U.S.-Mexico Initiative

Director: Shannon K. O'Neil, Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies

Over the past thirty years, Mexico has changed dramatically, undergoing rapid and widespread social, political, and economic transformations. It has moved from a closed economy, a one party dominant polity, and poor nation to one with a globally competitive economy, a rising middle class, and a burgeoning democracy. Yet, Mexico continues to face serious issues. Violence and insecurity, the dominance of economic monopolies and oligopolies, limited credit, and weak education and infrastructure hit Mexico's economy and its people. The way that Mexico addresses these current challenges will define its future.

What has also changed is Mexico's relationship with the United States. The two countries have been tied due to geography. But over the last three decades, the nature of this relationship has broadened and deepened to the point where arguably no other nation affects the United States and its citizens as much on a day-to-day basis. Companies, supply chains, energy, the environment, people, communities, beliefs, and security bind the two nations together, making Mexico's path forward matter more than ever for its northern neighbor. It is past time for the United States to forge a new relationship with its southern neighbor. Through research, outreach, and publication, including Shannon O'Neil's book Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead, and her blog Latin America's Moment, the U.S.-Mexico Initiative aims to positively influence and shape U.S. policy toward Mexico. In no uncertain terms, America's future depends on it.

More Information/Materials

The U.S.-Mexico Initiative Roundtable Series:

• Convenes thought-leaders, policymakers, and experts to highlight important issues in the U.S.-Mexico relationship.

• Focuses on areas of deep bilateral cooperation, including but not limited to immigration, trade, security, and poverty and inequality.


Meeting ⁄ New York

A Conversation on Mexico with Award Winning Journalists

Speakers Alfredo Corchado

Mexico Bureau Chief, Dallas Morning News; Author of Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter's Journey Through a Country's Descent in Darkness

, Alejandra Xanic von Bertrab

Freelance Journalist; Pulitzer Prize Winner, 2013

, Javier Garza Ramos

Editor, El Siglo de Torreon

, Shannon K. O'Neil

Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

December 10, 2013

This meeting is not for attribution.


Security Policies in Colombia and Mexico

Speaker General Oscar NaranjoDirector of the Latin American Citizenship Institute, Technological Institute of Moneterrey
Presider Shannon K. O'NeilSenior Fellow for Latin American Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
February 25, 2013

This meeting is not for attribution.


The Border and U.S.-Mexico Security Relations with Alan Bersin

Speakers Alan D. BersinAssistant Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Shannon K. O'NeilSenior Fellow for Latin America Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
December 12, 2012

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Mexico's War on Drugs: The Road Ahead

Speaker Alejandro PoiréSecretary of Mexico's National Security Council and Cabinet
Presider Shannon K. O'NeilCouncil on Foreign Relations
December 8, 2010

This meeting is not for attribution.

U.S.-Mexico Initiative Fellows

  • Shannon O'Neil Shannon O'Neil

    Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program