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Ambassador Wayne Promotes Public Private Partnerships and Educational Exchanges at COMEXUS Gala

Ambassador and Comexus members

Ambassador Wayne Promotes Public Private Partnerships and Educational Exchanges at COMEXUS Gala

Mexico, D.F., December 13, 2012 — U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne attended the United States-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (COMEXUS) gala on December 12. The event brought together hundreds of former Fulbright-Garcia Robles scholars as well as government officials, and featured the first annual recognition award for distinguished Fulbright alumni, bestowed upon Javier Treviño Cantú, a former Undersecretary at Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations and currently federal deputy from the State of Nuevo León. Javier Treviño was the founding President of the Fulbright and Fulbright-Garcia Robles alumni association, a member of the COMEXUS Board of Directors and has been a strong supporter throughout his career of COMEXUS goals of fostering education exchanges. 

Ambassador Wayne said, “Many of you here tonight are a part of the very special cadre of scholars and educational ambassadors we call Fulbrighters. As you made use of the unique opportunity to study, teach, conduct research and exchange ideas, you have built bridges and strong bonds.  Tonight we invite you to continue building bridges that connect to the next generation of Fulbrighters by partnering with the program to help take it to a new level.”

Noting that it was his first public event, Fernando Serrano Migallón, Undersecretary of Advanced Education and Scientific Research said, “Our countries have much to win with a strategic partnership. The governments and the universities of our two countries play a paramount role to this end.”

Honoree Javier Treviño stated, “Education and cultural exchanges are a key tool to get beyond old and new stereotypes on both sides of the border… Presidents Peña Nieto and Obama wish to leave behind a legacy of more mutual understanding between both countries. To fulfill that higher goal, they will have to give special priority to education cooperation, including a massive scholarship program.”

Among the alumni was Rafael Fernandez de Castro, Chief of the International Studies Department at ITAM, who recognized the efforts of Ambassador Wayne and the U.S. Embassy for enhancing the bilateral academic relationship and referred to the Ambassador as “the ambassador of education”.

The Fulbright program began in Mexico over fifty years ago. Since then it has created a legacy of contributions and influence across a wide range of fields. It was in 1990, however, that the governments of Mexico and the United States partnered to create what has become a landmark in the bilateral relationship:  the Fulbright-García Robles scholarships, managed by COMEXUS and named after two great leaders - the honorable U.S. Senator Willliam J. Fulbright and Mexican Ambassador Emeritus and Nobel Prize winner Alfonso García Robles.

Ambassador Wayne added, “Fulbright has been vital in building bilateral expertise in education.  Prominent scholars have committed their post-Fulbright careers to building academic exchange. There is no better way to impact lives and build people-to-people ties than through educational exchanges.  I hope many of you will step up and make your mark for future generations.  I look forward to working closely with you to build bridges that support the next generation of Fulbright leaders.”

The Fulbright-Garcia Robles scholarships are financed by the governments of the United States and Mexico. Additional funds are contributed by private donors, making it possible to offer more scholarships.  Since its inception, over 4,500 Mexican and U.S. grantees have benefited. The U.S. Government’s contribution to the Fulbright-Garcia Robles program is part of President Obama’s 100,000 Strong initiative that seeks to increase the number of U.S. students in Latin America and Latin American students in the United States.