Latin America Forum

Annual Conference & ExpoNAFSA 2019 Proposals

Leading Internationalization: Navigating Higher Education Trends in Latin America

Philadelphia, PA
May 28, 2018

A NAFSA seminar offered by the Global Programs and Resource Development Department.

Thank you for attending the 2018 Latin America Forum!

Visit our page this fall for 2019 Latin America Forum updates.

The 2018 Latin America Forum explored issues related to internationalization and strategic partnerships with Latin America and the Caribbean. Higher education leaders from throughout the region shared model practices and provided insights on developing effective and sustainable partnerships. Country-specific breakout tables were be available for networking.


Monday, May 28, 2018
2:00 p.m.-2:05 p.m.


2:05 p.m.-2:10 p.m.


2:10 p.m.-2:40 p.m.

Sergio Urzúa, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Maryland

2:40 p.m.-3:20 p.m.

Higher Education Panel

3:20 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Institutional Engagement: Best Practices by Country


Sandra Rincón
, PhD
Holland Alumni network-NL
With over 25 years of experience in international Education, Sandra Rincón has been building global communities linking universities, companies, governmental organizations, NGOs, scholarship foundations and entrepreneurs. She is President of the Holland Alumni network-NL, the association for international students and alumni residing in the Netherlands. She also completing a PhD at Tilburg University, the Netherlands on the topic of International Alumni Relations and Internationalization of Higher Education. 

She serves as trainer and adviser for various international organizations: Association of International Educators (NAFSA), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), European Association of International Education (EAIE) and Nuffic (Organization for internationalization of Dutch education). She has also co-authored various articles on international engagement and presents regularly in international conferences. 

Keynote Speaker

Sergio UrzuaSergio Urzúa, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Maryland
Sergio Urzua received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2007 and his BA from the University of Chile in 2001. He is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland, Research Associate at the NBER, Research Fellow at IZA and international researcher of Clapes-UC. His research has focused on the role of cognitive and socio-emotional abilities, and uncertainty as determinants of schooling decisions, labor market outcomes and social behavior. His research in econometrics is mainly concerned with the estimation of selection models with unobserved heterogeneity. He has analyzed the effects of early endowments on academic and labor market outcomes. His research agenda includes the evaluation of social programs in developing economies. His most recent books are: "At a Crossroads : Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean" (2017) with Ferreyra, Avitabile, Botero and Haimovich and "Educación con Patines" (2018) with A. Fontaine.

Panel Speakers

Jorge Arosemena
Executive President, City of Knowledge, Panamá

Jorge Ramón Arosemena Román has led the executive team of the City of Knowledge Foundation in Panamá since its inception in 1997. His vision and leadership were instrumental in the transformation of the Fort Clayton US Military Base to what is now the City of Knowledge campus. Located alongside the Panama Canal, the City of Knowledge hosts over 200 organizations including academic institutions, international NGOs, research and development centers, corporations and entrepreneurial ventures.In addition, City of Knowledge receives over 10,000 study abroad international students and houses the National Secretariat of Science Technology and Innovation (SENACYT)which provides scholarship opportunitiesto thousands of talented Panamanians abroad.

Arosemena has held important positions such as General Manager of the Panamanian Institute of Tourism, Vice Minister of the Presidency, Vice Minister and Minister of Education of the Republic of Panama.He was a Sociology professor at the University of Panama, institution in which he taught for 38 years and eventually served as its Academic Provost.

Arosemena also worked as the project coordinator of the Action Committee for the Support of Economic and Social Development in Central America (CADESCA) of the Latin American Economic System, promoting international cooperation projects with the European Union, the Nordic countries of Europe and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Arosemena studied Civil Engineering at the University of Panama, earned a Classical Degree in Philosophy and a Masters in Sociology, both from Saint Louis University.

Alejandra CastroAlejandra Barahona Castro, PhD
Senior International Officer and Director, Center for International Programs & Sustainability Studies, Universidad Veritas, Costa Rica
Dr. Barahona's position as senior international officer and the director of the Center for International Programs & Sustainability Studies has given her experience in leadership, executive management, advancement planning, financial oversight, human resources policies, community relations, strategic planning, and project analysis reporting. She oversees international initiatives and international student services, and is responsible for sharing and creating opportunities to internationalize Universidad Veritas. She led the curricular structure and accreditation project of the dual degree Bachelors in sustainability management for Universidad Veritas and Western Illinois University. She is currently involved in the development of a unique sustainable processes and conservation research center in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Barahona has a PhD in latin american philosophy and literature from the University of California Los Angeles, an executive MBA from INCAE Business School, and a master's degree in contemporary latin american literature and linguistics from UCLA. She is the founder and current president of the Global Edu Costa Rica cluster, and association of Costa Rican Universities for International Education.

María de Lourdes Dieck AssadMaría de Lourdes Dieck Assad, PhD
Vice President for Hemispheric and Global Affairs, University of Miami
María de Lourdes Dieck Assad, PhD, is the inaugural vice president for hemispheric and global affairs at the University of Miami in Florida, USA. She was appointed by President Frenk, to lead the hemispheric and global initiatives across all schools and colleges of the University, with the aim of becoming the Hemispheric University, and become the hub for the Americas. Dr. Dieck has been an academic leader in macroeconomics at EGADE Business School of Tecnológico de Monterrey, where she served as dean of the school from 2011 until 2016 when she was named dean emeritus. She previously served as director general of Tecnológico de Monterrey at its Santa Fe Campus in Mexico City and she was also dean of the School of Government, Social Sciences and Humanities at the same institution. She has held academic leadership positions within Tecnológico de Monterrey and with other prestigious international institutions including Trinity University and Brookings Institution, both in Washington DC. Dieck Assad earned her PhD in economics from The University of Texas at Austin, a master´s degree in economic development from Vanderbilt University, and a bachelor in economics from Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico).

Marcela WolffMarcela Wolff
Head of International Relations Universidad EAFIT, Colombia
Marcela Wolff has worked at EAFIT since July, 2009. Since August 2016, she is the executive director of Colombia Challenge Your Knowledge – CCYK, a network of 26 accredited universities in Colombia and supported by several government and private entities, with the objective of promoting Colombia worldwide as a high quality academic destination. She led EAFIT’s capacity building project that received the first grants for Latin America of President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas Program. She was previously responsible of EAFIT’s international projects in the Continuing Education Center (2008-2009) and she was a part-time lecturer on international aid in the School of Business (2005-2009). She received her MBA degree from Universidad EAFIT in 2008, her graduate certificate in international business from the same university in 2003, and her architecture bachelor’s degree from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in 1999.


The 2018 Latin America Forum is possible thanks to the generous support of Knowledge in Panama.
knowledge in panama