Mexico chose a U.S.-based Mexican academic as its new ambassador to Washington it announced Tuesday, filling a key diplomatic post that has been vacant for five months.
The Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE) said the new envoy will be Miguel Basáñez Ebergenyi, who is currently an adjunct professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School.
“We have chosen someone with a long political and academic career, and we are certain that he has the ideal profile to represent Mexico in Washington,” said Foreign Relations Secretary José Antonio Meade Kuribeña.
The SRE said they are delighted that Basáñez accepted the position.
President Enrique Peña Nieto finalized the decision on the appointment.
The ambassadorship to Mexico’s most important trade and investment partner has been empty since former Mexican Ambassador to the United States Eduardo Medina Mora was nominated to Mexico’s Supreme Court in March.
Analysts had questioned why Mexico left the post vacant so long. About 11.4 million Mexican-born people live in the United States and about 1 million U.S. citizens live in Mexico, according to the department.
The department said Basáñez, 67, plans to “promote the empowerment of the Mexican community” in the United States.
Basáñez is an expert on opinion polling who did much of his post-graduate education at British universities.
According to his Fletcher School academic profile, Basáñez “assisted in the expansion of democracy in Mexico through the introduction of opinion polling for elections in 1985.” Until then, opinion polls were little-used and seldom trusted, and the country had been ruled for over 55 years by the Institutional Revolutionary Party. The PRI, as the party is known, lost the presidency in 2000 and regained it in 2012.
Basáñez also worked for PRI governments before going to the United States to continue his academic career.
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