Robin Hoover





Ph.D., Political Science, Texas Tech University, 1998.

            Dissertation Title: Social Theology and Religiously Affiliated Nonprofits in Migration Policy

            Dissertation Topic: the politics of faith based organizations working in migration

Major Finding: the social theology of a denomination is more determinative of the politics of service provision than is theology

Courses specifically relevant to nonprofits: management, administrative ethics, managerial fund accounting, personnel, communications, policy implementation, executive leadership, social scientific styles, religion and politics theory, organization and behavior

            Major: political science sub-field of religion and politics theory, public policy and public administration with emphasis in nonprofit organizations, and American politics

Additional Coursework

Texas Christian University Nonprofit Organization Administration Program

            Managerial Fund Accounting for Nonprofits

            Statistical Research methodologies

 University of Arizona Law School (audited)

            Immigration Law

            Refugee Law and Policy

Master of Divinity, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University, 1979.

BA  Texas Christian University, 1974.

 Languages and Research Tools

Spanish           Skill level: moderate

German           Skill level: basic translation

Statistics         12 hours plus theory


Taught a mini-term in Tucson for seminary students working on diversity and border issues for Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana

Directed research for Peace Corps Fellows at the University of Arizona

Worked with numerous graduate students working on theses, dissertations, and projects, several of which were later developed into published works. 

Proctored MPH student, University of Arizona, who was immersed in a migrant center in Altar, Sonora, Mexico

Conferences Organized and Hosted

Report From the Border—organized more than 40 participants from nearly as many organizations to give a public position presentation on the status of the US-Mexico borderlands from various perspectives including law enforcement, government, human rights, border activist groups, media, land managers and others.

International Conference on the Plight of the Migrant—organized participants for a multi-day conference with presenters (academic, elected, and professional) from four countries, and participants from some 30 different states to learn about conditions along the US-Mexico border. 


Book manuscript nearing completion:

A Social Ethic for Migration: How Religious Communities and Civil Society can Help the US Adapt.  The manuscript focuses on border analysis, contributions of nonprofits, examples of successful nonprofit contributions, what activists and others have to say about media, elected officials and public administrators, and proposals for migration policy reform. 

Book Manuscript in progress:

Hansen, Kenneth N. and Robin Hoover.  US-Mexico Border Security: Politics and Policy Discourse.  Book proposal under review at publishers.


Book chapter.  “The Story of Humane Borders”, in D. Groody and G. Campese, Eds., A Promised Land, A Perilous Journey: Theological Perspectives on Migration.  2008.  Notre Dame Press.

Hansen, Kenneth N. and Robin L. Hoover, “Constructivism, Human Rights and the Mexican War on Drugs,” under peer review at Journal of Borderland Studies.



2010   “Constructivism, Derechos Humanos y la Guerra de Mexico Contra la Droga: Constructivism, Human Rights and the Mexican War on Drugs”.

2010 Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting. 

2006    “Mapping Migrant Deaths in Southern Arizona: The Humane Borders GIS”. J. Chamblee, D. Deborde, M. Townley, G. Christopherson, R. Hoover.  ESRI Users Group Conference.

Op-eds (selected)

            “Fix the fatal flaws in U.S. border policy”.  Arizona Republic.  July 23, 2001.

            “Water: moral response to immoral policies”.  Arizona Daily Star.  June 2, 2005.

            “Don’t fence U.S. in”.  USA Today.  May 25, 2006.

            “Our Lethal Policies”.  Arizona Republic.  June 2, 2008. 

Editor/writer for 9 years for Humane Borders newsletter, Desert Fountain.

Grants and Contracts

Grants and Contracts applied for, awarded, and administered exceed  $1,000,000. 

Brazoria County, Texas—Federal Energy Impact Grant                                           >$175,000

            Funds awarded were used to build a park, to restore

            150 year-old homes, and build structures using volunteer labor

Westaid, Fort Worth, Texas —FEMA grants awarded annually                                 >$40,000

            to feed persons screened for eligibility during my tenure as president

Tarrant County Senior Citizens Center, Fort Worth, Texas

            funds to establish a publicly funded senior center in my congregation            >$10,000

Pima County, Arizona—Department of Health, annual contract

funds used to establish and maintain water stations in the deserts

averaging $25,000 annually during my tenure                                                >$250,000

Church World Service—Grants to provide emergency shelter

Blankets and personal hygiene products for migrants staying

in shelters in Sonora, Mexico.  Some off-the shelf

consummables, some in-kind gifts                                                                 >$30,000

 United Methodist Committee on Relief—Direct delivery of

Blanket, hygiene products, and other resources for migrants

in shelters in Sonora, Mexico.                                                                          >$40,000

United Methodist Church Worldwide—Grant to purchase new

vehicles for Humane Borders                                                                          >$58,000

Week of Compassion of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 

Funds contributed annually for water station operations                                 >$50,000

Lutheran Social Services—contract to provide capital Improvements

for the Asylum Program of Southern Arizona                                                 >$35,000

Dozens of small grants of less than $5,000 each to purchase food stuffs, resources,

and operations funds


Fundraising for Westaid was principally done at the Congregational level.  Annual budgets, in-kind contributions, FEMA, and denominational grants for Westaid eventually rose to the >$250,000 level annually

Fundraising in Humane Borders was a constant task.  At the peak, the dollar budget was greater than $250,000 annually with significant non-dollar-denominated contributions

Non-budgeted fundraising in congregations and beyond for specific projects such as capital improvements, the establishment of new nonprofits, specialized ministries above and beyond the local budgets and above and beyond the grants and contracts listed above exceed $500,000.



First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Tucson, Arizona.  Pastor, 01/00 to 01/11

            Led a major renovation of facilities that included securing the services of architects, city permits, fund raising, construction, direction of volunteers, financing, and promotion. Renovations are valued at more than $1.5 million, and include major interior work, air conditioning, parking, landscape, construction of a columbarium, and addition of improvements for the mobility impaired. Mobilization and supervision of volunteer labor was valued at more than $250,000.


Community Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Lubbock, Texas.  Pastor, 3/94 to 12/99

Led a new church start, construction of new education and fellowship facilities utilizing volunteer labor, retirement of $125,000 debt, refinance of remaining debt, and significant expansion of involvement in the larger community. Led mission trips to the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas where I directed work camps to construct facilities to house and host persons seeking to achieve political asylum in the US.


First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Floydada, Texas.  Pastor, 11/90 to 3/94.


Arlington Heights Christian Church, Ft. Worth, Texas. Sr. Minister, 11/83 to 11/90


First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Freeport, Texas.  Pastor, 8/80 to 11/83.


Organizational Leadership and Human Rights Work

Emigrant Safety and Service, Stephenville, Texas

Founder, Fall 2014.  ESS provides resources and services to migrating persons in an attempt to provide migrant safety.  These currently include: locator beacons, flashlights, blankets, personal hygiene products, and other shelter resources. 


Humane Borders, Tucson, Arizona

            Founding President, June 2000 to November 2009.

Humane Borders provides humanitarian assistance to migrants crossing Arizona deserts with deployment of life-saving water stations and advocacy which included extensive interviews for over 700 news media organizations that engendered public discourse. Humane Borders is a blueprint for other social justice organizations.  Accomplishments that assembled local, national, and international political and ethical relationships included: building support of over 100 churches and organizations; enabling social action opportunities for an estimated 15,000 volunteers; negotiating contracts, permits and right of entry agreements with city, county, state and federal agencies and private land owners to work legally; attracting over $1.5 million in donations and in-kind support; conducting an annual memorial service for deceased migrants; collaborating with Mexico’s National Commission for Human Rights on migrant safety initiatives; Operations expanded to a peak of 105 water stations in 10 years. In 2006, Mexico’s Human Rights Commission recognized the work and I was included iin the National Human Rights Award ceremonies. The documentary video Humane Borders First 10Years is available on DVD upon request or online at http://vimeo.com/11481412.


West Texas Organizing Strategy (WTOS), Lubbock, Texas.  Institutional Member/Steering Committee and Clergy Caucus, 1988-2000


Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries, Los Fresnos, Texas.  Founding moderator, 1995-1997.


High Plains Area-Christian Churches in the Southwest (CCSW), Amarillo, Texas  1990-1997

            Coordination of ministry to Hispanics living in colonias and political refugees in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas including annual fund raising to send 40,000-pound shipments of pinto beans to food distribution centers/refugee shelters.


Fort Worth Clergy-Police Advisory Council, Fort Worth Texas.

            Founder/President, 1990 and Vice-President, 1988-1990.  Provided leadership to group dedicated to promoting communication between police and communities.


Awards and Recognitions


Reconocimiento Cum Laude / Premio Nacional Derechos Humanos, Comision Nacional de los                Derechos Humanos, Mexico, December 13, 2006  (The only time Mexico’s National Human             Rights Award has been awarded to a non-Mexican).

Latin American Humanitarian Award, the State of Sonora, presented in Altar, Sonora, Mexico,   June 2008

Leo B. Hart Humanitarian Award, University of Arizona Alumni Association, November 9, 2001

Peace Hero Award 2002, Ghandi-King Season for Non-Violence, April 7, 2002

Community Service Award, League of United Latin American Citizens, September 6, 2002

Caesar Chavez Humanitarian Award, National Association of Social Workers, Arizona, 2003

Community Service Award, League of United Latin American Citizens, September 19, 2003

Premio Fundacion Mexico 2003, November 15, 2003

The 2005 Eugene Mackaben Community Service Award, Tucson Metropolitan Ministries Family             Services, Inc.  Tucson, Arizona, March 13, 2005

Community Advocacy Award, Rosa Parks Living History Makers, February 8, 2006

Distinguished Minister Award, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University



National Media

            100s of hours of national radio coverage from syndicated shows with Sean Hannity to very late night call-in shows.

            NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, ABC World News, PBS NewsHour, British Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting System, Telemundo, Univision, New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal, Charlotte Observer…numerous local paper and media outlets such as the Associated Press.. 


Documentary Films

The Fence, an HBO special documentary by Rory Kennedy.  Much of this film was shot in my presence, from my vehicle, and with volunteers of Humane Borders.  It premiered on the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, September 16, 2010.


Crossing Arizona by Joseph Matthew and Daniel DeVivo.  I was an advisor for this movie and gave the crew many days of orientation to borderlands in Arizona. 


Humane Borders: the First 10 Years.  I provided editorial direction and raised funds for this documentary that was edited in my home. 


The 800 Mile Wall by John Carlos Frey.  I spent many days with Frey to orient him to border issues covered in this documentary. 



            The University of Arizona Special Collections Library has more than 3,000 print articles in the collected archives of Humane Borders. 



            More than 150 DVDs in University of Arizona Special Collections Library featuring news clips, lectures, presentations, and forums

My work with Humane Borders has been featured in many media sources (including front page coverage in Pravda). Interviews by film crews from at least 25 nations, including coverage by Al Jazeera and Chinese Central TV.



Academic and Public Lectures

(Selected venues)

New York University, New York

The New School, New York

John Jay College of Law, New York

National Human Rights Commission, Mexico

Consular officials and government commissions of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala

National Commission of Human Rights, Mexico City, Mexico.  International forum on the trafficking           of children, Mexico City, Mexico. 

World Council of Churches United Nations Advocacy Week.  New York, NY.  2008

University of Arizona, Business Ethics, Tucson, AZ

University of Arizona, Western Hemisphere Institute, Tucson, AZ

University of Arizona, Mel and Enid Zukerman School of Public Health, Tucson, AZ

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

University of Texas, Austin

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Universidad Guadalajara, Center for Dialogue & Analysis on North America, Lagos de Moreno,     Zacatecas, Mexico

Sonora State Commission for Attention to Migrants, Nogales, Sonora, Mexico

US State Department sponsored tour for 30 Mexican academics and professionals, hosted by Latin             American Studies, University of Arizona.

US State Department sponsored visits by delegation of elected Canadian officials.

Atlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund with former Congressman Jim Kolbe



Testimony before House Sub-committee on Border Security

Testimony in United States’ first participation in the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights.  El Paso, Texas, with representatives from Dept of State, DHS, HHS, DOJ, and others

Congressional hearing on border policies covered by CSPAN



As President of Humane Borders, and Director of Migration Ministry, I had the opportunity to brief Members of Congress and their staffs on many occasions.  Congressional offices I have worked with include: the late Ted Kennedy, Richard Durbin, John Cornyn, Jeff Bingamon, Robert Menendez, Charles Schumer, John McCain, Jim Kolbe, John Shaddegg, Raul Grijalva, Gabrielle Giffords, Robert Finer, Peter Stark, Barbara Lee. Type your paragraph here.


Texas Christian University Graduate Schoool

Studies in nonprofit organization administration

August 70 - May 74

Social Ethics, Theology, Ethics, Practical Ministry, Biblical Studies, and more

August 73 - May 79


Ph.D. Political Science

World Council of Churches United Nations

Advocacy Week  November 2008

Brite Divinity School, TCU

Master of Divinity

Texas Christian University

Journalism and Religion

Studied Religion and Politics, Public Administration and Policy, and the American Political System.  Specialization in religious nonprofits.   

January 91 - August 98