Patrick Schaefer, executive director of the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News Service
UNM Law School alumnus Patrick Schaefer ('09) is at the helm of a new research center created to study how divergent municipal, state, and national governments can work together to enhance the economic and social development in the Paso del Norte region.
As the Executive Director of the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness at the University of Texas at El Paso, Schaefer shared the institute's far-reaching research agenda with more than 220 stakeholders who attended the April 29th inaugural event.
Schaefer said the event was a great opportunity that brought together various community leaders within government, academia, and the private and public sectors to share views regarding the impact that multiple legal and regulatory structures have on areas critical to the economic and social well being of the region. The five key research areas where this impact is most visible are business development, energy and natural resource management, public health, education, and infrastructure.
The institute's mission is to develop transboundary data sets in the key research areas as well as economic research that analyzes the impact that various institutional and regulatory structures have on the economy and quality of life of millions of people in the Paso del Norte region.
In addition to directing the Hunt Institute, Schaefer has been active in teaching law on both sides of the border. At UTEP, he taught students the law of NAFTA Chapters 11 and 14. And, at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, he taught international commercial arbitration law and even took the students to compete in the Willem C. Vis international arbitration moot in Vienna, Austria for the first time in the school's history.
At UNM, Schaefer studied Ibero-American political and economic history at the Latin American and Iberian Institute as well as the legal structures governing commercial, financial, and natural resources in Mexico and Brazil while a student at the School of Law. He then focused on their Spanish and Portuguese analogues as a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, where he received his LL.M degree.