Ensuring Security, Efficiency and Innovation at the Border

Ambassador Jamal A. Khokhar (right), President and CEO of the Institute of the Americas, greets California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom before the 20th anniversary celebration of SENTRI.

As a strong contributor to our community and regional economy, UC San Diego plays a key role in working with our partners to improve border innovation and crossing efficiency.  To celebrate the creation of the SENTRI program 20 years ago – which was a true collaborative effort that has been essential to the economic growth and viability of our bi-national region – a Roundtable event was held last week at the Institute of Americas on the UC San Diego campus.  Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom served as the keynote speaker, while Chancellor Khosla introduced the two panel discussions – one delving into the history and challenges of creating the program and another looking ahead at innovative solutions to address future border challenges.  

Panelists included former member of Congress Lynn Schenk, who championed legislation to create the dedicated commuter lane, and UC San Diego Dean of Engineering Albert Pisano, who serves on the Envision the Border Study Team that developed the white paper – Envision 2020: The Border of the Future Starts Here – which was discussed in the second panel. The white paper was commissioned by Chancellor Khosla through his role as a board member of the Smart Border Coalition.  The overriding theme of the paper is that technology will play a key role in improving efficiencies at the border and increasing innovation.

Discussing “SENTRI Against All Odds” are panelists (left to right) Laurie Black, former Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Schenk; Lynn Schenk, former member of Congress; Mary Walshok, Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at UC San Diego; and Sally Carrillo, United States Customs and Border Protection.  

UC San Diego Qualcomm Institute Director Ramesh Rao (left) and CETYS Universidad’s Jorge Sosa Lopez are joined by Cubic Transportation Systems Senior Vice President and UC San Diego alumnus Matt Newsome on the panel, “San Diego and Tijuana – Border Efficiency Innovation 2020.” 

Debra L. Reed (left), Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Sempra Energy, presents Schenk with a special award as Khokhar looks on.