MPI in June 2020 launched a new Advisory Board, co-chaired by former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Arizona State University President Dr. Michael M. Crow.
To learn more about the Advisory Board and its members, a group of distinguished public leaders in government, the corporate and philanthropic sectors, the legal and education fields, immigrant service and advocacy, research, diplomacy, and academia in the United States, Europe, and Latin America, please click here.
- Lidia Soto-Harmon, Chair
- Malcolm Brown
- Louis Freedberg
- Roberta S. Jacobson
- Warren R. Leiden
- Cecilia Malmström
- Elisa Massimino
- Gustavo Mohar Betancourt
- Jose Luis Prado Becerra
- Cristina Rodríguez
- Andrew Selee
- C. Stewart Verdery, Jr.
- James W. Ziglar
Lidia Soto-Harmon is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital (GSCNC), a position she was appointed to in 2010 after serving six years as Chief Operating Officer. GSCNC serves 90,000 members in the greater Washington region. She is the current Chair of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Board of Trustees.
Ms. Soto-Harmon has created many innovative programs to reach girls from underserved communities. Prior to joining the council, she served as Senior Vice President for Community Development for First Book, a national children’s literacy organization dedicated to getting new books into the hands of children from low-income families. She also served as Deputy Director of the President’s Interagency Council on Women, chaired by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, at the U.S. Department of State. She previously was Senior Director of the Fannie Mae Foundation’s Targeted Outreach Department, designing the first corporate nationwide multilingual strategy to reach new immigrants to promote homeownership in the United States in the late 1990s.
Ms. Soto-Harmon serves as a Board Member for the Tahirih Justice Center, an organization that helps immigrant and refugee women seek protection from international human-rights abuses. She earned her master’s in public administration from George Mason University and bachelor’s from Drew University.
Malcolm Brown is the former Canadian Deputy Minister of Public Safety, a position he held from 2016 to 2019. He retired from the Canadian Federal Public Service in April 2019 after nearly 31 years as a public servant and a decade at the Deputy Minister level. As Deputy Minister of Public Safety, he led major policy and legislative initiatives in the areas of national security, cyber security, emergency management, and corrections reform. He also ensured coordinated actions across the public safety portfolio, which includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Correctional Service of Canada, and the Parole Board of Canada.
Previously, Mr. Brown served as Special Advisor to the Clerk of the Privy Council on the Syrian Refugee Initiative between 2015 and 2016, supporting the selection, screening, arrival, and settlement of more than 25,000 Syrian refugees. Between 2014 and 2015, he was the Deputy Minister of International Development. In this role, he oversaw Canada’s international development agenda and served as Canada’s Alternate Governor for the World Bank. He was appointed Executive Vice President of the Canada Border Services Agency in 2011 and Associate Deputy Minister of Natural Resources in 2009.
Mr. Brown began his federal public service career in the Federal Provincial Relations Office in 1990. He then worked at Health Canada and later at the Privy Council Office where, among other senior positions, he served as Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for the Reference Group of Ministers on Aboriginal Policy. Between 2002 and 2009, he occupied Assistant Deputy Minister-level positions with Human Resources Development Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), culminating with the position of Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Policy and Research at HRSDC.
He began his career as a Legislative Assistant on Parliament Hill, and has also worked in the Ontario government in the Ministries of Housing and Intergovernmental Affairs. Mr. Brown holds a bachelor of arts degree in political studies from Queen's University and a master of arts degree in political science from York University.
Louis Freedberg is Executive Director Emeritus of EdSource, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1977 to clarify complex education issues for policymakers and the public.He was previously founding Director of California Watch, a pioneering nonprofit journalism venture.
Prior to that, he spent more than a decade at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was an award-winning reporter, Washington correspondent, columnist, and member of the editorial board, writing extensively on immigration issues on a local, state, and national level,including in-depth reporting from the U.S.-Mexico border. He has reported for a wide range of news organizations, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, and National Public Radio. He has reported from diverse regions of the world, including Southern Africa, the former Soviet Union, and Central America.
A native of South Africa, he founded and directed the Institute for a New South Africa. He has been a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University, a visiting fellow at the Urban Institute, and a fellow at the Institute for Justice and Journalism at the University of Southern California.
He has a PhD in cultural anthropology from UC Berkeley and a BA in psychology from Yale University.
Roberta S. Jacobson is a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group, where she draws on more than 30 years of distinguished diplomatic experience to advise clients of the firm’s Latin America practice. She recently served as Special Assistant to the President and Coordinator for the Southwest border on the White House National Security Council.
From May 2016 until May 2018, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, where she oversaw the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship and managed a broad array of issues, including trade and investment, security and immigration, the environment, and human rights.
Her senior-level U.S. government experience also included serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Canada, Mexico, and NAFTA; Director of the State Department’s Office of Mexican Affairs; and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Peru. In the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, she also served as Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination and as coordinator for Cuban affairs.
Earlier in her career, she worked at the United Nations’ Center for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs.
Ambassador Jacobson was a Fall 2018 Pritzker Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, where she taught a seminar on “Big Issues in Latin America.” She is regularly interviewed on Latin American business and politics in outlets including Axios, CNN, NBC, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Reuters, and The Washington Post.
Ambassador Jacobson holds a master of arts in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a B.A. from Brown University. She is fluent in Spanish.
Warren R. Leiden is a Partner Emeritus of Berry, Appleman & Leiden, a global corporate immigration law firm headquartered in San Francisco. His practice was limited to corporate immigration law, and he was active in Washington, DC policy and congressional matters.
Mr. Leiden was a member of the national steering committee of the Compete America business immigration coalition and served on the policy management committee of the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council. He was active in the debates on major immigration legislation beginning in 1982 and testified before congressional committees on numerous occasions. He was a member of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (1992-97) appointed by Congress and chaired by the late Barbara Jordan.
He served on the Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and was the AILA Executive Director and Washington representative from 1982-96. He was also a founder and Executive Vice President of the American Immigration Council, where he serves as Treasurer.
Mr. Leiden’s Martindale Hubble Rating was AV, its highest level. He was listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law, the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers & Partners’ America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He was named an Honorary Fellow of the American Immigration Law Foundation in 1997.
He received his BA from Johns Hopkins University and his JD from Boston University School of Law.
Cecilia Malmström is the Assar Gabrielsson Visiting Professor at the School of Business, Economics, and Law at Göteborgs University and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. She served as European Commissioner for Trade from 2014 to 2019, having previously served as European Commissioner for Home Affairs from 2010 to 2014.
As Commissioner for Trade, she represented the European Union in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international trade fora. She was responsible for negotiating bilateral trade agreements with key countries, including concluded agreements with Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Mexico. From February 2010 until November 2014, she was the European Commissioner in charge of Home Affairs issues, including border control, asylum, and migration. In this role, she oversaw the European Union's fight against serious international crime and trafficking, as well as creation of a common asylum policy in Europe.
Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, Dr. Malmström was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2006, working mainly on foreign affairs, human rights, EU enlargement, and constitutional issues. After the Swedish national elections of 2006, she was appointed Minister for EU Affairs by the Swedish government. She was responsible for EU issues such as the Lisbon Treaty, the EU strategy for growth and employment, and review of the EU budget. It was also her job to build support for the European Union among Swedish citizens. In the second half of 2009, she coordinated the preparatory work and implementation of the Swedish Presidency of the European Union.
Dr. Malmström holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Department of Political Science of Göteborgs University, where she also worked for a number of years as a researcher and taught European politics, among other things. She lives in Göteborg, Sweden with her family.
Elisa Massimino is the Executive Director of Georgetown University Law Center’s Human Rights Institute. She is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Human Rights First, a position she held for nearly a decade. After 27 years with the organization, she stepped down to join Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a Senior Fellow with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Ms. Massimino serves as a Practitioner-in-Residence at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and in Fall 2019 became the Robert F. Drinan Chair of Human Rights at Georgetown University Law Center.
Ms. Massimino has a distinguished record of human-rights advocacy. As a national authority on human-rights law and policy, she has testified before Congress dozens of times and writes frequently for both mainstream publications and specialized journals. She also appears regularly in major media outlets and speaks to audiences around the country. Since 2008, The Hill has consistently named her one of the most effective public advocates in the country.
Prior to joining Human Rights First, Ms. Massimino was a litigator in private practice at the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells), where she was pro bono counsel in many human-rights cases. Before joining the legal profession, Ms. Massimino taught philosophy at several colleges and universities in Michigan.
She is a founding trustee of the McCain Institute and serves on the board of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the bar of the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Massimino holds a law degree from the University of Michigan, where she was a contributing editor for the Journal of Law Reform, and a master of arts degree in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio.
Gustavo Mohar Betancourt is a private consultant at Grupo Atalaya, specializing in risk management and strategic intelligence. He previously served as Under Secretary for Migration, Population, and Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Governance (Gobernación) in Mexico.
Mr. Mohar also served as Secretary General at the Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN), previously acting as Director for International Affairs.
He was Mexico’s chief negotiator for migration during the Fox-Bush administrations, leading the Mexican team responsible for negotiations with the U.S. government over agreement for safer, orderly, and legal migration flows between both countries. He also worked at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, acting as representative of the Ministry of Governance, responsible for the migration agenda, border security, and bilateral cooperation on drug trafficking. Since 2001, Mr. Mohar has been involved in Mexico-U.S. efforts to prevent international terrorism and enhance security at the common border.
Previously, he worked in London as Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) representative in Europe and Mexico’s observer to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). He worked in the Ministry of Finance on international finance and development banking.
Mr. Mohar has published several works on international issues and has been lecturer at think tanks and universities in Mexico and the United States. He holds a law degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico).
Jose Luis Prado Becerra is Executive Advisor Partner with Wind Point Partners and Chairman of Tropicale Foods, a leading manufacturer of frozen novelty products under the Helados Mexico brand. Previously he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Evans Food Group Ltd. Prior to joining Evans, Mr. Prado had a distinguished career at PepsiCo Inc., holding various leadership positions over his 30-year career there.
From 2011-14, Mr. Prado was President of Quaker Foods North America. From 2002-10, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Gamesa-Quaker. He served as Regional Vice President of the Frito Lay International Andean Region from 2000 to 2002; President of PepsiCo Snacks in Argentina and Uruguay from 1997 to 2000; and President of Frito Lay Snacks Caribbean from 1994 to 1997. His early career included assignments in sales, finance, IT, and engineering.
In addition to his leadership experience in the global food and beverage industry, Mr. Prado serves on multiple boards of directors. On the corporate side, he is a member of the boards of Evans Food Group, the Hormel Foods Corporation, and the Northern Trust. Most recently, he served as Director of Brinker International, Inc. In the nonprofit sector, Mr. Prado serves on the boards of the National Museum of the American Latino at the Smithsonian, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, GENYOUth, the Latino Corporate Directors Association, and the Hispanic Associate on Corporate Responsibility.
He holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the Polytechnical Institute in Mexico City, a master of science in information systems from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, and a master of business administration from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Monterrey.
Cristina Rodríguez is the Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Her fields of research include constitutional law and theory, immigration law and policy, administrative law and process, and citizenship theory. In recent years, her work has focused on constitutional structures and institutional design. She has used immigration law and related areas as vehicles through which to explore how the allocation of power (through federalism, the separation of powers, and the structure of the bureaucracy) shapes the management and resolution of legal and political conflict. Her work also has examined the effects of immigration on society and culture, as well as the legal and political strategies societies adopt to absorb immigrant populations. Her new book, The President and Immigration Law, coauthored with Adam Cox, will be published by Oxford University Press on September 1, 2020, and explores the long history of presidential control over immigration policy and its implications for the future of immigration law and the presidency itself.
Professor Rodríguez joined Yale Law School in 2013 after serving for two years as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. She previously was on the faculty at the New York University School of Law and has been Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia law schools. She is a member of the American Law Institute, and a past member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2020, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Rodríguez earned her B.A. and J.D. degrees from Yale and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where she received a Master of Letters in Modern History. Following law school, she clerked for Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Andrew Selee is President of MPI, succeeding Co-Founder Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Michael Fix. He came to MPI from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where he served as Executive Vice President from January 2014 through April 2017.
Dr. Selee has worked closely in the past on two of MPI’s signature initiatives: the Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future, and the Regional Migration Study Group, which was jointly convened by MPI and the Wilson Center. He also served as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations' Task Force on Immigration.
The founding Director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Dr. Selee is a respected scholar and analyst of Mexico and U.S.-Mexico relations. A frequent commentator in the media, he has also written and edited a number of books and policy reports on U.S.-Mexico relations, Mexican and Latin American politics, and Latino immigrant civic engagement in the United States, and is a regular columnist with the Mexican newspaper El Universal. His latest book, Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together, was published by Public Affairs in June 2018.
In his role as Executive Vice President of the Wilson Center and previously as Vice President for Programs, Dr. Selee was involved with the Center’s wide-ranging initiatives in Europe, Asia, Africa, Eurasia, and the Middle East. He is also the author of a major book on think tank strategy, What Should Think Tanks Do? A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact (Stanford, 2013).
Dr. Selee has regularly taught courses at Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University since 2006 and was a visiting professor at El Colegio de Mexico.
Prior to joining the Wilson Center as an associate in the Latin American Program in 2000, he was a professional staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives and worked for five years with the YMCA of Baja California in Tijuana, Mexico, helping to start a community center and a home for migrant youth. He later served on the National Board of the YMCA of the USA and chaired its International Committee.
Dr. Selee holds a PhD in policy studies from the University of Maryland, an MA in Latin American studies from the University of California, San Diego, and a BA in Latin American studies (Phi Beta Kappa) from Washington University in St. Louis.
C. Stewart Verdery, Jr. is CEO and founder of the bipartisan advocacy firm Monument Advocacy. Previously, he was the first Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a position he held from 2003 to 2005 following his unanimous confirmation by the Senate.
At the DHS Border and Transportation Security Directorate, Mr. Verdery oversaw U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Transportation Security Administration, and led efforts to develop and implement policies related to immigration, visas, and travel facilitation; cargo security and international trade; transportation security; and law enforcement. He worked extensively with foreign governments, testified frequently before Congress, and represented the agency publicly on a diverse set of issues. He also chaired official government advisory committees on international trade and tourism and served on the President’s Advisory Committee to Protect Americans’ Civil Liberties.
Before joining the Bush administration, Mr. Verdery served as General Counsel to Assistant Senate Majority Leader Don Nickles (R-OK), playing a major role on a wide range of policy issues such as law enforcement, commerce, nominations, constitutional law, campaign finance, and telecommunications. He also oversaw the creation and management of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force and served as Counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and to Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Chairman John Warner (R-VA). His private-sector experience includes positions at Vivendi Universal Entertainment and the law firm Baker & Hostetler.
Mr. Verdery is a frequent guest on CNN and Fox News and is regularly quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, The Hill, Axios, Recode, Politico, and other influential media outlets. He is a member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s President’s Advisory Circle, the board of advisors of the Project 2049 Institute, and the MITRE Homeland Security advisory board. Previously, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a JD from the University of Virginia.
James W. Ziglar, former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), is the former Chairman of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Board of Trustees. He is Senior Counsel at the law firm of Van Ness Feldman, where he advises clients and colleagues on legal and public policy issues.
In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed him Commissioner of the INS, a position he held until December 2002 when the agency was dissolved and its missions transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security. Prior to his INS appointment, Mr. Ziglar served as Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate (1998-2001), a position in which he served as the Senate’s chief operating officer, top protocol officer, and chief law enforcement officer. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science in the Reagan administration. From 2005 to 2008, he was President and CEO of Cross Match Technologies.
Mr. Ziglar has more than 50 years of experience in management, finance, law, education, and public policy, spending 17 years as an investment banker and 16 years as a practicing lawyer. He began his law career as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. He later was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School, where he taught immigration law, and was a Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Institute of Politics.
He has served as Executive Councilor (Chairman) of the Board of Councilors of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (Hiroshima, Japan); a member of the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies of Science; a member of the Presidents’ Circle of the National Academies; an honorary director of the National Water Resources Association; a trustee of the Harry A. Blackmun Scholarship Foundation; a director of Integrated Biometrics, Inc. and Forward Industries, Inc.; an Emeritus Director of Human Rights First; and an Advisory Board member of the National Foundation for American Policy. Mr. Ziglar is a member of the bars of New York, Virginia, Arizona, and the District of Columbia.