Mexico City's Ángel de Independencia against cityscape

Mexico Global Gateway Anchors University’s Engagement in Mexico and Central America

  • Apr 28, 2022
  • Ellen Stader

The University of Texas at Austin has established a Global Gateway office in Mexico City to bolster the educational and cultural connections between the university and its partners in Mexico and the region.  

Global Gateways represent and increase the visibility of UT Austin in strategic world regions to advance research collaborations, expand and deepen partnerships, encourage academic exchanges, facilitate scholarly symposia, create awareness with prospective students and engage alumni.   

Located on the campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City, the Mexico Global Gateway connects UT Austin with leading universities, private foundations, nonprofit agencies, government organizations, and industry representatives in Mexico and the region. 

“I am so delighted to announce the opening of UT Austin’s Mexico Global Gateway and to welcome inaugural director Valerie Cárdenas Dugal,” said Sonia Feigenbaum, senior vice provost of global engagement and chief international officer at UT Austin. “The Mexico Global Gateway serves as the university’s focal point to support existing activities and facilitate connectivity among UT, Mexico, and the region. The global gateway will contribute to deepened institutional engagement, advancing our mission to address global challenges by leveraging transnational linkages comprehensively.  

“We are proud of the longstanding partnerships we have built with UNAM, the United States Embassy in Mexico, and United States-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (COMEXUS),” continued Feigenbaum. “We look forward to providing institutional support for faculty and academic initiatives in STEM, the social sciences, and the creative arts. For our students, this will result in new study-abroad and internship programs, opportunities to liaise with potential employers, and connections with alumni in the region.”  

Director Valerie Cárdenas Dugal 

UT Mexico Global Gateway inaugural director Valerie Cárdenas Dugal

Valerie Cárdenas Dugal, the inaugural director for the Mexico Global Gateway, is responsible for supporting and coordinating UT Austin’s academic and alumni engagement initiatives in Mexico and the region. Ms. Cárdenas joins UT Austin with a distinguished career advocating for and facilitating academic mobility between the U.S. and Mexico.  

“I am honored to join the Texas Global team in its endeavors to advance UT Austin’s international education initiatives in Mexico and Latin America,” said Cárdenas. “The Mexico Global Gateway represents more than just expanding outreach. I see it also as a demonstration of trust in Mexico’s talent and a recognition of the academic excellence of longtime partner institutions. I look forward to working with faculty, students, staff and leadership to engage in the program’s academic, cultural and networking initiatives to deepen these existing relationships and forge new partnerships.”  

Enduring Connections Contribute to Gateway 

Longhorns have collaborated with organizations across Central America for more than a century, sharing a rich history of academic discovery and intercultural exchange. More than 225 faculty members have engaged in research and creative partnerships with institutions in the region, 99 of those co-authoring 244 joint publications with colleagues at 42 institutions and research organizations.  

Several of UT Austin’s flagship enterprises are the result of the university’s relationship with counterparts in Mexico and Central America. Created in partnership with the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS), the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection is a global destination for research and study, containing more than a million volumes and a wealth of original manuscripts, photographs and other media related to Mexico, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean and Latinx presence in the United States.  

Additionally, the Dell Medical School and Texas Global recently launched the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) program in cooperation with the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) faculty of Medicine and the Ministry of Health in the State of Puebla to address health care access and equity challenges in Texas and Mexico. The university's International Board of Advisors (IBA) is instrumental in fostering networks for UT Austin in Mexico, including those that helped establish AMPATH and the President's Award for Global Learning, as well as numerous other impactful projects.

The Mexico Global Gateway will help solidify these types of international programs and open the door for others in all areas of academic participation, not only reinforcing faculty collaborations in research and creative activities but also providing valuable international learning experiences for UT Austin students via study abroad, research, internships and short-term exchanges. The gateway also will support outreach to prospective students and connect regional alumni with university-sponsored activities.  

For more information on the Mexico Global Gateway, visit or contact us at