Jenny Villatoro

Program Manager, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative

Jenny Villatoro serves as a Program Manager for the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative. Her main policy areas include economic development in Northern Central America, gender-based violence in Central America and Mexico, domestic immigration policy, and North American trade. Jenny’s policy interests focus on the nexus of challenges that span across issue-areas, such as the nexus between gender-based violence, economic development, democracy, and immigration. She is bilingual (English/Spanish).  

In her undergrad, Jenny was a “Delegada” or delegate, for the University of Texas at Dallas Center for U.S./Latin American Initiatives (CUSLAI) which promotes research and educational initiatives in Latin American studies and works to strengthen the intellectual and cultural connections between students and faculty at UT Dallas and their Latin American counterparts.

Jenny has a Master’s of Science in International Political Economy (IPE) with a focus on development in Latin America from the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), and a B.A., also in IPE from UTD. 

12 Results
Read the article Two-Minute Take: Bolstering North America's competitiveness.
Aug 29, 2023

Two-Minute Take: Bolstering North America's competitiveness

Featuring: Jenny Villatoro
"In the US alone, it is estimated we will have almost two million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2030. In a time where global companies are looking to reshore their supply chains, It's important that the US, Canada, and Mexico, as trading partners, work together to make sure our collective workforce has the right skills to meet this demand."
Read the article Creamos: Learn about the NGO providing opportunity and hope for women in Guatemala .
Mar 30, 2023

Creamos: Learn about the NGO providing opportunity and hope for women in Guatemala

By: Jenny Villatoro
Irina Rodriguez Cotto is a Guatemalan Zumba instructor and jewelry maker for Creamos, an organization that combats low education levels, high rates of gender-based violence, and structural exclusion from the formal employment sector in Guatemala. Cotto is also a graduate of the organization’s accelerated education department.  
Read the article Root Causes of Migration: From Northern Central America.
Jan 17, 2023

Root Causes of Migration: From Northern Central America

By: Jenny Villatoro, Matthew Rooney
Over 35% of the approximately 1.6 million migrants arriving at our southern border in 2021 were families or unaccompanied children. Almost 200,000 children came from Northern Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras), and about half of them were unaccompanied. Shifting demographics, the increase in children and family arrivals, and the increase in large caravans arriving from Northern Central America have spurred a conversation into the root causes of migration.
Read the article Human rights activism in action.
Dec 8, 2022

Human rights activism in action

By: Jenny Villatoro
Juan Miguel Rivera is the Northern Triangle regional vice president of programs at International Justice Mission. We chatted with Miguel about human rights and his hope for the world.
Read the article North American Workforce Initiative Recommendations .
Sep 13, 2022

North American Workforce Initiative Recommendations

By: Matthew Rooney, Jenny Villatoro, Tiffany Melvin
The North America Workforce Initiative, a joint undertaking co-chaired by the George W. Bush Institute–SMU Economic Growth Initiative and NASCO (North American Strategy for Competitiveness), began in 2016 to develop and test practical approaches to workforce development across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and issue recommendations to strengthen the region’s global competitiveness.