Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

LLILAS Benson Advisory Council

The LLILAS Benson Advisory Council is dedicated to strengthening the core activities of LLILAS Benson. These objectives are achieved in three principal ways:

  • Advise on LLILAS Benson programs, drawing on council members’ experience and expertise related to Latin America;
  • Serve as a bridge between LLILAS Benson and the broader communities and sectors to which the Advisory Council members belong;
  • Advise on and assist with the development goals, specifically, providing feedback on fund-raising strategies, identifying potential donors, and conceiving specific fund-raising activities.

From the Chair

Dee Smith

It is an honor to assume the duties of chair of the LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections Advisory Council, following the tenure of my predecessor, Myra Leo, who achieved so much for our institution. Although we are now working in very different conditions under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the acceleration of dramatic change occurring in Latin America—and, indeed, in the entire world—means that the mission, activities, and collections of LLILAS Benson could not be more critical for the future.

The 2021 Centenary of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection is of enormous significance. The Benson is without question the most important collection of Latin American and materials in the world. It holds literary, scientific, political, and archival documents, including works of art and photography, that can be found in no other library. Many people are unaware of its unrivaled scope, which extends not only from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego, but also throughout the Caribbean, and includes the Latina/Latino presence in the United States.

The year 2021 also marks the tenth anniversary of the partnership established in 2011 between the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, which created LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections. Bringing together these two great institutions accentuated the strengths of both and propelled LLILAS Benson to preeminent status worldwide.

The Advisory Council is a group of individuals committed to the research and educational mission of LLILAS Benson and dedicated to making meaningful and enduring contributions to its advancement. While our celebration of the Benson Centennial in the era of COVID-19 will be different from the program that had been envisaged, current developments will make it even more important. Along with all the members of the Advisory Council, I look forward to working with the wonderful team at LLILAS Benson to ensure that it overcomes the challenges of the present moment and continues to flourish for the next century. 

Officers

Chair: Dee Smith
Vice-Chair and Chair-Elect: David Wells
Vice-Chair for Corporate and National Relations: Marianne Dwight
Vice-Chair for Community Relations: Pam Giblin
Vice-Chair for Development: Janet Roberts
Immediate Past Chair: Myra Leo

Members

Sergio Alcocer

Sergio Alcocer

Creative Leader
Austin, Texas

Sergio Alcocer is one of the most progressive multicultural marketers in the U.S.  From 1999 until October 2015, he led LatinWorks a Cultural Branding Agency that was named five times Multicultural Agency of the Year in the United States and one of the Top Ten advertising agencies in the country according to Advertising Age. With an advertising career that expands more than 25 years Sergio has worked in Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and New York before making his home in Austin in 1999. During his career Sergio has won every national and international award there is including eight Cannes Lions, he has been a Jury in dozens of international advertising festivals and is a constant speaker in the main creative stages around the world. He holds an EMBA from the Berlin School of Creative Leadership and sits on the Board of the Art Directors Club in New York and the Advisory Council of the Ransom Center.


Sergio M. Alcocer

Dr. Sergio M. Alcocer

Professor, The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Mexico City, Mexico

Dr. Alcocer is a research professor at the Institute of Engineering at UNAM. In the public sector, he has served as Under-Secretary for North American Affairs at the Secretariat of Foreign Relations, as Under-secretary for Energy Planning and Technology Development at the Secretariat of Energy, an as a Research Director for the National Center for Disasters Prevention at the Secretariat of Interior.  Dr. Alcocer has also been Secretary General-Provost-, Coordinator for Innovation and Development, and Director of the Institute of Engineering of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). As an academic, Dr. Alcocer is a member to the National System of Researchers since 1994.  He is Past President of the Academy of Engineering of Mexico and member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and various technical societies. He is currently Vice President for Prospective and Governmental Relations of the Mexican Society of Civil Engineers.


Dya Celeste Campos

Dya Celeste Campos

Director of Governmental and Public Affairs, H-E-B
San Antonio, Texas

Dya Celeste Campos oversees the charitable giving program and community affairs at H-E-B, and serves as the director of media relations and spokesperson for H-E-B headquarters. In her governmental affairs capacity, she leads the company’s legislative efforts at the Texas State Capitol. A graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, Campos joined Vinson & Elkins upon completing her degree, serving as a governmental affairs consultant. In 2004, she was recruited to HillCo Partners, the top governmental affairs consulting firm in Texas; she was the youngest lobbyist in the state. Campos was granted alumni status at Harvard Business School in July 2015 through the Executive Education program and is a graduate of the Executive MBA program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the San Antonio Greater Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Governors for the UT Health Cancer Therapy Research Center. She is also a member of the Food Marketing Institute Policy Committee. In 2015, Capitol Insider named Campos one of the top corporate governmental affairs influencers in Texas. 


Marian De Paula

Marian De Paula

Commercial Leader, Gulf Area Petrochemical Unit, Braskem America
Houston, Texas

Marian De Paula is a commercial leader at Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem. In this capacity, she has worked on expansion projects in Brazil and the United States in support of Braskem’s growth strategy and stakeholder outreach in both countries. In her previous role at Braskem, De Paula oversaw the company’s federal and state government relations strategy, including congressional and legislative outreach. Currently, her responsibility is to negotiate and sell basic chemicals in the U.S., leading the strategy and sales projections for the U.S. Gulf Area. She has worked on the development and implementation of Braskem America Women’s Initiative, of which she is a board member, supporting Braskem’s female team members with measures proven to enhance their professional opportunities. She also serves on the board of the Greater Philadelphia Women’s Energy Network. She earned her bachelor in business administration and marketing from ESPM, São Paulo, and her master of liberal arts from Harvard University, specializing in Latin American government relations.


Anna Di Stasi

Anna Di Stasi

Vice President, Sotheby’s Latin American Art Department
New York, New York

Anna Di Stasi joined Sotheby’s Latin American Art Department in 2014 as vice president and specialist after more than fifteen years of art advisory experience. She contributes to Sotheby's forty-year leadership in Latin American art by securing key consignments, advising private collectors on important acquisitions, developing emerging art markets, and managing strategic client relationships throughout the United States and abroad. Mrs. Di Stasi holds a master of arts in art history from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, a second master of arts in Connoisseurship and the art market from Christie’s Education, and a bachelor of arts in art history and psychology from Boston College. She is a member of ArtTable, and is certified in Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice by the Appraisers Association of America. Raised in Madrid, Mexico City, and Miami, she is fluent in English and Spanish, literate in Portuguese and French.


Marianne Dwight

Marianne Scott Dwight, Vice-Chair for Corporate and National Relations

General Counsel, Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company
Austin, Texas

A native of South Texas, Marianne Dwight is a licensed attorney who has worked in both the public and private sectors on issues related to healthcare, housing, financial transactions, and the creation of financing mechanisms to support water projects in Texas to the year 2060. She worked with the author of the legislation that created the State Water Implementation Fund of Texas, where the voters approved the dedication of $2 billion to support water projects in Texas. As general counsel for the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, Ms. Dwight has personally analyzed, negotiated, and approved more than 300 funds in which the Trust Company has invested, representing all asset classes including private equity, real estate, hedged equity, and fixed income. In her private life, Ms. Dwight currently serves as an Austin City Council appointee on the Integrated Water Resource Planning Community Task Force. She is a founding board member of the Firefly Fund, created to fund and support education and research toward a cure for rare neurodegenerative genetic diseases that affect children. Ms. Dwight also serves as a member of Affordable Central Texas, a charitable organization that supports affordable workforce housing for the Central Texas area. She holds a BBA in accounting, with honors, from Texas A&M University; a JD from Southern Methodist University; and a Master in Liberal Arts, with honors, from St. Edward’s University, where her studies focused on water and its impact on the global economy.


Maria Farahani

María Farahani

Director, Fara Foundation
Austin, Texas

María Farahani moved to Austin from Matagalpa, Nicaragua, in 1975 to attend the University of Texas, where she received a BA in Latin American Studies in 1978. She spent four years as an employee of the Venezuelan Embassy in Iran and also co-managed and co-owned two dormitories near the University of Texas campus, serving over 800 students. Farahani was instrumental in turning these businesses around and making them profitable. She has served on numerous boards in the areas of education, where she has used her fund-raising skills to guide donor development. These include boards at Rhodes College, Memphis, TN; the Andy Roddick Foundation; and KIPP Austin Public Schools. She is currently head of the board of Fara Foundation, which runs a health clinic for the economically disadvantaged women in Matagalpa Nicaragua. The clinic’s main focus is on education around, and prevention and treatment of, cervical cancer; breast cancer detection; and the treatment of varicose veins. She is also co-owner of Fara Coffee. In addition to her leadership of the foundation, Farahani is involved in her native community of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, in the areas of elder care, education, and philanthropy. She speaks four languages, and lived through both Nicaraguan and Iranian revolutions as well as the Iran–Iraq War before settling in Austin.


Larry R. Faulkner

Larry R. Faulkner

President Emeritus, The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas

Larry R. Faulkner is President Emeritus of The University of Texas at Austin and a retired President of Houston Endowment, a private philanthropy established by Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones. Over four decades, Dr. Faulkner served on the chemistry faculties of Harvard University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Texas. At Illinois, he was also department head, dean, and provost. From 1998 into 2006, he served the University of Texas as its 27th president, after which he led Houston Endowment for six years. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and chaired both the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (2006-2008) and the recent National Academies Committee on Federal Regulation of Research (2015-2016). He now serves on the boards of Exxon Mobil Corporation, Southern Methodist University, Discovery Green Conservancy, Houston Grand Opera, the Philosophical Society of Texas, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, and Covenant Presbyterian Foundation. He was previously on the boards of Temple-Inland, Sandia National Laboratories, Internet2, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, and Reasoning Mind.


Martin Fleming

Martin Fleming

Founder and Managing Director, Black Dutch Management, LLC
Dallas, Texas

In addition to Black Dutch Management, Fleming is also Founder and Managing Director of Tactical Energy Partners, LLC. He also served as Senior Vice President at Noble Royalties, Inc. with roles in investor relations, acquisitions, communications, government affairs and fund management. Fleming is a noted specialist in oil and natural gas regulatory and policy issues. He is particularly active in state and Federal tax issues affecting the oil and gas industry and water policy issues at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency including hydraulic fracturing, underground injection control and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. In Texas, he has been particularly active in regulatory matters related to the development of the Barnett Shale and Eagle Ford Shale at the Texas Railroad Commission, the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Council on Environmental Quality. Fleming holds a Bachiller from the Instituto Austral de Enseñanza in Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, a BA in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, a MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is a Ph.D. Candidate in History from Tulane University. He is a past fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities where he collaborated with the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia and the Universidad Nacional Autónomo de México with a research specialty in Franciscan millennial eschatology and church/state polity in sixteenth-century New Spain. 


Juliet V. García

Juliet V. García

Senior Advisor, University of Texas System
Brownsville, Texas

Dr. Juliet V. García is a national thought leader who has devoted her life’s work to higher education, focused on sustaining the democracy of our nation by empowering first generation college students. In her new position as Senior Advisor to the Chancellor of the University of Texas System, she leads the Office of Community, National and Global Engagement. As the Chancellor’s ambassador, she is an advocate for the University of Texas System mission, which is to improve the human condition, the nation and the world, by leveraging the collective size, diversity, and expertise of the 14 institutions. Dr. García was born in Brownsville, Texas, where her father and his family immigrated when fleeing the Mexican Revolution. She is a fifth-generation Texan on her mother’s side and a first-generation college graduate, earning two degrees from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. in communication from The University of Texas at Austin. She has been married to Oscar E. Garcia for 47 years. They have two grown children and five grandchildren.


Vidal Garza Cantu

Vidal Garza Cantú

Director, Strategic Relations and Government Affairs, FEMSA
Mexico City, Mexico

Vidal Garza Cantú is an economist and attorney. He heads the Strategic Relations and Public Affairs Department of FEMSA Foundation, the social investment arm of FEMSA beverage company. This department supports the creation of economic and social value in the areas of water and nutrition for the benefit of the communities where the company operates, and to influence public policy in these areas. He is recipient of the Brazilian Medalha da Inconfidência for his efforts toward the delivery water to isolated communities in Minas Gerais, and the prestigious CK Prahalad Award for his work promoting conservation, research, and access to safe water in Latin America. He has taught public policy and economics at Tecnológico de Monterrey since 1999, where he served as associate dean and founder of the Public Administration and Public Policy Graduate School (EGAP) (2003–2006). He has contributed as a co-author and co-editor to two books: Los estados mexicanos: sus activos y dinamismo económico y social (co-author, 2005) and Política Pública y Democracia en America Latina, del análisis a la implementación (co-editor, contributor, 2008), as well as several peer-reviewed articles in specialized journals around both subjects. Garza holds a master’s in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University and a PhD in public policy from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.


Pam Giblin

Pamela M. Giblin, Vice-Chair for Community Relations

Attorney at Law and Partner, Baker Botts LLP
Austin, Texas

Pam Giblin is a partner in the Austin office of Baker Botts. She received her JD from the University of Texas School of Law in 1970. Ms. Giblin has practiced environmental law since then and has had extensive experience in advising clients on a broad array of environmental issues, particularly in the area of energy projects. She has served on the EPA's Clean Air Act Advisory Committee and is listed in the environmental law section of The Best Lawyers in America. She is the first woman to receive the Distinguished Lawyer Award from the Travis County Bar Association. She is past-president of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. Her practice focuses on helping multi-national companies navigate complex environmental regulations, including working successfully with regulatory agencies and NGOs.


Robert Greenblum

Robert Greenblum

Attorney at Law, City of San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas

Robert “Robbie” Greenblum serves as Senior Policy Advisor to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro.  As part of his duties, he helps lead ConnectHome, a public-private collaboration to narrow the digital divide for children and their families living in HUD-assisted housing. Prior to his position with HUD, Robbie worked for the City of San Antonio from 2009-2014.  He most recently served as City Attorney for the City of San Antonio where he supervised a team of approximately 58 attorneys working on a range of legal issues including complex litigation, municipal prosecution, energy and water utilities, real estate development and transactions, city charter and municipal ordinances, ethics law, and the budget.  Robbie began his employment with the City of San Antonio as Chief of Staff to then Mayor Julián Castro where he served as the mayor’s top advisor, as well as the chief liaison for the mayor’s office with city staff and the community. Robbie entered the ranks of municipal government following a successful 18-year legal career during which he handled immigration issues, including federal class-action impact litigation and political asylum cases, as well as domestic and international business matters.  Robbie was a partner at Matthews and Branscomb, PC, San Antonio’s then oldest law firm, in the corporate section.  Prior to that, he served as the staff attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of Texas, and as staff attorney at the Refugee Assistance Council in his hometown, Laredo, Texas.  Robbie earned a JD and a BA (Plan II) from the University of Texas at Austin.


George Kauss

George Kauss

Managing Partner, Group CMK LLP
San Antonio, Texas

A former Ronald Reagan Presidential Appointee as Assistant Secretary of the United States department of Commerce in Washington D.C., Mr. Kauss is an experienced international entrepreneur with extensive involvement in the corporate and start-up arenas. With a strong base of experience that includes a concentration in international business development, Mr. Kauss has been heavily involved in multiple successive company startups such as Group CMK, an international development partnership with former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros; Vantage Bank Texas, a San Antonio and South Texas based financial institution; Actium Biosystems, a novel hyperthermia cancer treatment purchased by Endomagnetics in London, England; The Vulano Group, an inventive technology wildcatting company; Vesuvius, a technology development company sold to Qualcomm; and ICG Mexico, a satellite communication venture in Mexico purchased by British Telecom.

Arturo Lacayo

Founder and CEO, SECAT BPO
Managua, Nicaragua

Arturo Lacayo is the founder and CEO of SECAT BPO, an outsourcing company in operation since January 2013. SECAT focuses on business process outsourcing, with clients in the United States, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica in the insurance, energy, banking, media, and automotive sectors. SECAT BPO has grown to over 140 employees with sales exceeding $5 million. Lacayo is a proud Texas Ex, a member of the Class of ‘06 with a BA in Government. He is board member of Asociación San Francisco de Asís and an active member of Entrepreneurs Organization–Nicaragua Chapter. In 2016, he co-founded Nica Scholars with Danielle Manning. The goal of the organization is to provide service learning for college students from around the world through business and nonprofit organizations in Nicaragua.


Myra Leo Atkins

Myra L. Leo, Immediate Past Chair

Principal, Husch Blackwell Strategies (HBS)
Austin, Texas

Myra Leo is a government affairs adviser at HBS and currently represents a variety of clients in navigating Texas’s legislative and regulatory arenas. She has advised corporate clients, professional associations, and nonprofit organizations in areas such as energy, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, higher education, financial services, telecom, and vehicle franchise matters. Ms. Leo currently sits on the board of the Senate Hispanic Research Council (SHRC),; the Zach Theatre Emeritus Board; the KLRU-PBS Executive Board; and is a founding member of the Seton Angels Giving Group as well as the Aguila Alliance Group, inspired by the Office of the Mexican Consulate in Austin. She serves on the Public Affairs Committee and the Hispanic Alumni Advisory Committee of Texas Exes, the alumni association of The University of Texas at Austin, and on the University of Texas President’s Development Board.


Joe R. Long

Joe R. Long

Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Foundation
Austin, Texas

Joe R. Long, born in San Antonio, Texas, is a well-known Austin lawyer and banker. He received his BA in 1951 from the University of Texas, with a major in government and a minor in history and anthropology. He also completed his ROTC training there, and upon graduation was called immediately into the service during the Korean War. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in August 1958 with a JD degree. Over the next twenty years, he worked as a sole practitioner and as a member of several partnerships, ultimately organizing his own firm. In 1968, he began working in the banking industry as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First State Bank. He served in that position until 1998, when the bank was sold to Norwest Corporation. Since then, he has overseen his private business affairs and has spent much of his time in philanthropic activities with several colleges and universities in Texas, as well as with several nonprofit corporations. He has been married to Teresa Lozano Long since 1958, and they currently make their home in Austin, where they are both heavily involved in community activities and philanthropic endeavors.


Teresa Lozano Long

Teresa Lozano Long

Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Foundation
Austin, Texas

Teresa Lozano Long was born in Premont, Texas, to Arturo V. and Elvira D. Lozano. She completed a BS in 1948 and MEd in 1951 at the University of Texas at Austin, where she later became the first Mexican American to earn a doctorate in physical education. Dr. Lozano Long has earned a reputation as an inspiring role model for women through her continuous dedication to the improvement of public education in Texas and through her philanthropic spirit supporting arts programs in Austin. As a distinguished alumna, she supports the university through donations of time and funds to its schools and colleges. She and her husband, Mr. Joe R. Long, have a keen interest in Latin America and Latin American affairs. In 2000, they endowed the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas with a $10 million gift, the income of which is used principally for scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students and supplemental pay for faculty members who specialize in Latin American history, politics, government, art, and history.


Leo Muñoz

Leo Muñoz

Director of Governmental Affairs, Comcast NBCUniversal
Washington, D.C.

Muñoz has over 20 years of experience in politics, public policy and campaigns. Currently, Leo is the Director of Governmental Affairs for Comcast NBCUniversal.  In this role, he is responsible for shaping Comcast NBCUniversal’s positions on legislative and regulatory matters impacting all lines off business including telecommunications, broadcast, internet, theme parks and the Spanish language network Telemundo.  Leo also serves on the Comcast NBCUniversal Hispanic Partnerships Council which is a working group of executives across the company’s brands focused on promoting and enhancing products and services developed for the Hispanic community and engaging Hispanic advocacy groups including NCLR, LULAC and the US Hispanic Chamber. Prior to his position with Comcast NBCUniversal, Leo served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Charlie Gonzalez in Washington D.C. at a time when Gonzalez was Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Before his time in D.C., he spent ten years working in the Texas Legislature on a variety of issues but took a keen interest in Higher Education and Economic Development issues.


Luis Patiño

Luis Patiño

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Univision Local Media, Univision Communications Inc.
Austin, Texas

Luis Patiño is the senior vice president and general manager of Univision Local Media (formerly known as Univision Television Group (UTG)), at Univision Communications Inc, the leading media company serving Hispanic America. Univision Local Media owns and/or operates 128 local television and radio stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico. Mr. Patiño is responsible for the day-to-day management of station operations, ad sales, news, marketing, digital platforms and promotions.  Along with management of station operations, Mr. Patiño also oversees strategic planning and business development for Univision and it’s host of linear and digital media assets. Mr. Patiño divides his time between Texas and California. Mr. Patiño is very active in both communities serving on several boards including LLILAS, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, California State University at Los Angeles Business School, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, and the Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs (AEM). Luis lives in Austin, TX with his wife of 16 years, Liliana Patiño, and their two children, Daniela and Andres.


Jorge Raull

Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Transnetwork
Houston, Texas

Mr. Raull has ample experience in the financial services markets, having worked for Citigroup and Banamex for more than 13 years in Mexico, the United Kingdom and the USA. He obtained his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and is fluent in Spanish, German and English. He is a founding partner and CEO of Transnetwork Corp, the most diversified B2B electronic domestic and cross-border processing and payment platform in Latin America for money remittances with over 19,500 locations through the largest retailers and banks in 12 countries. Jorge was born in Mexico City and moved to the US in 1989 to pursue his MBA at UT Austin. He is married to Lorena Chavez-Peon, with whom he has 4 children, Paola (UT Austin graduate), Lorena (UT Austin Senior), Andrea, and Jorge Jr.


Janet Roberts

Janet Roberts, Vice-Chair for Development

Philanthropist
Austin, Texas

Janet Roberts was born in Lima, Peru, to American parents. After residing in Lima for over 17 years, she and her family moved to San Antonio, where she lived until her move to Austin in 1982. She now happily calls Austin home. Professionally, Roberts has been most closely associated with the hotel industry. She worked as a sales director, and later, marketing director, for the Four Seasons Hotel Corporation. She has served on the advisory boards for both the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas and the Texas Historical Commission. For the last 30 years she has been an active member of the Pan American Round Table, Austin Table. In addition to serving as Table Director, she has chaired numerous committees. Roberts’s lifelong passion has been Arabian horses. She has shown in both the United States and Canada, where she won several national championships. She is a graduate of the Baypath College in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She is married to Jack Roberts of Austin.


Gordon Dee Smith

Gordon Dee Smith, Chair

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Strategic Insight Group (SIG)
Fort Worth, Texas

Gordon Dee Smith is a CEO, producer, writer, and specialist in intelligence, foreign policy, and global change. He works professionally in the areas of transactional intelligence, geopolitical and change risk analysis, and media and cultural production. He has worked in over 100 countries and served as an adviser for more than US $120 billion in investment transactions. He is founder, principal, and CEO of Strategic Insight Group (SIG), where he manages its global intelligence services for a client base of investors, operating companies, and law firms. Smith is creator, executive producer, and host of the Real Vision Television documentary series on global change, A World on the Brink, which since 2018 has been broadcast on the PBS in over 40 media markets around the United States. He has worked as an international venture capitalist active in Latin America and Europe, and before that, was a founder and president of InterCultura, an international NGO. Currently, Smith is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) (New York); a member of Chatham House (London); a member of the Board of Directors and of the High Level Working Group on Inter-American Relations of Global Americans (New York); a member of the Bretton Woods Committee (Washington, D.C.); past president and a member of the board of the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations (DCFR); and a member of the Advisory Board of the Houston Committee on Foreign Relations (HCFR).


David Wells

David Wells, Vice-Chair and Chair-Elect

Prosek Partners
New York, New York

David Wells is partner at leading communications firm Prosek Partners, with many years of experience in establishing and executing financial communications strategies. His expertise is in handling strategy, operations, reputation management, media and investor relations, as well as special situations. Prior to joining Prosek, Wells was chief marketing and communications officer for the Consumer and Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs. Prior, he worked as head of marketing and communications at J.P. Morgan Chase, where he was responsible for overseeing marketing and communications activities in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Wells began his career as a journalist, serving in several editorial capacities at the Financial Times. In addition, he has contributed as an analyst for the radio program Marketplace and made appearances on leading news networks, including CNN, BBC and CNBC. He is a member of the Morgan Library and Museum’s Modern and Contemporary Collectors Committee. Wells holds a master's degree in Latin American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor's in Political Science from Texas Christian University.



  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    SRH 1.310
    2300 Red River Street D0800
    Austin, Texas 78712