A Legacy of Binational Collaboration in the San
(August 22, 1941 – June 5, 2003)
If the U.S.-México border region is to grow and prosper
in the coming years, political and civic leaders on both sides of
the border need to work together to collectively address a wide
range of trans-boundary issues such as water, transportation, border
security and issues of the environment and public health. Yet, diplomatic
obstacles and traditional cultural, political and language barriers
have made healthy binational dialogue a persistent challenge at
the local and regional level.
Over the past decade, historic strides have been made in the San
Diego-Baja California border region to increase the level of two-way
dialogue and collabora-tion among binational civic leaders thanks
to one individual: Dr. Charles “Chuck” Nathanson, a
former ICF board member.
Through his clarity of vision, creativity, persistence and skillful
diplomacy, the San Diego Dialogue was born, where people from both
sides of the border can jointly discuss and define ways to promote
an improved quality of life for this binational region.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Nathanson had an accomplished career
as a journalist, professor and civic leader. Graduating with a B.A.
in sociology from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University,
he had faculty positions at Brandeis, the New England Conservatory
of Music and the Univer-sity of California, San Diego (UCSD). It
was at UCSD that he spearheaded the establishment of the San Diego
Through his ongoing research and consensus building on cross-border
issues, Chuck challenged U.S. and México decision-makers
at the federal, state and local levels of government to look beyond
man-made barriers and explore innovative solutions. Thanks to these
efforts and the “Who Crosses the Border?” study that
he led in the early 1990s, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) introduced its SENTRI program, streamlining inspections
and reducing border delays along the San Diego-Tijuana border for
thousands of regional commuters.
In honor of Chuck’s work at the San Diego Dialogue and in
the border region, the Nathanson Family established the Chuck Nathanson
Fund at ICF. Through this fund, Chuck’s friends and supporters
will support an annual lecture series plus summer intern programs
that will reflect Chuck’s vision – to promote best practices
in fields such as smart growth, educa-tion, leadership development,
cross-border research, partnerships and on-going dialogue. ICF is
proud to honor Chuck’s spirit in this important way.
|ABOVE : Chuck Nathanson and Hon.