IUPUI Board of Advisors member Luis Franco holds a unique and rare position: he represents the government of the only country in the world with a full-time Consulate office in Indianapolis. As Consul General of Mexico, Franco provides diplomatic leadership and advocacy to support the approximately 400,000 Mexican expatriates living in the region, which encompasses Indiana and Kentucky, and parts of Ohio and Illinois.
As Indianapolis becomes increasingly more diverse and the city’s Latino communities continue to grow, with Hispanics now accounting for about six percent of the total population, the services provided by the Mexican Consulate are critically important for many. Acting as an extension of the Mexican embassy, the Consulate provides a variety of administrative services and educational programs, from help obtaining passports and birth certificates to financial planning and workshops on relevant topics like labor rights.
In February, IUPUI and the Mexican Consulate in Indianapolis, along with Ivy Tech Community College, came together to sign a memorandum of understanding for the Ventanilla de Oportunidades Educativas (Windows of Educational Opportunity) program, which is designed to create more educational opportunities for Mexican nationals in Central Indiana. Through the Office of Coordinated Programs, IUPUI will provide information regarding admissions, scholarships and financial aid, among other services, to potential students.
Franco was appointed Head Consul of Mexico in Indianapolis in 2017. Prior to that, he was the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City. He has been deputy chief of mission at the Mexican Embassy in Sweden and deputy chief of mission and political affairs officer at the Mexican Embassy in New Zealand.
Franco has received foreign civil awards and decorations from the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Paraguay, Venezuela, Estonia, France, Italy, Luxemburg, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and South Korea.
He holds a B.A. degree in international relations from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Aragon, Mexico and completed his post-graduate studies in international relations at the University of Florence, Italy. Franco has been a member of the Mexican Foreign Service since 1982.