Conference Speakers

Senator Sam Nunn

Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn is co-chair of NTI. He served as chief executive officer of NTI for 16 years, until June 2017, and continues to bring his deep experience and expertise to our projects. He served as a U.S. Senator from Georgia for 24 years, from 1972 to 1996.
In addition to his work with NTI, Nunn has continued his service in the public policy arena as a distinguished professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech and as chairman emeritus of the board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.
Nunn attended Georgia Tech, Emory University and Emory Law School, where he graduated with honors in 1962. After active duty service in the U.S. Coast Guard, he served six years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He first entered politics as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives in 1968.
During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Nunn served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He also served on the Intelligence and Small Business Committees. His legislative achievements include the landmark Department of Defense Reorganization Act, drafted with the late Senator Barry Goldwater, and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which provided assistance for more than 20 years to Russia and the former Soviet republics for securing and destroying their excess nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

General Stephen W. Wilson

Gen. Stephen W. “Seve” Wilson is Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Va. As Vice Chief, he presides over the Air Staff and serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group. He assists the Chief of Staff with organizing, training, and equipping of 670,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas.

Gen. Wilson received his commission from Texas A&M University in 1981. He’s had multiple flying tours, and led bomber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, mobility, aeromedical evacuation and airborne command and control operations supporting operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. General Wilson has also held numerous command positions, including the Joint Functional Component Commander for Global Strike and Air Force Global Strike Command. General Wilson is a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours and 680 combat hours. Prior to his current assignment, the general was Deputy Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.


Alan M. Kraut

Alan M. Kraut is University Professor of History and an affiliate faculty member of the School of International Service. He is also a Non-resident Fellow of the Migration Policy Institute. Currently, he is the President of the Organization of American Historians, the largest professional organization of American historians. He specializes in U.S. immigration and ethnic history, the history of medicine in the U.S. and the American Civil War. He co-directs AU’s Civil War Institute. He is the prize-winning author or editor of nine books. Most recently he has co-edited Ethnic Historians and the Mainstream: Shaping the Nation’s Immigration Story (2013). His best known volumes include: Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the “immigrant Menace” (1994); The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921 (2nd ed. 2001); and Goldberger’s War: The Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader (2003). His research has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Institutes of Health. He is a frequent consultant on PBS and History Channel documentaries. He is the past president of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and currently chairs the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island History Advisory Committee. He is an elected fellow of the prestigious Society of American Historians and has been the recipient of AU’ Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award.



Theresa Cardinal Brown

Theresa Cardinal Brown is BPC’s director of immigration and cross-border policy. She came to BPC from her own consulting firm, Cardinal North Strategies, LLC.

Brown was director of immigration and border policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; associate director of business immigration advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association; and worked in the immigration practices of large Washington, D.C.-based law firms. She also served as a director and of counsel at The Sentinel HS Group, LLC.

She was a policy advisor in the office of the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and was on Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s Second Stage Review of USCIS. In 2005 and 2006, she became a member and later director of the Immigration Legislation Task Force in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Policy. She then served as the first DHS director of Canadian affairs, and subsequently as the first DHS attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.

Brown is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Delaware, with a degree in international relations and economics.


Edward Schumacher-Matos

Edward Schumacher-Matos comes to The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy with a unique background. Through his experience in digital media, international reporting, cross-cultural communication and migration research, Schumacher-Matos brings a deep understanding of today’s networked world. Since taking over in the fall of 2015, he has re-cast the center with cutting edge projects, teaching and research that follow in the forward-thinking tradition and integrity of Edward R. Murrow himself. He began his media career while a student at Fletcher, working nights on the foreign desk at The Boston Globe and as a reporter at the Quincy Patriot Ledger. He moved to Japan, where he was a prolific stringer for The Washington Post. He then joined The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he was part of a team to win a Pulitzer Prize covering the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. He moved to The New York Times, where he was the NYC economic development reporter and bureau chief in Buenos Aires and Madrid. After a stint as director of the Spanish Institute in New York, he joined The Wall Street Journal, where he became founding editor and associate publisher of The Wall Street Journal Americas. Schumacher-Matos left to start his own chain of four Spanish-language dailies in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley. His record of journalistic excellence and ethics led him to being selected as ombudsman at NPR. Schumacher-Matos has been the Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor in Latin American Studies at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he taught on immigration policy. At Harvard, he also was a Shorenstein Fellow on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and founder and director of the Migration and Integration Studies Program. He became the James Madison Visiting Professor on First Amendment Issues at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he taught digital strategy and courses on reporting and international news analysis. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of IE University Graduate School of Business in Madrid and of the Latin America Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He is active in the Council on Foreign Relations and in the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.


Jon Barela

As the Chief Executive Officer of The Borderplex Alliance, Jon Barela will build on the successes and inroads The Borderplex Alliance has made in the last three years by unifying our region, creating new jobs, and elevating The North American Borderplex to national and international audiences. Previously, Jon Barela served as New Mexico’s Economic Development Cabinet Secretary. Jon brings a unique set of experience to The Borderplex Alliance having served in the public sector, as a Fortune 100 company executive, and as a small business owner.
During his tenure as cabinet secretary, he led unprecedented efforts to develop and attract investments to the North American Borderplex and exponentially increased trade with Mexico. New Mexico became a national leader in export growth; this includes quadrupling exports from New Mexico to Mexico and doubling the international exports from the time he took office. According to the United States Department of Commerce, New Mexico became the number one state in export expansion and export – related job creation. As a result of these trade initiatives, more than 16,000 jobs were added in the state. His efforts to improve the business climate also led to private-sector job growth reaching its highest level in nearly a decade and New Mexico’s unemployment rate dropping 2.5 percentage points.
Jon Barela is a native of the North American Borderplex, born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico. After graduating from Las Cruces High School, Barela received an international relations degree with honors from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.


Robert S. Ford

Robert S. Ford is currently a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, where he writes about developments in the Levant and North Africa.

Ford retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2014, after serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014. In this role, Ford was the State Department lead on Syria, proposing and implementing policy and developing common strategies with European and Middle Eastern allies to contain and try to resolve the Syria crisis.

Prior to this, Ford was the deputy U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2008 to 2010, and also served from 2006 until 2008 as the U.S. ambassador to Algeria, where he boosted bilateral education and rule of law cooperation.

In 2014, he received the Secretary’s Service Award, the U.S. State Department’s highest honor. He also received in April 2012 from the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston the annual Profile in Courage Award for his stout defense of human rights in Syria.


U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, a 12th-generation New Mexican, has dedicated her life to serving her community, fighting for seniors and veterans, and building an economy that works for all New Mexicans. Serving her third term representing New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, Rep. Lujan Grisham was recently chosen by her colleagues to serve as chairwoman of the prestigious Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Rep. Lujan Grisham serves on the Budget Committee and Agriculture Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. She passed legislation to help local tribes, public schools and pay for training for law enforcement. She also took on the VA to increase veterans’ access to health care, convinced the Social Security Administration to hire more judges, and held bureaucrats accountable for cleaning up a jet-fuel spill that threatened Albuquerque’s drinking water.

Prior to serving in Congress, Lujan Grisham served as a cabinet secretary for three different New Mexico governors – overseeing the Department of Aging & Long-Term Services and the Department of Health. She also started her own small business and was elected as a Bernalillo County Commissioner.

U.S. Representative Steve Pearce

Steve Pearce graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from New Mexico State University and an MBA from Eastern New Mexico University. During the Vietnam War, Steve served as a combat pilot, flying over 518 hours of combat flight and 77 hours of combat support. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Air Medals, as well as seven other military medals and four exceptional service awards. Steve continued service at Blytheville Air Force Base in Arkansas, and attained the rank of Captain.
In addition to his firsthand knowledge of the military and its importance to America, Steve is a respected small-businessman who thoroughly understands the economic issues facing our country. He and his wife Cynthia long owned and operated Lea Fishing Tools, an oilfield services company in Hobbs.
In 1996, Steve was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives, where he served until 2000. In 2002, Steve was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served until 2009. With the retirement of Senator Pete Domenici, many New Mexicans were concerned about the loss of a strong conservative voice representing New Mexico in the Senate. Steve again answered the call to serve by leaving the House and running for U.S. Senate. His bid was ultimately unsuccessful, but in 2009, amidst an economic crisis, the passage of the President’s healthcare bill, and expansion of government regulation, Steve decided to again run for Congress.
Steve was appointed by his peers to serve on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Natural Resources. He continues to serve as chairman emeritus of the Congressional Western Caucus. Steve is working tirelessly to ensure the voices of New Mexicans are heard, helping to create jobs in southern New Mexico, and fighting for the liberty of all Americans.

Kristen Soltis Anderson

Kristen Soltis Anderson

Kristen Soltis Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) is co-founder and partner at Echelon Insights, an opinion research, data analytics and digital intelligence firm. She is also the author of The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up), and is a columnist at The Daily Beast and co-host of the weekly polling podcast, The Pollsters.

Anderson served as a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics during 2014. She previously served as vice president of the Winston Group, a Washington D.C.-based opinion research and political communications firm where she spent eight years studying emerging trends in politics and policy.

In 2013, she was named one of Time magazine’s “30 under 30 Changing the World,” National Journal magazine’s “25 Most Influential Women in Washington Under 35” and one of Marie Claire magazine’s “New Guard” of the 50 most connected rising female leaders.

Anderson has a master’s in government from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Florida.

James Carville

James Carville

James Carville (@JamesCarville) is America’s best-known political consultant. His long list of electoral successes evidences a knack for steering overlooked campaigns to unexpected landslide victories and for re-making political underdogs into upset winners.

His most prominent victory was in 1992, when he helped William Jefferson Clinton win the presidency. In recent years, Carville has not been a paid political consultant for any domestic politicians or candidates for office, instead focusing on campaigns in more than 20 countries around the globe.

Carville has also authored or co-authored eight New York Times best sellers. His most recent book, Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home, was co-authored by Carville’s wife of 24 years, Mary Matalin, and was released in 2014.

He also serves as a professor of practice at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he now resides.

Xochitl Torres Small

Xochitl Torres Small is a water attorney and former staffer for Sen. Tom Udall. After attending college, she returned home to work on then Rep. Tom Udall’s successful run for the Senate. Following his victory, she helped to set up his southern New Mexico district office, which was responsible for serving much of the current 2nd Congressional District. As a Field Representative for Sen. Udall, Xochitl worked on issues ranging from water conservation and infrastructure development to education and health care accessibility. Inspired by her work on water for Sen. Udall, Xochitl left his office to attend law school at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where she specialized in natural resources and conservation. Immediately after completing her degree, she clerked for a New Mexico federal judge with one of the heaviest criminal dockets in the country. Most recently, Xochitl has been practicing law at Kemp Smith focusing mostly on water law.