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Future of North American Infrastructure


Saturday, Oct. 22, 10-11:30 a.m.


The transportation systems of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are tied together in myriad ways and support hundreds of billions of dollars in commerce. Each nation faces its own unique challenges in the years ahead to ensure those systems continue to allow them to remain competitive in the global economy. This session will examine how each country is addressing those challenges and what innovative ideas to improve transportation are worth examining elsewhere in North America.





Sean Carlos Cázares Ahearne
Deputy Director General for Border Affairs
Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry
Full bio>>


Ms. Diane Gray
Founding President and CEO
CentrePort Canada, Inc.
Full bio >>





Mr. Ryan Pedraza
Program Manager
Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships
Full bio >>



Speaker Bios


Sean Carlos Cázares Ahearne
Mr. Cázares is a graduate of International Affairs at the Universidad Iberoamericana. He was Chief of the Department of International Affairs at the Instituto Latinoamericano de la Comunicación Educativa (ILCE), an international NGO with a close relationship with the Ministries of Education of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador, for the instrumentation of educational programs from 1999 to 2003.
At the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Cázares has held different positions; in 2003, he acted as Deputy Director for Cultural Affairs for Asia, the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, the United States and the OAS, and in 2005 he was appointed as Director for Academic Exchange. Currently, Mr. Sean Carlos Cázares Ahearne is Deputy Director General for Border Affairs at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Back to Panelists


Diane Gray
Ms. Diane Gray is the founding president and CEO of CentrePort Canada Inc. CentrePort is Canada’s first tri-modal inland port and Foreign Trade Zone and encompasses 20,000 acres in the North West quadrant of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Ms. Gray previously worked for the province of Manitoba from 1995 to 2009 and simultaneously served as deputy minister of finance, deputy minister of federal-provincial and international relations, and deputy minister of trade. In December 2010, she was awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Excellence in Public Administration for Manitoba.
Ms. Gray currently serves on the boards of Biomedical Commercialization Canada, Manitoba Film and Music, Manitoba’s International Trade Council, MITACS and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.


Ms. Gray is a graduate of the University of Manitoba's and University of Winnipeg's Joint Masters of Public Administration Program and has an undergraduate degree in political studies from the University of Manitoba. Back to Panelists



Ryan Pedraza
Ryan Pedraza serves as a program manager in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships. In this position, he is responsible for developing public-private partnerships involving the financing, construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure projects.
Ryan recently worked to negotiate the concession agreement for the I-495 HOT Lanes project (valued at $1.9 billion) and the development agreement for the Downtown Tunnel/Midtown Tunnel/MLK Extension project.
Previously, he worked as an attorney in private practice, focusing on litigation. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a juris doctor from the College of William & Mary’s School of Law.  He is licensed to practice law in Virginia and Florida.
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