He is a research-professor at El Colegio de México (1991-1998; 2005-present). The main objective of his career has been to contribute –as researcher, consultant and practitioner– to the development of a professional public service and democratic governance in Mexico and Latin America.
Since 1985, he has published 90 academic works either in Spanish, English and Portuguese, among them articles in journals such as Governance, The International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Foro Internacional and Gestion y Politica Publica, as well as chapters in books published by McGill University Press, The Johns Hopkins University Press, The University of Texas Press, Westview Press and Routldege. Since 1984, he has taught 53 term courses, at El Colegio de Mexico, Harvard University, the Center for Research and Teaching on Economics, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Universidad Catolica de Bolivia and other six universities. At El Colegio de Mexico he was the Coordinator of the Political Science Program (2007-2010) and of the Politics and Public Administration Program (1992-1997).
He has been a National Researcher since 1992, holding now the highest level (III) at the National Researchers System of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT). He was a Fulbright Scholar (1987-1989), Teaching Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh (1989-1991), Madero Visiting Scholar and Lecturer in Government at Harvard University (2010) and Visiting Scholar at the University of California at San Diego (2011). In the U.S. he has given lectures at the University of California-San Diego, Harvard University, the University of Pittsburgh, Georgetown University, the University of Texas-Austin, the University of New Mexico and Columbia University. He received (1991) a Mexican Scientists Repatriation Grant from the CONACYT to return as a research-professor to Mexico and has been granted scholarships by El Colegio de Mexico and the University of Pittsburgh as well as 13 field research grants by institutions such as the National Council of Science and Technology as well as the Tinker, Ford, Hewlett and Konrad Adenauer Foundations.
He has been member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Fondo de Cultura Economica, the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Policy Sciences and other academic journals. He was named member of the Council of the International Public Policy Association (2015) and elected President of the Mexican Network for a Professional Public Service (2009), member of the Board of the International Society for Third Sector Research (1997), President of the Mexican Academy of Public Policy (1995), member of the board of the Professor's Association of Universidad Iberoamericana (1985) and President of the Student´s Association of El Colegio de Mexico (1980).
In the public sector, he was Head of the Unit of Analysis of the Presidency (2001-2003), Head of the Federal Civil Service (2003-2004) and Executive Director of the Professional Electoral Service of the Federal Electoral Institute (1998-2000). In the first position, he coordinated the elaboration of all presidential speeches and of hundreds of strategic analyses for President Vicente Fox. From this position he also promoted several reforms, such as the introduction in 2003 (for the first time in Mexico) of a merit civil service, a reform he had been advocating through his publications since the mid 1990s. Starting in 1981, he has been also advisor to two General Directors, two Deputy Secretaries and two Secretaries of the Mexican Federal Government as well as a consultant to the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, US-AID and private consulting firms such as Booz Allen and Hamilton.
Holds a B.A. in International Relations from El Colegio de México (1981) as well as a Latin American Studies Certificate, a M.A. (1989) and a PhD (1996) in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He did a Ph.D. thesis on subnational industrial policy in Mexico, Germany and United States (1996), under the supervision of B. Guy Peters.
His research has focused mainly on public policy, civil service and political leadership, in which topics he has authored some of the first works published in Mexico. He has also published hundreds of articles in several Mexican newspapers and has been a commentator in several television programs.