Washington, DC - In May 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the formation of the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research under the auspices of the U.S. – Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue. The Bilateral Forum seeks to build prosperity in the region; to foster the mutual understanding between both countries through program exchanges addressing student mobility, academic exchange, research, and innovation in areas of shared interest; and to contribute to the competitiveness and economic development of the region.

In order to advance the U.S.-Mexico education agenda, a Memorandum of Understanding and a Letter of Intent were signed January 5 regarding a consular exchange program and an educational exchange program respectively. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele T. Bond and Mexican Undersecretary for North America Sergio M. Alcocer Martínez de Castro signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Department of State and the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Relations (SRE) on the establishment of a Foreign Service Officer Exchange Program. Under the program, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer would work for up to a year in the SRE, while a Mexican diplomat would work in the Department of State in Washington, DC. The program is intended to strengthen consular capabilities by sharing best practices and deepen awareness of country-specific consular issues.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan and Mexican Undersecretary Alcocer signed a Letter of Intent between the U.S. Department of State and the SRE to promote bilateral internship exchange programs and establish a U.S.-Mexico Internship Program in the future. The work together on educational exchange will ensure that the US-Mexico academic partnership, joint innovation and research goals create a lasting, strong foundation of economic, social and political prosperity.