2018 Distinguished Speaker Series

For a second year, The Borderplex Alliance is proud to present our 2018 Distinguished Speaker Series.  The Series brings internationally recognized leaders to the North American Borderplex to discuss the most relevant issues impacting the U.S.-Mexico Border. The 2017 Series began with a presentation from Alejandra de la Vega Foster, Secretary of Innovation and Economic Development for the State of Chihuahua, and continued with a visit from U.S. Senator John Cornyn (TX).

2018 Speakers


November 8th, 2018

Dr. Antonia Novello

former Surgeon General of the United States  

Dr. Novello served as America's top medical official from 1990 to 1993. Appointed by President George H. W. Bush, Dr. Novello is the first woman and first Hispanic to hold the position. A pediatrician by training, Dr. Novello also served as Deputy Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and served more than 15 years at the National Institutes of Health.

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September 19th, 2018

Mark B. Grier

Vice Chairman, Prudential Financial, Inc.  

Mark B. Grier, oversees the Finance, Risk Management, Chief Investment, Corporate Actuarial, Global Business and Technology Solutions, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Global Marketing and Communications functions. In addition, Grier leads Global Strategic Initiatives, which oversees Prudential’s international retirement and China strategies.

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August 15th, 2018

Former President of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo

Ernesto Zedillo is the Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization; Professor in the Field of International Economics and Politics; Professor of International and Area Studies; and Professor Adjunct of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University.

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Honorable Joe Straus

April 9, 2018

Honorable Joe Straus

Speaker of the Texas House and Texan of the Year

We are proud to present the Honorable Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House and Texan of the Year as our first Distinguished Speaker of 2018. Joe Straus has promoted economic development, improving education, increasing budget transparency, and securing the resources and infrastructure needed for private-sector growth. 

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Thank You to Our Distinguished Speaker Sponsors


Special Thanks

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

John Hummer

Paso del Norte Health Foundation

Paso del Norte Foundation

Tracy Yellen


2017 Speakers

Alejandra de la Vega Foster

Alejandra de la Vega Foster

Secretary of Innovation and Economic Development for the State of Chihuahua


U.S. Senator John Cornyn

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (TX)