Today, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) Foundation’s Global Innovation Forum concluded its discussion series on immigration, themed “Goodbye Global Innovators?,” with roundtable discussions at the University of Colorado Boulder exploring policy issues surrounding the ability of the United States to attract and retain top global talent.

The event featured two panel discussions – “The Impact of U.S. Visa and Immigration Policies on American Businesses and Entrepreneurs” and “The Impact of Visa and Immigration Policies on Innovation, Research and Life in University Communities” – and a luncheon.

“We’ve heard from a variety of entrepreneurs, students and business and academic leaders across the country on how U.S. policies on immigration affect U.S. competitiveness and innovation,” said NFTC Vice President for Global Trade Issues Jake Colvin. “We’ve consistently heard the desire to improve the paths by which entrepreneurs, workers, researchers, students and their families can contribute to the U.S. economy.”

Business and university leaders, students and entrepreneurs from the region participated in today’s event. In addition to Jake Colvin, speakers included:

Waleed Abdalati, Director, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
Larry Bell, Executive Director, International Education, Global CU
Philip P. DiStefano, Chancellor, University of Colorado Boulder
Mark Hallett, Senior Director, International Student & Scholar Services, International Student Program Development, Office of International Programs, Colorado State University
Alina M. Handorean, Ph.D, Post-Doctoral Student and Research Faculty, Hernández Environmental Engineering Labs, Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering Department, University of Colorado Boulder
Brad Hendrick, Member, Caplan and Earnest
Ray Hutchins, Chief Information Officer, iDesDa
Hanna Siegel, Strategy & Communications, Partnership for a New American Economy
Joanne White, Ph.D student, ATLAS, RA Project EPIC Colorado, University of Colorado Boulder

The NFTC Foundation’s Global Innovation Forum’s discussion series on immigration and American competitiveness launched at Duke University in March with the purpose of convening students, faculty, entrepreneurs and business voices to elicit stories on how current policies affect the business and education communities to better inform the debate surrounding high-skilled immigration and global mobility policies in Washington. Other events have been held at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, Davis.

The series is part of a national innovation initiative made possible by the GE Foundation. Today’s event was held in partnership with Boulder Chamber, Boulder Economic Council, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver South Economic Development Partnership, Partnership for a New American Economy, South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and the University of Colorado Boulder.