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Director of the Mexico Security Initiative, The University of Texas at Austin

Stephanie Leutert is the Director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. She has spent the past six years researching and working on issues related to U.S.-Mexican relations, Mexican security, and Central American migration. Stephanie is the lead writer for "Beyond the Border" on the Lawfare Blog, and is the instructor for a year-long public policy class on Mexico's migration challenges at the LBJ School for Public Affairs.

Prior to her work at the Strauss Center, Stephanie conducted research as a Coca Cola World Fund Fellow, where she researched the development of Mexico's automotive industry. Previously, she worked for three years as a Research Associate in the Latin America Studies program at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she focused on emerging security, immigration, economic, and energy issues in the region, with a particular focus on Mexico. In this capacity, she was the researcher for the CFR Task Force on North America, which, among other topics, focused on bilateral and trilateral security cooperation.

Stephanie has also conducted field research on war torture in northern Uganda, Ecuador's refugee policy, and Mexico's aerospace industry. She has written for Foreign Policy, the Dallas Morning News, the Harvard National Security Journal, the Princeton Journal of Public and International Affairs, and Americas Quarterly, and published a series of dispatches for the Lawfare Blog while working as a legislative assistant in the Ukrainian parliament.


  • 2016–2019
    Director, Mexico Security Initiative, University of Texas at Austin
  • 2017–2019
    Lecturer, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin