Omar López, a clinical assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work, has been elected by Mexican community leaders to a three-year term as an advisor 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.
Comprising more than 100 members, CCIME works closely with high-ranking Mexican, American and Canadian officials to develop and implement joint 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 advisors to represent the San Diego region,” said López, who emigrated from Mexico at age 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.”
López 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,” said López. “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 is now a member of the field education faculty at the San Diego Academic Center and volunteers for the Chicano Federation’s foster care program, La Cuna, which finds foster homes for Latino children.