Irasema Coronado, UTEP Border Environment Expert, Named Executive Director of North American Environment Commission

The Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) today announced the appointment of Irasema Coronado, Ph.D., as the seventh executive director of the CEC Secretariat.

The CEC was established in 1994 as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The CEC implements the environmental-protection supplement to the accord, known as the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

Coronado, a professor of political science at The University of Texas at El Paso and a noted expert on border environmental issues, will oversee the activities of the secretariat, which provides technical, administrative and operational support to the CEC Council. She is also a member of the CEC’s Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC).

Mexican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Juan R. Elvira-Quesada, chair of the CEC Council, welcomed Coronado to the position of CEC Secretariat executive director.

"With more than 20 years experience working with border communities and experts, Irasema Coronado brings a vast understanding of North American environmental issues,” Elvira-Quesada said. “She has a keen understanding of the opportunities and challenges the CEC faces in supporting the cooperative environmental agenda of Canada, Mexico and the United States.”

Coronado's three-year term as executive director will begin on Dec. 1.

At UTEP, Coronado has served as an associate provost (2008-12), associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts (2006-08), chair of the Political Science Department (2005-06), and assistant professor of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies (1999-2003).

She was appointed as a CEC JPAC member in May 2010 by President Barack Obama and served as JPAC Chair in 2011.

She has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Arizona, specializing in comparative politics. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez in Mexico (2004-05) and in Germany (2002).

A full biography and photo are available on the JPAC members web page.

About CEC

The CEC is an intergovernmental organization that supports the cooperative environmental agenda of Canada, Mexico and the United States to green North America’s economy, address climate change by promoting a low-carbon economy, and protect its environment and the health of its citizens. The CEC is composed of three bodies: a Council representing the governments of the three member countries, a Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) that advises the Council and serves as a liaison with the public, and a Secretariat that supports the Council and JPAC and prepares independent reports. 

The Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation is composed of the cabinet-level environment ministers of the three NAFTA countries: Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent, Mexican Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Juan R. Elvira-Quesada, and U.S. Environmental Protect Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. 

The CEC is funded by the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment, the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales.