Tony Payan, Ph.D., is the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and director of the Center for the United States and Mexico at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. He is also a professor of social sciences at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Between 2001 and 2015, Payan was a professor of political science at The University of Texas at El Paso.
Payan’s research focuses primarily on border studies, particularly the U.S.-Mexico border. His work centers largely on issues of borderlands as areas of habitation, including the various conditions that affect life in liminal spaces. This includes cross-border flows, both legal and illegal, of people and contraband, as well as border governance. He also researches problems affecting the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Payan has authored two books, “Cops, Soldiers and Diplomats: Understanding Agency Behavior in the War on Drugs” (2006) and “The Three U.S.-Mexico Border Wars: Drugs, Immigration and Homeland Security” (2016). He has also co-authored a book tentatively titled “Una Guerra Improvisada: Historias Personales y Política Pública en la Guerra contra las Drogas bajo la Administración de Felipe Calderón” (“An Improvised War: Personal Stories and Public Policy in the War on Drugs during the Felipe Calderón Administration”) (forthcoming). Additionally, he has co-edited the following books: 1) “Gobernabilidad e Ingobernabilidad en la Región Paso del Norte”(“Governance and Ungovernability in the North Paso Region,” 2004); 2) “Human Rights Along the U.S.-Mexico Border: Gendered Violence and Insecurity” (2009); 3) “De Soldaderas a Activistas: La mujer chihuahuense en los albores del Siglo XXI” (“From Soldaderas to Activist: The Chihuahuense Woman at the dawn of the XXI Century,” 2011); 4) “A War that Can’t Be Won: Binational Perspectives on the War on Drugs” (2013); 5) “Undecided Nation: Political Gridlock and the Immigration Crisis” (2014); 6) "Reforma Energética y Estado de Derecho en México,” (“The Rule of Law and Mexico’s Energy Reform,” 2016); 7) “The Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations: Strategic Foresight” (2020); and 8) “Binational Commons: Institutional Development and Governance on the U.S.-Mexico Border” (2020). He is currently working on another volume tentatively titled “El Estado de los partidos políticos y el futuro de la democracia en México” (“The State of Political Parties and the Future of Democracy in Mexico”) (forthcoming). In addition, he has authored numerous book chapters, monographies and journal articles.
Payan has served on several boards, including the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority in El Paso, Texas, and the Plan Estratégico de Juárez in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He is a member of the Greater Houston Partnership's Immigration Task Force and the Mexico Energy Task Force. He previously served as president of the Association of Borderlands Studies between 2009 and 2010.
Payan earned a B.A. in philosophy and classical languages from the University of Dallas and an MBA from the University of Dallas Graduate School of Management. He received a doctorate degree in international relations from Georgetown University in 2001.
Contact him at email@example.com or (713) 348-3762.
Two women, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and Sen. Xochitl Galvez, are leading a competitive presidential race, Center for the United States and Mexico Director Tony Payan says. “Will Mexico’s next president be a woman? I would say 99.9% probability, yes.”
Ahead of Mexico's presidential elections, the U.S. is predicted to tread lightly, Tony Payan told the Wall Street Journal. “On trade, energy, fentanyl and other issues, the U.S. will continue to pressure Mexico under the table."
In Juarez, newly arrived migrants aren't filling the abundance of open jobs because they don't plan to settle there — but a more permanent life may emerge as they await entry into the U.S., says Center for the United States and Mexico's Tony Payan.
Books and Book Chapters
"Bilateral Cooperation between Mexico and the United States on Information Exchange and Asset Recovery," in Essays in Honor of Professor Stephen T. Zamora: A Life Between Mexico and the United States, eds. Alfonso López de la Osa Escribano and James W. Skelton, Jr. (Houston: Arte Público Press, 2022).
- "Cooperación Bilateral en Materia de Intercambio de Información y Recuperación de Bienes entre México y Estados Unidos," in Políticas Públicas para la Prevención de Lavado de Dinero (Mexico City: Tirant lo Blanch, 2022).
- Políticas Públicas para la Prevención de Lavado de Dinero (Mexico City: Tirant lo Blanch, 2022).
- "As Luck Would Have It: Immigration Policy and Opportunistic Behavior in U.S. Border Bureaucracies," in Trump's Legacy in Migration Policy and Postpandemic Challenges for Biden, ed. Mónica Verea and Camelia Tigau (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2022). A preview of the book is available here.
- "Institutional Development and Governance on the U.S.-Mexico Border," in Binational Commons, eds. Tony Payan and Pamela L. Cruz (University of Arizona Press, 2020).
- "Actors, Strategic Fields, and Game Rules: Examining Governance at the U.S.-Mexico Border in the Twenty-first Century," in North American Borders in Comparative Perspective, eds. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera and Victor Konrad, (University of Arizona Press, 2020).
- "The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo," in Voting and Political Representation in America: Issues and Trends, ed. Mark Jones (ABC-Clio, 2020).
- "Reversal of Fortunes: Changes in the Public Policy Environment and Mexico’s Energy Reform," in Rebuilding the State Institutions: Challenges for Democratic Rule of Law in Mexico, eds. Juan Le Clercq and Jose Abreu Sacramento, (Springer, 2019).
- Estado de Derecho y Reforma Energética en México (Mexico City: Tirant lo Blanch, 2016).
- The Three U.S.-Mexico Border Wars: Drugs, Immigration, and Homeland Security (Praeger Security International, 2016).
- "Has Mexico’s Military Taken on Too Much Power?," The Dialogue, August 10, 2023.
"Tres Casos Para Entender la Nueva Relación de Justicia Entre México y Estados Unidos," Brújula Ciudadana, April 2023.
- "Un Nuevo Capítulo," Globalitika, January 2021.
- "Amid multiple crises, immigration cannot be forgotten," The Hill, January 14, 2021.
- "Mexico's Water Dispute With the U.S. Is a Symptom of Its Governance Crisis," World Politics Review, October 7, 2020.
- "Changing Minds: Understanding Collective Violence in the Southeastern US–Mexico Border from a Public Health Perspective," Journal of Borderlands Studies, January 6, 2017.
"U.S.-Mexico Relationship Suffers From Political Swings," Houston Chronicle, November 2, 2016.
- "How a Forgotten Border Dispute Tormented U.S.-Mexico Relations for 100 Years," Americas Quarterly, February 8, 2016.
- "Mexican Politics Could Constrain U.S. Influence on Security," Houston Chronicle, May 1, 2013.
- "Chavez's Death Offers U.S. a Chance to Foster Change," Houston Chronicle, March 6, 2013.
- "Eventual Immigration Reform Details Will Determine Success," Houston Chronicle, February 7, 2013.