Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Center for North American Studies

With tremendous sadness, the Center for North American Studies announces the passing of Founding Director Robert A. Pastor. After a long battle with cancer, Dr. Pastor died on January 8, 2013 at his home in Washington, D.C. He has been a tireless advocate for developing a greater sense of community between the countries of North America. As a scholar, professor, colleague, and friend, he will be dearly missed.

Please see the following letter (PDF) from SIS Dean Jim Goldgeier to the American University community and a tribute (PDF) to Dr. Pastor from CNAS Director Manuel Suárez-Mier, published in Excelsior in Mexico City.

Welcome Message

Dr. Robert A. Pastor and Dr. Manuel Suárez-Mier

From CNAS Founding Director Dr. Robert Pastor & CNAS Interim Director Manuel Suárez-Mier

The world is increasingly defined by dynamic regions, but no region is as important to the United States and as poorly understood as the one that it inhabits — North America. Since 1994, trade and investment among Canada, Mexico, and the United States have tripled, and immigration has soared. Yet, the three governments have not kept pace with the changes, and there is a lack of awareness that new approaches are needed to build a new North America. The Center for North American Studies was established to educate a new generation of students, to promote policy debate among the governments and the public, and to undertake research on ideas for a continental future.

Senior Fellows, 2011-2012

Dr. Stephen Blank

Stephen Blank (PhD, Harvard) has enjoyed a career in the academic, business and not-for-profit communities and is a well-known North Americanist. Blank served as Claude Bissell Visiting Professor of US-Canada Relations at the University of Toronto, Fulbright Distinguished Professor at the University of Montreal and Ross Distinguished Visiting Professor of Canada-US Business at Western Washington University. He was Director of the Center for International Business Studies at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business.  Blank was a visiting professor at Yale, Dartmouth, Columbia, Dalhousie, UBC, the International University of Japan, and HEC-Montreal.  He was Managing Director of the Pan-American Partnership for Business Education, an alliance of four North American business schools and a founding partner of Multinational Strategies, Inc., and Stephen Blank Associates.  In 2002, he was awarded L’Ordre National du Quebec by the Government of Quebec.  In 2009, he received the first North American Citizen award by the North American Center for Transborder Studies at Arizona State University and the first North America Works award by Kansas City, Missouri.

Dr. Christopher Sands

Christopher Sands (PhD Johns Hopkins) is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute, where he specializes on Canada and U.S.-Canadian relations, as well as North American economic integration. He is also a professorial lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, an adjunct professor in Government at the American University School of Public Affairs, and lectures at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State and for the US Department of Homeland Security. In 1993, Sands began a long association with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) where he focused on US-Canada relations and North American integration issues, including a major study with Sidney Weintraub of The North American Auto Industry under NAFTA (CSIS Press, 1998). In 1999-2000, Sands was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Brian Bow

Brian Bow (PhD Cornell) is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Fellow at the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He is an expert on US-Canada relations, US foreign policy, Canadian foreign policy, and regional politics in North America. He is the author of The Politics of Linkage: Power, Interdependence and Ideas in Canada-US Relations (UBC Press) , which was awarded the Donner Prize as the best public policy book published in Canada in 2009.  He is also co-editor (with Patrick Lennox) of An Independent Foreign Policy for Canada?: Challenges and Choices for the Future (University of Toronto Press, 2008), and more than a dozen chapters and articles on various aspects of US-Canada relations and Canadian foreign policy.

The North American Idea

Cover of The North American Idea by Robert Pastor Cover of The North American Idea by Robert Pastor

Find out about Dr. Pastor's new book

Learn More

Policy Engagement

Read about Dr. Robert A. Pastor’s new book: The North American Idea: A Vision of a Continental Future

Announcing Stemper Fellowship

The Center for North American Studies is now offering an Annual David Stemper Fellowship in North American Studies (PDF) in memory of a former Associate Director of the Center.  Undergraduates and graduates from American University are eligible to apply for a $1,000 grant to further their understanding of the relationship among Mexico, Canada, and the United States and the future challenges faced by the continent.



American University and CNAS hosted the third annual TRIUMVIRATE - the NAFI model North American Parliament. More information...

Publications & Research

Read Dr. Robert A. Pastor's article in Foreign Affairs: "The Future of North America: Replacing a Bad Neighbor Policy." (PDF)

Pastor, Robert A. (February 2011). "Whither North America?" (PDF) Focal Point.

Office Location:

School of International Service
Room 311
Washington DC 20016

Fax: (202) 885-2494