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Thunderbird at ASU announces regional Center of Excellence in Mexico

Center to advance access to education, innovation in Latin America


Three men pose for a group photo.

The announcement of the Thunderbird/ASU-UAG Center of Excellence in Mexico was met with significant support from Thunderbird alumni, partners, thought leaders, industry experts, government representatives and visionaries, signifying a momentous meeting of critical stakeholders to propel impact across Latin America. Pictured from left: Jimmy Masrin, co-chair of the Thunderbird Global Alumni Network; Juan Carlos Leaño Del Castillo, administrative vice president at UAG; and Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird at ASU. Photo courtesy Thunderbird at ASU

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November 29, 2023

In a move that signaled a significant step forward in its commitment to fostering innovation and global, digital leadership in Latin America, the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, in partnership with Cintana Education and the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG), has announced a new regional Center of Excellence in Mexico.

The announcement came earlier this month at an event that was attended by alumni, thought leaders, industry experts, government representatives and visionaries from across Latin America.

Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird; Maria Anguiano, executive vice president of Learning Enterprise at ASU; Juan Carlos Leaño Del Castillo, administrative vice president at UAG; Alfonso Petersen, academic vice president at UAG; Rick Shangraw, president of Cintana Education; and Jorge Mendoza Yescas, consul general of Mexico in Phoenix, all gave remarks during the event. The event was also attended by Luis Gutierrez, head of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad.

"Empowering individuals in Latin America with access to global leadership and management education is crucial for fostering sustainable development, cross-cultural understanding and international trade. By investing in education initiatives, we not only equip aspiring leaders with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of the global business landscape, but also contribute to building a more interconnected and inclusive world,” Khagram said. “We are honored to have a strong partnership with Cintana Education and UAG, and I look forward to seeing the impact on global education that we can make together.”

The Thunderbird/ASU-UAG Center of Excellence will offer access to educational offerings, including Thunderbird Executive Education Programs. The inaugural certificate offering includes the Global Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship program that took place Nov. 13–15 in Mexico City. The course attracted 25 professionals from across Latin America and featured leading faculty at Thunderbird, including professors Tom Hunsaker, Glenn Edens and Vice Dean Charla Griffy-Brown.

“This partnership with Thunderbird/ASU was made looking for the opportunity to give Mexican people the possibility to access excellent programs in their own country, knowing that Mexico needs people with knowledge and experience to be innovative leaders in our institutions and companies. Recognizing the international leadership of Thunderbird in this field, we decided to establish a strategic alliance to make the first Thunderbird Center of Excellence a reality in a Mexican university,” Petersen said.

Castillo added, “As Mexico's first private university, UAG, we are dedicated to providing relevant, innovative and high-quality academic programs across the Mexican territory through the establishment of the Center of Excellence with Thunderbird. This strategic alliance intends to establish us as one of the leading business schools in Latin America, in line with our broader mission of developing world-class, innovative leaders.”

Man speaking into a microphone on a panel.

During the event, the Thunderbird Global Alumni Network (TGAN) also connected in Mexico City to discuss future initiatives to engage alumni across the key areas of lifelong learning, executive education, student success, strategy and development. Pictured: Thunderbird Director General and Dean Sanjeev Khagram gives remarks along with TGAN co-chair, Karen Simon. Photo courtesy Thunderbird at ASU

The Center of Excellence (COE) embodies ASU’s mission to advance universal access to learning across the life span through the Learning Enterprise. A wide variety of flexible pathways for career professionals and lifelong learners eradicates barriers for gaining vital skills and knowledge. As part of ASU’s Learning Enterprise, Thunderbird’s new COE is setting the foundation for significant social and economic growth in Mexico and beyond.

“As we launch the Thunderbird/ASU-UAG Center of Excellence in Mexico, we take a monumental step towards realizing our vision of putting transformative education within reach for all. Together with our partners, Cintana Education and UAG, we are committed to nurturing the next generation of leaders who will drive positive change, not only in Mexico, but throughout Latin America and the world,” Anguiano said.

The momentous occasion also directly supports Cintana Education’s mission to connect world-class universities to the resources and partners they need to succeed. Founded in collaboration with ASU, Cintana works to build a global network of forward-looking universities that are working together to bring the best of higher education to students worldwide.

“This partnership between Thunderbird and UAG is a significant achievement in terms of linking the oldest private university in Mexico with the No. 1 school in the world for international trade,” Shangraw said. “Together, these two institutions will elevate access to state-of-the-art training and tools in global management in Latin America.”

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