Conference Speakers

Senator Richard G. Lugar

Former United States Senator Richard G. Lugar is the President of The Lugar Center, a non-profit organization focusing on global food security, WMD nonproliferation, aid effectiveness, and bipartisan governance. Senator Lugar serves as a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar at the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University. He also serves as a distinguished faculty member in the Department of History and Political Science and leads the Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders at the University of Indianapolis.

A fifth generation Hoosier who left the United States Senate as the longest serving member of Congress in Indiana history, Senator Lugar is recognized as a gifted local and state leader, as well as a respected national and international statesman. During his tenure in the United States Senate, he exercised leadership on critical issues such as food security, nuclear non-proliferation, energy independence, and free trade.

Senator Lugar graduated first in his class at both Shortridge High School in Indianapolis and Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He attended Pembroke College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, studying politics, philosophy and economics. Lugar volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1957, ultimately serving as an intelligence briefer for Admiral Arleigh Burke, chief of Naval Operations.

Carlos Pascual

Mr. Carlos Pascual is the Senior Vice President for HIS Global Energy, focusing on global energy issues and international affairs. ​As the U.S. energy envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, Pascual established and directed the new Energy Resources Bureau at the State Department and was senior advisor to the Secretary of State on energy issues. He had previously been U.S. Ambassador to both Mexico and Ukraine and was special assistant to the President for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council. At the Brookings Institution, Pascual served as both vice president and director of foreign policy studies and launched the Brookings Energy Security Initiative. He taught and wrote on energy geopolitics at Columbia University. Pascual created the position of coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization, establishing the State Department’s first civilian response capacity to conflicts. He also was the State Department’s coordinator for U.S. assistance to Europe and Eurasia. From 1995 through 2000, Pascual served as special assistant to the President and successively as director and then senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia at the National Security Council. Pascual has also held leadership roles at the U.S. Agency for International Development, including as deputy assistant administrator for Europe and Eurasia, chief of policy and strategy for Africa and in field postings in Mozambique, South Africa and Sudan. Pascual received his Masters of Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University

NOTE:  Although committed to advancing the legacy of the Pete V. Domenici Institute by addressing policy issues shaping relations between the United States and Mexico, owing to circumstances far beyond his control Ambassador Pascual was unable to attend.

Jon Barela

Jon Barela is the Chief Executive Officer of The Borderplex Alliance, 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. As a result of these initiatives, more than 16,000 jobs were added in the state.

He began his career in public service as a senior aide to the late New Mexico Congressman Joe Skeen on the House Appropriations Committee, and he earned his law degree from Georgetown while working for Congressman Skeen.



Gov. Gary Locke

Gov. Gary Locke is an advisor and consultant for Davis Wright Tremaine. He consults with DWT’s domestic and international clients in several key areas, including:

• Trade, regulatory, and investment policy issues at the local, state, national, and international levels, and
• Providing guidance and direction on doing business in China and in the United States.

Governor Locke served as America’s 10th Ambassador to China, from 2011 – 2014. During his tenure in Beijing, he worked to open markets for U.S.-made goods and services; reduced wait times for visa interviews of Chinese applicants from 100 days to three days, and was instrumental in making accurate air quality information accessible to people living in China. From 2009 to 2011, Governor Locke served as the 36th Commerce Secretary, aggressively leading the effort to implement President Obama’s National Export Initiative to double American exports in five years, among other notable accomplishments. Prior to those positions, over the course of two terms and as the first Chinese-American Governor in the history of the United States, Governor Locke fostered robust and constructive economic relations between China and the state of Washington. He helped open doors for Washington businesses by leading productive trade missions to Asia, Mexico, and Europe, significantly expanding the sale of Washington products and services.

Eric Edelman

Ambassador Eric S. Edelman retired as a Career Minister from the U.S. Foreign Service on May 1, 2009. He is currently Counselor at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and the Roger Hertog Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is also the Miller Center for Public Policy’s James R. Schlesinger Professor for 2016 at the University of Virginia. In 2010, he served on the Congress’s Independent Panel to review the Quadrennial Defense Review and in 2013-2014 he served on the National Defense Panel.

Ambassador Edelman has served in senior positions at the Departments of State and Defense as well as the White House where he led organizations providing analysis, strategy, policy development, security services, trade advocacy, public outreach, citizen services and congressional relations. As the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (August 2005 – January 2009) he oversaw strategy development as DoD’s senior policy official with global responsibility for bilateral defense relations, war plans, special operations forces, homeland defense, missile defense, nuclear weapons and arms control policies, counter-proliferation, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, arms sales, and defense trade controls.

He served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey in the Clinton and Bush Administrations and was Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs. He also had assignments in the State Department Operations Center, Prague, Moscow, and Tel Aviv, where he was a member of the U.S. Middle East Delegation to the West Bank/Gaza Autonomy Talks.

He received a B.A. in History and Government from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in U.S. Diplomatic History from Yale University.

Ken Eisner, Senior Manager, Worldwide Education Programs and Global Lead- AWS Educate,
Amazon Web Services

Ken Eisner is an education technology leader with over twenty years of experience spearheading local and global initiatives that improve educational outcomes and education delivery models for institutions, students and educators. Ken conceived and spearheaded the 2015 launch of AWS Educate, Amazon’s global initiative to provide K-20 educators and students with the resources needed to scale the number of students ready to enter a cloud-enabled workforce.

In addition to his roles at Amazon and on various advisory boards, Ken serves on the District of Columbia Technology and Innovation Inclusion Council,
for the purpose of advising the D.C. mayor.

Ken holds an MBA from Georgetown University, an MPP from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, and a BA from Cornell University.

Pedro Antonio Noguera, PhD.

Pedro A. Noguera is the Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. He is a sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, he served as the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools (2003 – 2015), the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2000 – 2003), and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley where he was also the Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change (1990 – 2000). From 2009 – 2012 he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor. In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education. Noguera recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, the National Association of Secondary Principals, and the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.


Dr. Antonia Novello, M.D., MPH, DrPH

14th Surgeon General of the United States

Dr. Antonia Coello Novello was born in Puerto Rico. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a B.S. degree in 1965 and an M.D. degree in 1970. She completed her subspecialty training in pediatric nephrology at University of Michigan and Georgetown University. Dr. Novello received a master’s in Public Health from the John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1982 and a Doctor of Public Health in 2000. Dr. Novello has received over 53 honoris causa and numerous prestigious national awards. In 2011, she received the Don Quijote Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1990, Dr. Antonia Novello was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to serve as the 14th Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service. Her appointment marked two firsts: Dr. Novello became the first woman and first Hispanic to hold this position. She advised the public on health matters such as smoking, AIDS, diet and nutrition, environmental health hazards and the importance of immunization and disease prevention.

In 1999, Governor George E. Pataki nominated Dr. Novello to be the 13th New York State Health Commissioner. Most recently, Dr. Novello served as the Executive Director of Public Health Policy at Florida Hospital. She currently serves as a liaison between the government of Dominican Republic and its Attorney General on raising the awareness of domestic violence and spearheading efforts for national legislation.

Celina Bussey

Celina Bussey serves as the Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions where she began her career in state government. Born and raised in Albuquerque, Ms. Bussey received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communications from the University of New Mexico. The Secretary’s vision for department is to become more engaged with the business community and to promote the vast array of employment-related services and resources. Her vision includes the Department of Workforce Solutions as a leader in and a facilitator of a competitive workforce for the benefit of all New Mexicans.

Seth Harris

Former Acting Secretary of Labor & Deputy U.S. Secretary of Labor

Praised as “one of the best orators to come out of government” by Bill Clinton, Seth Harris has advised the last two Democratic U.S. Presidents and leadership on issues that matter most to America’s workers, retirees, and employers. He is one of the most sought-after experts on work and labor market issues, employment law, and policy. Serving under President Obama, Harris has unique and valuable insights into globalization and the role of technology, the future of work and retirement, the condition of America’s middle class, and maximizing the performance level of organizations.  He also provides an insider’s knowledge of the inner workings of the White House and executive branch, providing perspective into the highest levels of government.

From 2009-2014 Harris served as Acting U.S. Secretary and Deputy Secretary, building on seven prior years in the Clinton Administration. He has co-authored three books and written dozens of scholarly articles and op-eds on labor, employment, and economics topics. He currently teaches at Cornell University’s Institute for Public Affairs. Harris is a Distinguished Scholar at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and holds a J.D. for the NYU School of Law and a BSILR form Cornell University.