Stephen Zamora is the Leonard B. Rosenberg Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center. He joined the faculty in 1978, and served as the Law Center’s dean from 1995 to 2000. A recognized expert on the Mexican legal system, Zamora is the lead author of the book Mexican Law, published by Oxford University Press. He also has published widely on legal aspects of U.S. – Mexico relations, as well as subjects related to international economic law; international trade law; and international banking and international monetary law. An expert on NAFTA, Zamora served as a member of an arbitration tribunal that decided the first government-to-government dispute under NAFTA (U.S. v. Canada -- Dairy, Poultry and Eggs from the United States, 1996). In 2006, he received the highest distinction awarded by the Mexican government to a foreign national, the Order of the Aztec Eagle, in recognition of his work in promoting U.S. - Mexican understanding.
Ignacio Pinto-Leon, Assistant Director
Ignacio Pinto-Leon is an attorney licensed in Mexico and the United States. He is the director of JurisMex Corp., a consulting firm based in Houston that provides legal advice on Mexican law, as well as on U.S. immigration law. Pinto–Leon has worked extensively as a litigator in Mexico in matters such as criminal defense, extradition proceedings and Amparo trials.
Pinto–Leon has written and lectured regularly on legal topics relating primarily to Mexican law issues. He is a member of the American Bar Association, and is actively involved in the ABA Section on General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division. He is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Mexican Bar Association (Barra Mexicana–Colegio de Abogados).
Pinto–Leon earned his law degree from the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City in 1999 and his LL.M. degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 2006. He is admitted to practice in all jurisdictions in Mexico, in the state of New York, and in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Texas.
Geoffrey A. Hoffman
Geoffrey A. Hoffman is the Clinical Associate Professor and Faculty Supervisor of the UH Immigration Clinic. He specializes in immigration-related federal court litigation and deportation defense before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), asylum cases, adjustments, and appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
Prior to joining the Clinic, he practiced immigration law in Miami, Florida at Kurzban Kurzban Weinger & Tetzeli, P.A. Previously, Hoffman was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, held the Forrester Fellowship at Tulane Law School where he taught for one year and was a Lecturer at the University of Miami for two years. In addition to his practice and teaching experience, Hoffman was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Paul V. Gadola, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for a two-year term 1998-2000.
He has published numerous articles published in scholarly journals on international law, international human rights, and racial profiling. Hoffman is a member of AILA, a member of the Supreme Court, Michigan and Florida bars, and is admitted to practice in various federal courts of appeals and federal district courts. He holds an A.B. magna cum laude from Columbia University, a J.D. cum laude from Tulane Law School, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School.
Professor Michael A. Olivas holds the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and serves as director of the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance at the University of Houston Law Center. Olivas is the leading expert on higher education law in the United States, and is a recognized authority on U.S. immigration law. He is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Association of University Professors (for which he served as General Counsel), and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In 2011, he served as president of the Association of American Law Schools. He holds a B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) from the Pontifical College Josephinum, an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He is the author or co-author of fourteen books, as well as numerous articles published in scholarly journals on subjects dealing with education law and immigration law. Olivas is fluent in Spanish.
Sandra Guerra Thompson
Sandra Guerra Thompson is the University of Houston Law Foundation Professor of Law and director of the Criminal Justice Institute at the University of Houston Law Center. Thompson has authored numerous articles on criminal law topics such as eyewitness identification and wrongful conviction, immigration crimes, jury discrimination, police interrogations, federal sentencing, and asset forfeiture. In 2009, she was appointed as the representative of Texas public law schools on the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions which was created by the legislature to propose statutory reforms to curb wrongful convictions. She co-edited a new book entitled American Justice in the Age of Innocence, an anthology about wrongful convictions that includes articles written by her seminar students. She served as an assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office where she practiced both trial and appellate criminal law from 1988-1990.
She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and was appointed to the Board of Advisors for the Institute's sentencing reform project. In 2000, she served as chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the Association of American Law Schools. Thompson holds undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Thompson is fluent in Spanish.
Jacqueline L Weaver
Jacqueline Weaver is the A.A. White Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center and one of the nation’s leading scholars in energy law with an emphasis on Oil and Gas Law, International Petroleum Transactions, and Natural Resources and Water Law. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, she earned her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center. She joined the Law Center faculty in 1977, and has taught courses in Oil and Gas, Energy Law and Policy, International Petroleum Transactions, Natural Resources, Water, and Environmental law. She also has recruited outstanding adjuncts in energy law to give the Law Center the number one rated energy law curriculum in the United States. A demanding teacher, she won the University of Houston Teaching Excellence award for 2005-2006. Weaver is a co-author of the leading treatise on “International Petroleum Exploration and Exploitation Agreements,” widely used to teach international petroleum contracts in many countries around the world. She also has co-authored the treatise on “Texas Law of Oil and Gas” and the casebook entitled "Energy, Economics and the Environment." She has written numerous articles on oil and gas law and energy policy. She was the director of the Russian Petroleum Legislation Project in 1990-1991, blending academic and organizational skills to draft a model petroleum code for the new Russian Federation, with the participation of the World Bank, the European Bank, major oil companies, and Russian academics and officials. She has often been consulted by governmental and industry leaders in the United States and other countries, due to her expertise on domestic and international developments in energy law, and she participates in many advanced legal training courses in international petroleum transactions.
Affiliate Scholars of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law participate actively in research and educational projects undertaken by the Center. The inclusion of Affiliate Scholars expands the reach of the Center’s programs, and also permits a broad range of viewpoints and expertise in guiding the projects and activities of the Center.
José Ramón Cossío Díaz, Distinguished Jurist in Residence
José Ramón Cossío Díaz, a Justice of the Mexican Supreme Court, is one of Mexico’s leading jurists. In 2011, he accepted a position with the University of Houston Law Center as Distinguished Jurist in Residence, to collaborate actively on research and educational programs through the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law. Cossío will not receive any honoraria for his work with the Center.
A renowned constitutional law scholar, Cossío was Professor of Constitutional Law and Dean at ITAM Law School in Mexico City before being appointed to a fifteen-year term on the Mexican Supreme Court in 2004. Cossío was born in Mexico City in 1960, and graduated with honors from University of Colima School of Law. In 1988, he received a doctorate, summa cum laude, in Constitutional Law and Political Science from Universidad Complutense in Madrid.
The main focus of Cossío’s work has been on constitutional law, although he also has done extensive research and writing in other legal fields. He has authored 19 books and more than 500 articles published in academic journals, law reviews, digests and newspapers. He has received many distinguishing awards and acknowledgments, among them the National Research Prize in the Social Sciences from the Mexican Academy of Sciences in 1998, and the National Science and Arts Award in 2009. The National Academy of Medicine granted him a special recognition in 2010 for his contribution to the strengthening of links between law and medicine. He is a member of distinguished academic, scientific and professional institutes and boards, such as the National Research Network, the American Law Institute, the Mexican Bar Association, the Sciences Advisory Board, the National Institute of Genomic Medicine, and the Mexican Foundation for Health. He also participates in the editing boards of several specialized reviews, both domestic and international. In addition to his judicial duties, Cossío continues to teach Constitutional Law at ITAM University.
Miriam Grunstein, Affiliate Scholar
Miriam Grunstein is Professor of Law at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) University School of Law in Mexico City. A summa cum laude graduate of ITAM Law School, Professor Grunstein also holds a doctorate (summa cum laude) from New York University in Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures, as well as a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her teaching and research at CIDE focuses on energy law, public regulation, administrative law, and international transactions. Prior to joining the faculty at CIDE, Grunstein practiced energy law in the Mexico City office of an international law firm. Her legal publications include books and articles on energy law (hydrocarbons and other forms of energy). She also has served as a consultant on energy regulation to the Mexican Senate.
The Advisory Board consists of persons who possess valuable experience and expertise in regards to Mexican law and society, or in U.S.-Mexican relations. The Advisory Board provides advice and support in helping the Center to fulfill its mission.
Mexican advisors (in alphabetical order)
- Cecilia Azar, partner, Azar Ortega y Gómez Ruano, Mexico City
- Dr. Gabriel Cavazos Villanueva, Associate Dean of the School of Business, Social Sciences and Humanities of the Tecnológico de Monterrey (Campus Monterrey)
- Dra. Josefina Cortés, Director General for Privatization and Public Bidding, Comisión Federal de Competencia, Mexico City
- Dr. José Ramón Cossío Díaz, Justice of the Mexican Supreme Court, and Distinguished Jurist in Residence, University of Houston Law Center
- Ambassador Arturo Dáger, Legal Adviser, Mexican Foreign Ministry (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores)
- Dr. David Enríquez, Goodrich Riquelme y Asociados and ITAM law school, Mexico City
- Dr. Héctor Fix Fierro, Director, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, UNAM
- Ambassador Miguel Ángel González Félix, General Coordinator for International Affairs, Mexican Office of the Attorney General (Procuraduría General de la República)
- Alejandro Landa Thierry, International Partner, Chadbourne & Parke, Mexico City
- Dr. Sergio López Ayllón, General Secretary, CIDE University, Mexico City
- Rogelio López Velarde, founding partner and energy law expert, López Velarde, Heftye y Soria, Mexico City
- Cristina Massa, Commissioner, Comisión Federal de Competencia, Mexico City
- Dr. Luis Fernando Pérez Hurtado, Founding Director, Centro de Estudios Sobre la Enseñanza y Aprendizaje de Derecho (http://www.ceead.org.mx/)
- Dr. Luis Rubio, President, CIDAC, A.C.
- Dr. Diego Valadés, UNAM – Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas
U.S. advisors (in alphabetical order)
- Ricardo Colmenter, Regional Counsel for Latin America, Weatherford International
- Congressman Henry Cuellar, U.S. House of Representatives (D – TX, 28th District)
- Alberto de la Peña, partner, Haynes and Boone, Dallas
- James A. DeMent, Jr., partner, Baker Botts, Houston
- David Gantz, Samuel M. Fegtly Professor of Law, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law
- Lawrence Hanson, LW Hanson and Associates, Houston
- Tim Johnson, partner, Locke Lord LLP, Houston
- David Lopez, partner, Pulman, Cappuccio & Pullen, San Antonio
- William D. Marsh, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Western Hemisphere, Baker Hughes, Houston
- Charles E. Meacham, Partner, Gardere Wynne Sewell, Houston
- Judge Margaret McKeown, United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, San Diego
- Ewell E. Murphy, Jr., former partner, Baker Botts; Distinguished Lecturer, University of Houston Law Center
- Robert Pastor, Director, Center for North American Studies, American University, Washington, D.C.
- Judge Josefina Rendón, 165th District Court, Houston
- Doris Rodriguez, partner, Andrews Kurth, Houston
- Judge Lee Rosenthal, United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston
- Carlos Soltero, partner, McGinnis Lochridge & Kilgore, Austin
- Peter K. Taaffe, Of Counsel, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston
- Judge Vaughn Walker, United States District Court (retired), Northern District of California, San Francisco
- William Wood, partner, Fulbright & Jaworski, Houston
Jeronimo Cortina is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston. He also teaches in University of Houston's Center for Mexican American Studies, and is a Research Associate at the Center for Public Policy. He earned a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University, as well as a Masters degrees in Public Administration and Public Policy from the School of International and Public Affairs. Dr. Cortina specializes on survey research, immigration, and quantitative methods. His work has been published in scholarly and policy journals such as the American Politics Research Journal, Foreign Affairs in Spanish, and the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy. His latest books include (with Andrew Gelman, David Park, Boris Shor)"Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do" published by Princeton University Press, "A Quantitative Tour of the Social Sciences" published by Cambridge University Press (with Andrew Gelman) and "New Perspectives on International Migration and Development" (with Enrique Ochoa-Reza) with Columbia University Press.
University of Houston Professor Susan Kellogg is a scholar of Mexican and Latin American history whose research focuses on indigenous peoples, law, and women in Latin America, particularly Mexico. She also studies colonialism and cultural change and the impact of each on Latin American history. Professor Kellogg received her doctorate (in anthropology) from the University of Rochester. She has been both chair and director of graduate studies in the History Department and currently serves as director of the Latin American Studies Program at the University of Houston.