New U.S. ambassador Roberta Jacobson arrives in Mexico, ending post’s year-long vacancy
MEXICO CITY — Roberta Jacobson arrived in Mexico on Thursday May 26 to assume her new post as U.S. ambassador following a drawn-out process that began in June 2015 when President Barack Obama first nominated her.
The U.S. Senate only confirmed Jacobson in April, finally overcoming objections from Republican Senator Marco Rubio over her role in the Obama administration’s policy of normalizing relations with Cuba.
Jacobson is seen as an expert in the complicated but strategically important relations between Mexico and the U.S., having served as director of the State Department’s Office of Mexican Affairs from December 2002 to June 2007.
As the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs under President George W. Bush, Jacobson helped craft the Merida Initiative, a U.S. aid program that has played a key role in militarizing Mexico’s war on drugs.
Because of the hold on her nomination, since June 2015 the U.S. has had no ambassador in Mexico, the country’s third largest trading partner. Jacobson is the first woman to hold the post of U.S. ambassador to Mexico.
Jacobson arrives in Mexico as her country is going through an unpredictable presidential race in which the presumed Republican candidate Donald Trump has made inflammatory comments against Mexicans, vowing that he will build a wall on the U.S.’s southern border.