Washington - Roberta Jacobson, the top U.S. diplomat for Latin America and point person in detente talks with Cuba, was nominated Monday by President Barack Obama to be the U.S. ambassador to Mexico. If confirmed by the Senate, Jacobson would be the first woman to hold what is considered one of the most U.S. important diplomatic posts due to the countries' proximity and key relationship.
Obama's previous nominee, Maria Echaveste, withdrew from consideration in late January, citing a prolonged nomination process and the interests of her family. She had not received a confirmation hearing in the Senate in the five months since her name was put forward.
Mexico's government welcomed Jacobson's nomination. "She knows this country very well, which is something that pleases us greatly," Foreign Relations Secretary Jose Antonio Meade said.
Jacobson is a career diplomat who previously served as deputy chief of mission in Peru, director of the State Department's Office of Mexican Affairs and deputy assistant secretary for Canada, Mexico and NAFTA issues.
Since 2012, she has been assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs. In that role she has been prominent in leading U.S. negotiators in talks with Cuba on re-establishing diplomatic ties and embassies after more than five decades of antagonism.
Those talks continue, but John Caulfield, who headed the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba from 2011 until his retirement from the State Department in 2014, predicted they would not be hurt by Monday's announcement.Read more at usnews.com