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postsecondary education for the 21st century

Sponsored by the CSG International Committee. This session will begin promptly at 8 a.m.

Friday, Sept. 20, 8-9:20 a.m.

Across the country, tuition costs are soaring, student debt is at a crisis level and college completion rates are shockingly low. In an increasingly globalized world, higher education remains essential for states and nations wishing to remain competitive. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Brazilian Ambassador Mauro Vieira will discuss current challenges in education and highlight opportunities for international engagement in sharing best practices and resources for educating future generations.


Dr. Douglas E Wood
The Ford Foundation

Full bio >>



Confirmed Panelists




Gov. Jay Nixon

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Ambassador Mauro Vieira
Brazilian Ambassador to the U.S.

Full bio >>

Dr. Douglas E. Wood


Douglas Wood is program officer for the foundation’s Higher Education for Social Justice initiative—bringing to this position broad experience in pre-k-12 as well as higher education policy and administration. His grant making focuses on helping students from poor and marginalized communities in the United States transition from high school to college and on helping improve the college completion and success rates of underserved students.
Prior to joining the foundation in 2011, Douglas was associate dean of Administration and Planning at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. Prior to that position, he worked as executive director and chief executive officer of the Tennessee State Board of Education where he was Chairman of the Basic Education Program (BEP) Review Committee.  The BEP is the $3.2 billion funding apparatus for P-12 education in Tennessee.  Douglas also served as a member of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and was executive director and principal investigator of the National Academy for Excellent Teaching, an institute of Teachers College, Columbia University.
Douglas began his career as a public school teacher. After five years in this role, he worked as a research assistant at Harvard University, the Center for Collaborative Education-Metro Boston, and the Annenberg Rural Challenge, among others. He then served as a course assistant at Harvard’s JFK School of Government and a teaching fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
Douglas holds an Ed.D and an Ed.M in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University, a master’s degree in English from Middlebury College, and a bachelor’s degree in History from Wofford College where he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Back to moderator.

Gov. Jay Nixon

Gov. Jay Nixon is serving his second term as governor of Missouri. Garnering the highest margin of victory for a non-incumbent governor in 44 years, Nixon was overwhelmingly elected by Missourians as their 55th governor on Nov. 4, 2008. Gov. Nixon was elected to a second term on Nov. 6, 2012.
Gov. Nixon has put forward an agenda to make government for efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of Missouri families. He is committed to attracting the jobs of the future to Missouri, making health care more affordable and placing a college education within reach for middle-class students.
During his first legislative session as governor in 2009, Nixon successfully worked with the Republican-controlled legislature to pass his comprehensive jobs bill to put Missourians back to work in the face of a 25-year high in unemployment. The legislature also passed Caring for Missourians, an initiative by Gov. Nixon that will enable Missouri’s public colleges and universities to graduate an additional 900 professionals in high-demand health care fields each year.
The General Assembly also made permanent the reforms Gov. Nixon enacted during his first week in office when he opened up every license fee office in Missouri for competitive bid, a move that ended a decades-long system of political patronage.
Gov. Nixon has made a strong public education system one of his chief priorities. During his first year in office, Missouri’s public elementary and secondary schools received a record amount of funding. Similarly, even as other states were cutting funding for their universities and raising tuition by double digits, the Governor reached a historic agreement to freeze tuition rates for the 2009-2010 school year and keep funding for those schools stable.
Prior to becoming governor, Jay Nixon was elected to a record four terms as Missouri’s attorney general, beginning in 1992. Under his leadership, the Attorney General’s Office became one of the most efficient and effective in state government.
As attorney general, Nixon earned a reputation for taking on the toughest fights and winning. Nixon himself argued before the United States Supreme Court in Nixon v. Shrink, a landmark victory that reinstated Missouri’s campaign contribution limits and cleared the way nationally for campaign finance reform. His lawsuit against the big tobacco companies continues to collect billions of dollars for Missourians, and his settlements with the insurance industry and hospitals led to the formation of two of the largest health care foundations in state history. One of Nixon’s most successful programs, Missouri’s popular No-Call List, has become a model for states across the nation to stop unwanted telemarketing calls.
A native of De Soto, Missouri, Jay Nixon was raised in a family of public servants. His mother, the late Betty Nixon, was a teacher and served as president of the local school board. His father, Jerry Nixon, was elected mayor of De Soto and was a judge for the community.
After earning both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Nixon returned to DeSoto to practice as an attorney. In 1986, he was elected to his first term in the Missouri State Senate, where he would represent the people of Jefferson County for six years. As a State Senator, Nixon reached across the aisle to pass several major pieces of legislation, including an expansion of pre-natal care for expectant mothers. Back to panelists.


Ambassador Mauro Vieira


Ambassador Mauro Vieira is the Brazilian ambassador to the United States.He arrived in Washington, D.C., on January 11, 2010 after serving as the Brazilian ambassador to Argentina from 2004 to 2010. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and graduated from the Brazilian diplomatic academy, the Rio Branco Institute, in 1974.
At the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations, he was coordinator for International Treaties, advisor to the secretary general, assistant to the head of the Cultural Department, advisor to the Brazilian minister of foreign relations, chief of staff to the secretary general, and chief of staff to the minister of foreign relations. From January 2003 to May 2006, he was the representative of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations to the Board of Directors of Binational Itaipu hydroelectric power plant.
He has worked at other Brazilian federal agencies, serving at the Ministry of Science and Technology as assistant secretary general of Science and Technology, and national secretary for the administration of the National Institute of Social Security in the Ministry of Social Security and Assistance.
Abroad, he served at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C. (1978-1982); the Brazilian Mission to the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI) in Montevideo (1982-1985); the Brazilian Embassy in Mexico City (1990-1992); the Brazilian Embassy in Paris(1995-1999); and the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires(2004-2010). Back to panelists.