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MPI Announces Selection of Policy Scholar and Think Tank Executive Andrew Selee as Incoming President
Press Release
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

MPI Announces Selection of Policy Scholar and Think Tank Executive Andrew Selee as Incoming President

WASHINGTON — Andrew Selee, executive vice president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and senior advisor to its Mexico Institute, has been selected as the Migration Policy Institute’s next president, the chair of MPI’s Board of Trustees announced today.

In making the announcement, the Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, noted that the selection of Selee concludes an orderly transition process from the Institute’s founder generation to its next era of leadership.

"The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce Andrew Selee’s selection as MPI’s next president, and sees in this talented leader precisely the right skills to build upon the legacy that founding President Demetrios Papademetriou and his successor, Michael Fix, have created over the Institute’s first 15 and a half years,” DiMarzio said. “Andrew’s hiring caps an exhaustive, global executive search process, and we are confident he will guide MPI to new levels of success in the years ahead.”

As executive vice president Selee, 49, has for the past three years overseen day-to-day operations and the research agenda at the 135-staff Wilson Center. He will assume his new duties at MPI this summer after he completes his latest book, due for publication in 2018.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected to lead MPI into its next phase as it continues to expand its efforts to inform major policy discussions in the United States and abroad through balanced, evidence-based research and policy design,” Selee said. “There are few organizations that make as much of a difference on policy discussions in any arena, and it has done so working on a set of issues that I care deeply about and on which I have focused throughout my professional career.”

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 MPI-Wilson convened Regional Migration Study Group. 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, Selee is a respected scholar and analyst of Mexico and U.S.-Mexico relations. In his role as vice president for programs and later as executive vice president, he has been involved with the Wilson Center’s wide-ranging initiatives in Europe, Asia, Africa, Eurasia and the Middle East.

Selee is the author of a major book on think tank strategy and is the author or co-editor of five other books. He writes a regular column for Mexico’s El Universal newspaper, and is a frequent media commentator. He is an adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University and of international affairs at George Washington University, and has been a visiting professor at El Colegio de Mexico.

“Andrew Selee has a distinguished track record not only as a serious policy scholar but a leader who has thought deeply about think tank strategy and administration,” said Fix, who will remain president until Selee’s arrival and then will return to research on immigration policy and immigrant integration as a senior fellow.

MPI was founded in 2001 by Papademetriou and Kathleen Newland. The institute is an independent, non-partisan think tank headquartered in Washington, DC with a sister institution in Brussels as well as an office in New York and a presence in London, San Francisco and Seattle. To date, MPI has published more than 500 research reports and books, provided testimony before the U.S. Congress and parliamentary bodies in more than a dozen countries, advised dozens of governments and civil-society organizations and organized countless public and private convenings.

Papademetriou, who is president emeritus, will retire from MPI when Selee assumes the presidency. He will continue to convene MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration and, until 2018, to serve as president of MPI Europe.

"With Andrew’s selection, I am confident that Michael and I are leaving MPI in excellent shape for the next stage of its life,” Papademetriou said. “With policy challenges and migration-management issues proliferating globally, MPI’s work and thoughtful, pragmatic voice have never been more important.”

Selee holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies from Washington University in St. Louis, a master’s in Latin American studies from the University of California, San Diego and a PhD in policy studies from the University of Maryland.

Prior to joining the Wilson Center as a program associate in the Latin American Program in 2000, Selee 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 was a member of the YMCA of the USA’s National Board.