Roberto Álvarez received his PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University. He helped found the Association of Latino and Latina Anthropologists in the American Anthropological Association and has served as its president and chair of the nominations committee. He is on the board of directors of the Society for Applied Anthropology, the executive committees of the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies, and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where he is a professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies. His research focuses on the U.S.-Mexican Border, immigrant adaptation and questions about the expansion of the U.S. nation state and its threat to the sovereignty of Latin American nations. Álvarez examines global and transnational commerce, trade in Mexico and the social organization of ethnic entrepreneurs. During his time at Harvard he taught Re-conceptualizing the U.S.-Mexico Border: Comparative and Global Perspectives in the Department of Anthropology and gave a public lecture titled, Re-Imagining the Americas: The Border, Plant Transfer and the Hierarchy of Control.