Posted: 7/22/21

TAMIU Names Dr. Daniel Covarrubias As Its New Texas Center Director


Dr. Daniel Covarrubias
Dr. Daniel Covarrubias, Texas Center director  

A lifelong passion for data and a commitment to its utilization in innovation strategies that can foster economic and enterprise development will guide the recently named director of Texas A&M International University’s A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business’ Texas Center for Economic and Enterprise Development. 

Dr.  Daniel Covarrubias will lead the Texas Center in its essential mission of providing support to private and public entities, said TAMIU dean of the Sanchez School of Business, Dr. Steve Sears.

“With his keen grasp of research, knowledge, assistance and expertise in border and binational socio-economic development efforts, Dr. Covarrubias will not only deliver our mission, but surely expand its reach and relevance,” Dr. Sears said.

Dr.  Daniel Covarrubias will lead the Texas Center in its essential mission of providing support to private and public entities, said TAMIU dean of the Sanchez School of Business,Covarrubias said he looks forward to the challenge and has already considered the Texas Center’s path forward.

“I look forward to leading the Center's activities and data research and acting as an integrating agent for the region's academic, public, and private actors in areas related to economic development and competitiveness. Our aim for the Center will be to provide research services to regional economic actors, and to transfer knowledge generated through research to society, contributing to the betterment of economic development here and beyond,” he explained.

Additional directions he said he would like to explore include establishing the Texas Center as the “go-to” place for reliable and timely data; continuing to engage TAMIU faculty in border socio-economic development and international trade research projects; serving as a liaison with local, regional, and binational socio-economic development agencies or entities and moving beyond traditional data management and analysis to include research activities that truly contribute to the creation of knowledge.

Covarrubias completed his Ph.D. in Business Competitiveness and Economic Development, from Deusto Business School at the University of Deusto in Spain.  He also holds an MA in Political Science from Texas A&M International University, an MBA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a BA in Business Administration from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. 

His research is centered on Cross-Border Regional Development, Regional Innovation Systems, Clusters and Territorial Development Policy.

Covarrubias’ previous experience includes founding and directing Nuevo Laredo’s Center for Socioeconomic and Technological Innovation (Centro IST) for the past five years.

“During my tenure at the Centro IST, I worked closely with businesses, ranging from small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) to Fortune 500 companies. One of my main activities was to help them identify areas of opportunity to further their competitiveness and develop and grow new business models related to innovation and technological development within products, processes, and organizational structures,” he recalled.

Prior to the Centro IST role, he served as an advisor to the Minister of Economy of México.

“I researched and furthered public policy proposals to improve México 's industrial composition, competitive framework and enhance its businesses' innovative capacity and productivity levels.  My Ministry work deepened my understanding of the dynamics of international business and allowed me to witness first-hand the impact of economic cooperation between Mexican firms and trade agreement partners in North and Latin America in addition to Europe and Asia,” he explained.

A significant portion of Covarrubias’ working life has been devoted to leadership service focused on the promotion of the Laredos Region economic development in roles as both Secretary of Economic Development for the City of Nuevo Laredo and as founding Director of the Institute for Competitiveness and International Commerce of Nuevo Laredo. 

He said his time as a doctoral student in the Basque region of Spain served to strengthen his passion as a socioeconomic researcher and actually led to his dissertation topic.

“My dissertation, entitled "Bridging the socioeconomic gap: integrating cross- border regions through comparing different worlds-Region Laredo, Aquitaine-Euskadi and Öresund," has a broad objective of understanding the impact that Social Capital and Social Innovation have on economic development and competitiveness strategies in a cross-border context. Ultimately, the goal was to provide a case study comparison while focusing on understanding each case compared to the others—effectively, learning from differences,” he said.

The Texas Legislature established the Texas Centers for Border Economic and Enterprise Development by an act passed by the 71st Legislature (1989). House Bill (HB) 2974 was approved on June 14, 1989 and became effective September 1, 1989, as a consortium between TAMIU, the University of Texas Pan-American and the University of Texas-El Paso.

Since 1989 Texas A&M International University’s Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development has provided leadership and support to Texas border communities in their socio-economic development efforts, including activities in the areas of business, education, health care, public administration, and the environment.

For additional information, visit the Center at texascenter.tamiu.edu, email Dr. Covarrubias at  dcova@tamiu.edu  , call 956.326.2520, or visit offices located at TAMIU in Anthony J. and Georgia A. Pellegrino Hall, room 216.