About the Alliance

The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration was created by a founding group of Presidents who came together on November 14, 2017 in Washington D.C. for a Presidents’ Convening on Higher Education and Immigration. The Convening was sponsored by George Washington University’s Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute with the help of a Presidential Steering Committee whose members are identified below.

The Presidents’ Alliance brings together American college and university chancellors and presidents dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact our students, campuses and communities. 

We support policies and practices that create a welcoming environment for immigrant, undocumented and international students on our campuses. 

Steering Committee


Louis Caldera

Co-Chair, Senior Advisor
Presidents' Alliance

Washington, DC

Nancy Cantor-02

Nancy Cantor

Co-Chair, Chancellor
Rutgers University - Newark

Newark, New Jersey


David Oxtoby

Co-Chair, President Emeritus
Pomona College

Claremont, California

Noelle E. Cockett

Noelle E. Cockett

Utah State University

Logan, Utah


Alan W. Cramb

Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, IL

JLC cropped

José Luis Cruz

Lehman College - CUNY

New York, New York


John J. DeGioia

Georgetown University

Washington, DC


Mark Erickson

Northampton Community College

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania


Jane Fernandes

Guilford College

Greensboro, North Carolina


Kent Ingle

Southeastern University

Lakeland, Florida

_edit_official portrait of dr. nunez

Elsa M. Núñez

Eastern CT State University

Windham, Connecticut


Eduardo Padrón

President Emeritus
Miami Dade College

Miami, Florida

Joseph Steinmetz, Chancellor, Admin, official portrait

Joseph E. Steinmetz

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas


Timothy White

California State University

Long Beach, California


Kim Wilcox

University of California, Riverside

Riverside, California

Alliance Presidents and Chancellors



Louis Caldera

Louis Caldera is the co-founder and senior advisor to the Presidents' Alliance.  He serves as a distinguished adjunct professor of law and senior affiliate in the program of law and government at American University.  His public policy and higher education administration experience includes serving as a California legislator, as president of the University of New Mexico, and as Secretary of the Army in the Clinton administration.

miriam feldblum

Miriam Feldblum

Miriam Feldblum is the co-founder and executive director of the Presidents' Alliance. Miriam has over 25 years of experience in higher education administration, student support, and in teaching and research of immigration policy, politics and higher education. She previously served as vice president for student affairs/dean of students and professor of politics at Pomona College, as special assistant to the president at Caltech and senior director for academic support and planning, and is a non-resident fellow at the Migration Policy Institute.


Jose Magaña-Salgado

Jose Magaña-Salgado is the Director of Policy and Communications for the Presidents’ Alliance. Jose formerly led the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s Washington, D.C. office, directing its national policy advocacy in the legislative and regulatory spheres. Prior to working with the ILRC, Jose led MALDEF’s (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) national immigration portfolio. Jose also co-founded the DREAM Bar Association and Arizona DREAM Act coalition.



Ronnie Rios

Ronnie Rios is the Immigration Policy Communications Fellow for the Presidents’ Alliance. Ronnie is a doctoral student in the Center for the Study of Higher and Post-Secondary Education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Prior to her arrival at the University of Michigan, Ronnie spent over 13 years in various capacities of Higher Education Administration supporting students of color, first generation, lower income and undocumented students (at the undergraduate, graduate, professional and doctoral levels).



Christian Penichet-Paul

Christian Penichet-Paul is the Director of the Higher Ed Immigration Portal for the Presidents’ Alliance. Most recently, Christian was the Policy and Advocacy Manager at the National Immigration Forum. In that position, Christian oversaw multiple immigration-related policy issues. Christian’s expertise includes providing analysis on legislative proposals and federal immigration policies, developing strategic messaging and toolkit products, maintaining updated content and resources, and conducting legislative and administrative advocacy. Christian graduated from Texas State University and earned his master’s in American Government from Georgetown University.



Ellen E. Findley

Ellen E. Findley is the Administrative Manager for the Presidents’ Alliance. Before her time at the Presidents’ Alliance, Ellen worked as a law clerk for the advocacy team at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. Ellen specializes in immigration policy, legal research, writing, and social media advocacy. Ellen’s work has been published in the Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs. Ellen graduated from Lipscomb University and earned her juris doctor at Penn State Law, where she spent three semesters at the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.