MCALLEN, RGV – Dr. Marie T. Mora, UTRGV economics professor and associate vice provost for Faculty Diversity, is slated to become a member of the board of directors for the San Antonio Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Speaking at the Border Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Symposium, where she moderated a discussion with Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president and CEO Robert S. Kaplan, Mora said she is excited to start her post once it becomes official.

Marie T. Mora

She will still need final approval from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, but members of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas were confident enough to announce that she had acquired the position at the event. After about a year-long nomination process, she will most likely begin her three-year term in January 2018.

The Rio Grande Valley currently has one other resident on the board of directors of the San Antonio Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas: McAllen businessman Robert Lozano.

Like Kaplan, who stressed the importance of literacy and education for a healthy economy, Mora said that one of her primary goals in representing the Rio Grande Valley on the board is to address this deficit in the region. She says raising awareness, doing more outreach and bridging the digital divide are all necessary steps to move our labor force forward.

“One of the things that I think a lot of people are not aware of is how critically important educational attainment is,” Mora told the Rio Grande Guardian, after the panel discussion had ended. “We always hear that it is, but it really is one of our drivers of economic growth and productivity. I think that’s an issue for the lower Rio Grande Valley, and I think that’s something that needs to continue to be raised.”

Also on her agenda is policy aimed at fortifying trade with Mexico. The Fed is keeping a close eye on NAFTA negotiations, and Mora hopes to add a frontline perspective on that and other issues regarding border trade.

“It’s helpful to keep reminding them that issues related to trade are crucial for this region,” said Mora.

As a labor economist, Mora ultimately hopes to foster an environment in which the region’s workforce can thrive. That, she says, is her passion, for which she works toward every day.

Here are Mora’s biographical details, as published in the Border Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Symposium program agenda:

Mora is nationally recognized for her research on Hispanic socioeconomic outcomes and has been invited to share her expertise with numerous institutions and agencies, including the White House Initiative for the Educational Excellence of Hispanics, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the U.S. Department of Labor. She currently serves on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Users Advisory Committee and was a member of the Dallas Fed’s Colonias Study Steering Committee.

Among her numerous publications is the award-winning book “Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s: An Economic Profile and Policy Implications” (2013, Stanford University Press) co-authored with Alberto Dávila. Her most recent book (November 2017) is on Puerto Rico’s economic crisis, co-authored with Dávila and Havidán Rodríguez.

She holds a PhD in economics from Texas A&M University.