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Dr. Rogelio Garcia-Contreras Presents Seminar at El Centro Fox

Dr. Rogelio Garcia-Contreras, University of St. Thomas assistant professor of International Studies and director of the UST Social Entrepreneurship Program, presented a seminar on social and economic development and poverty alleviation for government officials at El Centro Fox in Mexico on August 5 and 6.

The seminar was the first of several forums on social entrepreneurship, microfinance, poverty eradication policies and related topics included in an agreement between Former Mexican President Vicente Fox and UST President Dr. Robert Ivany to establish collaboration between Centro Fox and the Social Entrepreneurship Program.

Garcia-Contreras said he felt the seminar was a success and they have plans to present seminars every two months, starting in November.

“We hope to continue with these seminars addressing economic difficulties and continue to build a solid and long-lasting relationship with Centro Fox,” said Garcia-Contreras.

Eighty-four participants, including President Fox and many Mexican government officials were in attendance.

Five speakers, selected by Garcia-Contreras, contributed to the pilot seminar. Jesus Gutierrez Navarrete, professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana, spoke on “The Psychological and Sociological Impact of Microfinance;” Alejando Arena, CEO of the Santa Fe de Guanajuato Micro Finance Program, presented a successful case study of best practices in microfinance; Eduardo Guevara, director of communications for Caja Popular Mexicana, presented a successful case study of cooperatives; Guillermo Romero Pacheco, former Chief of Staff for President Fox and lecturer at Centro Fox spoke on “Ethics and Leadership”; Garcia-Contreras spoke on “Microfinance, Theory and Practice”.

The Social Entrepreneurship Program, formerly known as the MicroCredit Program, is housed within the Center for International Studies and encompasses microcredit lending and social learning initiatives. The program is dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs who live below the poverty threshold and provides a unique opportunity to affect meaningful improvement in the lives of the world’s poor through active management of microcredit funds and social development programs.

El Centro Fox was started in 2006 by Fox as a center for advancement and studies focused on leadership, democracy and poverty alleviation.

For more information on the Social Entrepreneurship Program, visit or contact Dr. Rogelio Garcia-Contreras at 713-525-3538 or

Shown at top: Former Mexico President Vicente Fox and Dr. Garcia-Contreras meet at UST in November 2010. Shown above: seminar at El Centro Fox.

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