Participants/ Tony Payan

Mexico Center Director, The Baker Institute

Tony Payan, Ph.D., is the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and director of the Mexico Center at the Baker Institute. He is also an adjunct associate professor at Rice University and a professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez. Between 2001 and 2015, Payan was a professor of political science at The University of Texas at El Paso.

Payan’s research focuses primarily on border studies, particularly the U.S.-Mexico border. His work includes studies of border governance, border flows and immigration, as well as border security and organized crime. Payan has authored two books, Cops, Soldiers and Diplomats: Understanding Agency Behavior in the War on Drugs and The Three U.S.-Mexico Border Wars: Drugs, Immigration and Homeland Security. He has also co-edited five volumes: Gobernabilidad e Ingobernabilidad en la Región Paso del Norte, Human Rights Along the U.S.-Mexico Border: Gendered Violence and Insecurity, De Soldaderas a Activistas: La mujer chihuahuense en los albores del Siglo XXI, A War that Can’t Be Won: Binational Perspectives on the War on Drugs, and Undecided Nation: Political Gridlock and the Immigration Crisis. He is currently working on a manuscript titled “The Bird’s Eye View: An Elite Analysis of Mexico’s 2006-2012 Security Strategy” and the second edition of his book The Three U.S.-Mexico Border Wars.

Payan has served on several boards, including the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority in El Paso, Texas, and the Plan Estratégico de Juárez in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. He is a member of the Greater Houston Partnership's Immigration Task Force and the Mexico Energy Task Force. He also served as president of the Association of Borderlands Studies between 2009 and 2010.

Payan earned a B.A. in philosophy and classical languages from the University of Dallas and an MBA from the University of Dallas Graduate School of Management. He received a doctorate degree in international relations from Georgetown University in 2001.