News

Juan Ciscomani
Senior Advisor for Regional and International Affairs
Office of the Arizona Governor | Douglas A. Ducey

Juan is the Senior Advisor for Regional and International Affairs for Governor Ducey. He is a native of Hermosillo, Sonora and grew up in Tucson. He graduated from the University of Arizona and completed a competitive 1 year Public Policy Fellowship in Washington, DC. for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. As Vice President of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Juan led their growth to triple it in size. He also expanded the chamber’s presence in Mexico by promoting trade opportunities with Arizona. In February of 2015, Juan was appointed by Governor Ducey to serve on his Senior Leadership Team. In his current role as the Senior Advisor for Regional and International Affairs, Juan is responsible for the operations of the Southern Arizona office, the Governor’s Hermosillo office, and the Arizona-Mexico Commission. He leads the Governor’s efforts internationally, and serves as the Governor’s liaison with all Latin American Consulate Offices in Arizona. Additionally, he is part of a select group within the Governor’s Senior Leadership Team who review and interview judicial candidates before their appointment interview with Governor Ducey. Married to Laura, they have Zoe (8), Juan Jr. (6), Kenneth (3), Lily (1) and Lucas Noe (newborn) as their proudest accomplishments.


Transcript

D. Patrick Lewis: We’re always looking for international opportunities. Obviously, we border two very large countries and having good relations with them is important. I know you’re on the Arizona-Mexico Commission. What can you tell me about that, what is coming out of that commission right now?

Judy Lowe: The Arizona-Mexico Commission is a group (that) encourages and fosters cross-border collaboration between Sonora Mexico, which is our counterpart on the other side of the border, and Arizona.

I co-chair the Real Estate Committee with Mike Hammond, who is a commercial realtor in Arizona. He’s from the private sector. We work with our counterparts in what is known not as the Real Estate Department, but ICRESON, which is the government real estate entity in Sonora.

We work on opportunities for networking and we also interact with the business community in the economic opportunity growth of each of our states.

D. Patrick Lewis: Do you see some exciting things happening with them over the next couple of years?

Judy Lowe: We do. In Sonora, up until very recently, the real estate professional didn’t have to have a real estate license. The shoe shine boy on the corner could really sell a beautiful, beach condominium to an American buyer who maybe felt that they were working with a real estate licensee.

We’re putting in place real estate license law in Sonora. The challenges around it are — how do you enforce the requirement when you don’t have a department that has a regulatory arm to it? We’ve been very, very instrumental in working with our Sonoran counterparts in putting that together.

Boots on the Border:  Good for the Border

Earlier this month, Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, along with Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the Boots on the Border Act.  This legislation is designed to remove the onerous, and at times duplicative, polygraph testing that is currently imposed on applicants that are veterans, military service members and members of other law enforcement entities that are applying for positions with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

CBP has not been able to fill 1,100 positions that were funded in the 2014 budget because the overly burdensome polygraph process is eliminating many veterans and current military personnel that are considering a career protecting our nation and our borders.  CBP is reporting that the Tucson sector alone has over 21% of its fulltime positions unfilled.  This condition is perpetuated by the extremely low ratio of job applicants to actual hires at CBP.

Arizona and its federal partners, CBP and the General Services Administration have invested over $400 million in port of entry infrastructure over the last 8 years but there is simply not enough staff to open-up every lane that is available.  Port Directors have to play a constant game of taking from one to open up another in order to minimize the impacts to our ports of entry and to our border communities.  Officers are forced to work extensive amounts of overtime and at times max out and cannot work anymore overtime.  CBP needs to have the necessary staff to ensure the security of our nation along with facilitating trade and tourism that are critical to the Arizona and national economy.

Arizona’s border communities report that at least 70% of the sales tax generated in each community is directly attributable to the Mexican visitor and shopper.  But if visitors have long delays to cross the border then they simply will not come to our stores and our restaurants.  Additionally, Arizona’s trade relationship with Mexico totals over $15 billion in imports and exports and without efficient ports of entry we cannot maximize the opportunities that exist for Arizona companies.

CBP has made great efforts to streamline the recruiting process but they still have a long way to go.  The Boots on the Border Act offers a new tool and a tremendous opportunity for Customs and Border Protection to recruit and hire some of the most qualified individuals our nation has to offer.  We urge the entire Arizona Congressional delegation to support this legislation.

Signed
The Honorable Gerardo Sanchez, Mayor, City of San Luis
The Honorable Doug Nicholls, Mayor, City of Yuma
The Honorable John Doyle, Mayor, City of Nogales
The Honorable Robert Uribe, Mayor, City of Douglas
John S. Halikowski, Chairman, Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance
Jessica Pacheco, President, Arizona-Mexico Commission
Guillermo Valencia, Chairman, Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority
The Honorable Matias Rosales, Chairman, Greater Yuma Port Authority
Carlos Fernandez, Chairman, Douglas International Port Authority
Patrick Scherden, Chairman, Douglas Regional Economic Development Corporation
Gonzalo Avila, Chairman, Fresh Produce Association of the Americas

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New AMC President Jessica Pacheco Interview

Check out this video featuring our very own Jessica Pacheco who speaks about the importance of Arizona strengthening the relationship with Mexico and Sonora

For more information, CLICK HERE

For Immediate Release: February 13, 2016
Media contact: Ruth Soberanes
rsoberanes@az.gov -or- 602-542-1287

PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Jessica Pacheco as president of the Board of Directors of the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC).

Jessica currently is the Vice President of State and Local Affairs at Arizona Public Service.

“I am pleased to appoint Jessica as president of the Arizona-Mexico Commission,” said Governor Ducey. “The vision and professionalism that she brings to her new leadership position will be invaluable assets for our state as we continue to forge stronger economic and diplomatic ties with our largest international trading partner and neighbor to the south.”

She joined APS in 1997 and has held various roles spanning from corporate economic development to customer care in the call center. In addition, she previously served as Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, where she was responsible for general advocacy for the Arizona business community. Jessica has worked extensively in economic and community development arenas throughout Arizona, the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

“Jessica has shown exemplary leadership since joining our board of directors in 2014,” said Marcos Garay, AMC Executive Director. “She is a respected leader in our community and will continue to play an important role in developing collaboration between Arizona and Mexico. The Arizona-Mexico Commission is very fortunate to have her as president.”

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arizona and recently completed the Executive Education Program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She lives in Phoenix and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

“I am honored to serve the governor as AMC President.  The importance of Arizona’s relationship with Mexico cannot be underscored enough.  I look forward to working with the AMC team and our friends in Mexico to enhance our partnership,” said Jessica Pacheco.

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To view the original press release, CLICK HERE