Latin America Forum

Annual Conference & ExpoNAFSA 2018 Registration

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.

Explore issues related to internationalization and strategic partnerships with Latin America and the Caribbean. Higher education leaders from throughout the region will share model practices and provide insights on developing effective and sustainable partnerships. Country-specific breakout tables will be available for networking.

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

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
Mrs. 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.


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


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