impact of the Comprehensive Program for the Southern Border (Programa Integral de la Frontera Sur, PIFS), an initiative implemented in 2014 to enforce security while simultaneously protecting in-transit migrants in Mexico, with a particular interest on the mid-term public policy implications of this program for both Mexico and the United States. Research on PIFS is framed within a larger study that looks at the diverse and complex vulnerability issues Central American asylum applicants face during and after the process during their stay in southern Mexico.

Arriola’s dissertation work dealt with the history of a frontier community in northern Guatemala, next to Mexico. He has written about the experience of Central American migrants passing through Mexico’s southern border region, security and violence matters at the Guatemala-Mexico border, return migration from the U.S. to Tabasco and Campeche, and the experience of “multi-mobility” among populations of Guatemalan descent in Campeche. Arriola has done field work among rural populations in Guatemala and Mexico and, to a lesser extent, in the U.S. He teaches graduate-level courses on mobility, migration and border issues. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Florida and his M.A. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research.

Baker Institute publication: Mexico's Not-So-Comprehensive Southern Border Plan (08/05/2016)

Javier-Martinez-thumb.jpgJavier Martínez-Romero was the summer 2015 Mexico Center Young Visiting Scholar. During the academic year, he teaches graduate seminars in the economics of innovation and technology management at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ). Martínez-Romero is a member of a border studies research group at UACJ, for which he analyzes the impacts of public policy on science, technology and innovation on Mexico, with an emphasis on the U.S.-Mexico border. His work has been published in Innovation and Development and the International Journal of Technology and Globalisation.

Martínez-Romero has a Ph.D. in administration with concentration in technology management jointly conferred by Univerité du Québec à Montréal, HEC Montréal, McGill University and Concordia University; an M.Sc. in economics and technology management from Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana; and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez.

Baker Institute publication: Technology Transfer and Energy Reform in Mexico (04/28/2015)

Puentes Consortium Visiting Scholars

The Mexico Center also receives scholars through The Puentes Consortium, a binational group of universities from the U.S. and Mexico: the University of the Américas–Puebla; the University of Arizona; the University of Monterrey; Rice University; the University of California, San Diego; and the Tecnológico de Monterrey. These universities fund the exchange of faculty members and Ph.D. students (or equivalent) between the members of the consortium.

Fernando-Chinchilla-thumb_jpg.jpgFernando A. Chinchilla, Ph.D., was a summer 2015 Puentes Visiting Scholar at the Baker Institute Mexico Center and an associate professor at the Universidad de Monterrey’s (UDEM) Department of Social Sciences. Chinchilla is also founder and director of UDEM’s Centro de Política Comparada y Estudios Internacionales; an associate member of the laboratory Les Afriques dans le Monde (attached to the Institut d’études politiques in Bordeaux, France); a member of the Université de Montréal’s Réseau francophone de recherche sur les opérations de paix; and a member of the Scientific Committee at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú’s Laboratorio de Criminología Social y Estudios sobre la Violencia. His research focuses on conflict resolution, i.e., peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building, democratization processes and war-to-peace transitions in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Chinchilla was a visiting scholar for the Political Studies Program at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in Ecuador between 2010 and 2012, and for the Political Science Department at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia in 2007. He has also been a post-doctoral researcher at the Universidad de Salamanca’s Instituto de Iberoamérica; a FQRSC postdoctoral fellow for the government of Quebec between 2009 and 2011; and an International Development Research Centre doctoral fellow for the government of Canada between 2004 and 2005. In 2014, he won the University of Monterrey’s Research Award in social sciences.

As a consultant, he has collaborated with the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and the Organization of American States (OAS) Good Offices Mission in Colombia and Ecuador. In 2009, he was an OAS short-term observer in Ecuador; in 2011, he integrated the European electoral observation mission in Nicaragua.

Chinchilla received a Ph.D. in political science from the Université de Montréal.

Baker Institute publication: Border: An Epidemic of Violence (09/17/2015)


Adrian Duhalt, Ph.D., was a summer 2014 Puentes Visiting Scholar at the Baker Institute Mexico Center. He is also an associate professor at Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), where his teaching focuses on economic geography, corporate strategy and energy issues in North America. His main research at the Mexico Center is related to energy dynamics in North America (shale gas development in the United States and Mexico’s energy reform) and their effect on petrochemical value chains, agricultural productivity and food dependency in Mexico. Duhalt has spoken about energy issues at various conferences and events in the U.S., Mexico and Panama. Prior to joining UDLAP in 2013, he completed his Ph.D. in economic geography at the University of Sussex. His thesis analyzes the main political economy drivers that shaped the development of the petrochemical industry in Mexico over the last few decades. For his conceptual and empirical contributions, he received the Best Ph.D. Thesis Award from the Economic Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers in 2012.

Baker Institute publication: Energy Reform and Autos in Mexico (06/25/2015)


 Juan Carlos Gachúz, Ph.D., is a full time professor at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla. He has been awarded the Ford-Hewlett-MacArthur scholarship, the University of Essex-CONACYT scholarship and the Alfonso Caso Award (UNAM). From 2012 to 2013, he was a Rajawali Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance at Harvard University. He was director of the B.A. program in international relations at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, campus Puebla and worked later as a postgraduate director at the same Institution. He has been a visiting professor at postgraduate level to the University of Monaco. He teaches International Security Issues and International Political Economy his research interests are geopolitics and theories of Globalization. He is author or coeditor of five books, including “BRICS the New Agenda” (2013), “Chinese Foreign Policy and Cooperation” (2014) and “China-Latin America: A relationship in transition” (2015). He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in international relations from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in government from the University of Essex, England.

Baker Institute publication: Globalization and Organized Crime: Challenges for International Cooperation (07/06/2016)

Elizabeth-Salamanca-thumb.jpgElizabeth Salamanca, Ph.D., was a summer 2016 and summer 2015 Puentes Visiting Scholar at the Baker Institute Mexico Center and a professor at the School of Business and Economics at the University of the Americas Puebla (UDLAP). She is also a visiting professor at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, teaching the course “Doing Business in Emerging Markets.” Her research interests include organizational culture and migration issues.

Salamanca chaired UDLAP’s Department of International Business Administration from August 2010 through June 2014. Before that, she was a professor at UDLAP’s Department of International Business Administration, specializing in marketing, Latin American markets and cross-cultural management. In 2005 she obtained a UDLAP award for best professor.

Salamanca edited and co-authored the book “International Management Perspectives” and authored the book “Human Resources Strategies in the Restaurant Industry: Overcoming Institutional Voids in Latin American Emerging Markets.”

She has doctorate in social and economic sciences from the Johannes Kepler University-Linz in Austria; an MBA jointly conferred by the University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain), the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Nantes (France), and the University of Bradford (England); and a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from UDLAP.

Baker Institute publication: Entrepreneurial Migration Factors (11/18/2015)
Empresarios – A Bridge to Success: Migración empresarial de méxico hacia estados unidos (01/19/2016)