Migration Policy: The Best Way Forward

february, 2022

18feb1:00 pm2:20 pmMigration Policy: The Best Way Forward


(Friday) 1:00 pm - 2:20 pm


USF Student Center

200 6th Ave S

Event Details

What information, principles, values and initiatives should U.S. policymakers consider for reforming national immigration policy?

Panel Discussion Moderated by Ambassador Barbara Stephenson

Speakers for this event

  • Ambassador Barbara Stephenson

    Ambassador Barbara Stephenson

    Barbara J. Stephenson, PhD, (U.S. Ambassador, retired), is vice provost for global affairs and chief global officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s oldest public university established in 1789. She is a distinguished diplomat, former U.S. ambassador, international leader and prior dean of the Leadership and Management School at the Foreign Service Institute.

    Stephenson was appointed UNC-Chapel Hill’s first vice provost for global affairs in 2019 and leads the university’s global strategy in support of its core mission of teaching, research, and service to the state of North Carolina and the country. Under her leadership, UNC-Chapel Hill has realized the Global Guarantee, the university’s promise that a global education is available to every student; strengthened relations with strategic global partners; elevated UNC Chapel Hill’s global reputation; and brought the world to Carolina with increased global programming and cultural exchange. As president of the American Foreign Service Association from 2015-2019, Stephenson was a principal advocate for diplomacy, working closely with Congress, the media and globally engaged strategic partners. A regular public speaker, she has appeared on CNN, BBC, Sky News, PBS, at numerous World Affairs Councils across the U.S., and as a signature speaker at the Chautauqua Institute. In 2008, Stephenson was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Panama and later became the first woman to serve as deputy ambassador and acting ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in London, America’s largest embassy in Europe. As advisor to Secretary of State Rice and deputy coordinator for Iraq (2006-2008), Stephenson was recognized with the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award for developing and implementing the civilian surge, the largest deployment of civilians to a war zone since the Vietnam War. From 2001-2004, as the American Consul General in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she helped renew support for the Good Friday Agreement that brought an end to decades of violence.  As Consul General and Chief of Mission in Curaçao (1998-2001), she won support from local and Dutch officials to establish two U.S. Air Force bases to support Plan Colombia. Earlier in her nearly 34-year career as an American diplomat, Stephenson served as special assistant to Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Pickering, covering European affairs, including the war-torn Balkans. Other assignments have included desk officer for the UK, political-military officer in South Africa, and political officer in The Hague, San Salvador, and Panama. Stephenson is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and the American College of National Security Leaders, a board member of the World Affairs Councils of America, and a member of the advisory board of Global Ties U.S. Stephenson holds a PhD, MA, and BA in English literature from the University of Florida.

  • Laura Collins

    Laura Collins

    Laura Collins serves as Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative at the Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative George W. Bush Institute Ms. Collins previously served as the Director of Immigration Policy at the American Action Forum. She has experience in politics, working as a Senior Research Analyst at the Republican National Committee for the 2012 election cycle and in the Texas House of Representatives for the 82nd Legislature. A former practicing attorney, Ms. Collins earned a JD from The University of Texas School of Law and a BBA from the University of Oklahoma.

  • Maura Godinez

    Maura Godinez

    Maura Godinez began her career in 1985 as a Foreign Service Officer working consular issues. Doing interagency name checks for visa applicants opened the door to her 30-year career as an intelligence officer at the CIA, where she worked on foreign intelligence, counternarcotics, counterterrorism and counterintelligence problems. In 2007, she was selected to become an intelligence educator, teaching classes on intelligence, global issues and terrorism as the CIA Officer in Residence at the University of Southern California. Having worked at the nexus of technology and human operations throughout her intelligence career, after retiring from the CIA, she began focusing more specifically on cyber issues, developing a new class for the USC on the intersection of cyber technology and policy. Her undergraduate degree is in Economics from the University of Maryland. She has a Master of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Relations, and completed a Harvard Executive Education program “Cybersecurity: Intersection of Policy and Technology” in 2015.

  • Ramon Escobar

    Ramon Escobar

    Senior Visiting Fellow | Refugee Investment Network Ramon is a Visiting Fellow at the Refugee Investment Network with a focus on Latin America. Ramon is also Founder and CEO of Chufly, an international social impact wine company. Ramon is a 15-year foreign policy veteran with experience as a Foreign Service Officer at the State Department, an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a lecturer at Georgetown University and University of Maryland. During his 2020-2021 fellowship with CFR, Ramon researched the role of private investment in irregular migration from Central America. Ramon conducted dozens of interviews with Central American migrants and asylum seekers, regional leaders of international organizations, policy officials, regional business leaders, and international investors. Ramon briefed U.S. officials on the findings of his research. Prior to the CFR, Ramon was an economic officer with the U.S. Department of State where he worked on issues related to economic policy, international trade, and the investment climate for U.S. firms. Ramon’s diplomatic career spanned the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Ramon’s participation in the peace negotiations with the FARC guerrillas as well as his work advocating for U.S. investors in Mexico helped shape his view that private investment is key to driving sustainable socioeconomic development. Ramon leveraged his academic and deep international affairs experience to found Chufly, a wine and spirits company dedicated to driving durable socioeconomic development in lesser-known countries. Ramon holds a dual Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and Sciences Politiques and a Bachelors in Marketing from UWM. Ramon speaks fluent Spanish and French, and basic Arabic. He was born to a Bolivian father and an American mother in Milwaukee, WI. He lives in the Washington, DC area. Ramon is married to Samia Yakub and has two beautiful boys, Laith and Kais.

  • Tony Keller

    Tony Keller

    Tony Keller is the Editorial Page Editor of The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper. In a 30-year career, he has also been editor of The Financial Post Magazine, managing editor of Maclean’s, and a news anchor at BNN (now BNN Bloomberg). Born and raised in Montreal, he’s a graduate of Duke University and Yale Law School, and a former visiting fellow at the Wilson Center. He won Canada’s National Newspaper Award for editorial writing in 2016.

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