Omar Lopez, clinical assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work, has been elected to a three-year term as an adviser for Consejo Consultivo del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (CCIME), a consultative body within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico that analyzes problems, challenges and opportunities facing Mexican communities abroad.
CCIME, which includes more than 100 members, works with high-ranking Mexican, American and Canadian officials to develop and implement strategies, efforts and programs that benefit Mexicans primarily living in the United States and Canada.
“I am humbled by the trust of prominent community leaders who selected me as one of three advisers to represent the San Diego region,” said Lopez, who emigrated from Mexico at the age of 12. “As a social worker who has dedicated his professional life to improving the socioeconomic conditions of underserved populations – especially Latinos – in this country, I am proud to be in a position where I could have an impact at an international level.”
Lopez plans on joining CCIME’s Commission on Education to work on building educational relationships between Mexico and the United States.
“Considering my role in academia and the fact that I live in a vibrant border region, I hope to establish and nurture relations that enhance collaborative efforts between institutions of education, particularly at the university level,” Lopez said. “I hope to contribute by working on different initiatives and providing the unique perspective that we, as social workers, bring to the table.”
Lopez began his career in county government as a child welfare social worker serving foster children and families. He now is a member of the field education faculty at USC’s San Diego Academic Center and volunteers for La Cuna, the Chicano Federation’s foster care program, which finds foster homes for Latino children.