We are a nonpartisan public policy research collective that cares deeply about San Antonio’s long-term vitality and well-being. We seek to unify our community and collaborate to lead San Antonio toward a secure and thriving future.

Our sole mission is to develop pragmatic policy solutions aimed at helping San Antonio become a more prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive city for all residents.

Our policy and subject matter experts help us perform unbiased public policy research and analysis on the most pressing issues facing our city’s future.

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

Although much has been accomplished in recent years, it’s crucial that we focus on protecting and nurturing our city well into the future.  The City of San Antonio has many strengths and has held its own throughout the years. We need to build on that.

It is, however, also important to admit that San Antonio finds itself in the grip of alarming statistics that expose some deep-rooted systemic issues. These include high crime, aging infrastructure, pervasive poverty, rising public debt, governance challenges, inadequate educational outcomes, and stark health and wealth disparities. Albeit hard to swallow, these issues, among others, must be promptly and deftly addressed to avoid a trajectory that compounds our challenges and limits our momentum toward progress.


FutureFirst SA was founded by Rolando Pablos, a San Antonian with high ambitions for a global standard of leadership for his burgeoning hometown.

Mr. Pablos created FutureFirst SA because he truly believes that San Antonians hold the power to make sure their municipal government continues to make incremental progress from generation to generation.  Having high aspirations for our legendary city, he envisions San Antonio as a beacon of cultural richness, innovation, and inclusive prosperity.

Mr. Pablos believes that our collective ambitions as San Antonians extend beyond mere progress.  San Antonians imagine an iconic city that sets a national and global example in governance, economic vitality, and community well-being.


Rolando Pablos is the CEO of Cross-National Advisory Partners, an advisory firm specialized in guiding governmental and private sector organizations through domestic and international market entry and expansion. Previously, he held the positions of Texas Secretary of State and Texas Border Commerce Coordinator. As Secretary of State, Mr. Pablos also served as the Chief International Protocol Officer for the State of Texas and acted as a Senior Advisor to the Texas Governor on Mexican affairs.

With a background as a Texas utility regulator, attorney, and an economic development executive, Mr. Pablos possesses a keen understanding of community capacity building. He leverages this expertise to attract direct investment and create market expansion avenues for his clients and community. In both public service and private practice, he has been pivotal in advancing global trade relations, especially between Texas and its top international trade partners. A strong proponent of North American market integration, Mr. Pablos actively promotes collaboration and trade among the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Throughout his career, Mr. Pablos has tirelessly worked to uplift his binational community. His passion for public service, sustainable development, and education has seen him serve on numerous corporate, nonprofit, and governmental boards. He has been a linchpin in various community development projects aimed at enhancing the quality of life and economic prosperity in Texas and Mexico.

Educationally, Mr. Pablos earned a biological sciences degree from St. Mary’s University, an MBA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Master of Hospitality Management from the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College. Further cementing his expertise, he obtained a JD from St. Mary’s University School of Law and an LLM in Global Energy & International Arbitration from the University of Texas School of Law. He has been a member of the State Bar of Texas since 2000.

Mr. Pablos’ family life reflects his enduring commitment to community building and public service. He resides in San Antonio with his wife, Dr. Laura San Martín, and their four children: Cristina, David, Mia, and Andrea.

Our Core Activities


Proposed Solutions


Our Values


FutureFirst SA will strive to achieve the highest standards of quality, impartiality, rigor, and relevance in its research, analysis, and advocacy.



FutureFirst SA will maintain its autonomy and integrity as a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization, and will not be unduly influenced by any political, ideological, or financial interests or agendas.


FutureFirst SA will respect and celebrate the diversity of San Antonio’s population, identity, culture, and history, and will seek to include and represent the voices and perspectives of all segments and groups of the city.


FutureFirst SA will embrace and promote innovation, technology, creativity, and collaboration in its work, and will seek to identify and implement the most effective and efficient policy solutions for the city’s challenges and opportunities.


FutureFirst SA will aim to make a positive and lasting difference in the city’s leadership, growth, and development, by influencing and informing the decisions and actions of our policymakers.