sarukana

Arturo Sarukhan

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy

Arturo Sarukhan is a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy and Metropolitan Policy programs at Brookings. He focuses on hemispheric issues, Mexico-U.S. relations, immigration policy, new security threats, and the role of cities in the 21st Century. He is chairman of Global Solutions/A Podesta Company, a global strategic consulting and risk assessment firm. The grandson and son of conflict refugees in Mexico, he served as a career diplomat in the Mexican Foreign Service for 20 years and received the rank of career ambassador in 2006.

Ambassador Sarukhan held numerous positions in the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1991, he first served as deputy assistant secretary for inter-American affairs, and was responsible for Latin American regional coordination mechanisms (Rio Group, G-3, Ibero-American Summit). At that time he was also Mexico’s permanent representative to the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL). In 1993 he was posted to the Embassy of Mexico in the United States, at the outset of negotiations with the U.S. Congress over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), where he served first as chief of staff to the ambassador. In 1995 he was appointed as head of the embassy’s counternarcotics office. In 2000, he was designated chief of policy planning at the Foreign Ministry, and in 2003 was appointed by the President as Consul General of Mexico in New York City. In 2006, after requesting a leave of absence from the Foreign Service, he joined the presidential campaign of Felipe Calderón as foreign policy advisor and international spokesperson. He then became coordinator of the foreign policy transition team for then President-elect Calderón. In February 2007, after Senate confirmation, he was appointed ambassador of Mexico to the United States, where he served until 2013. He was the youngest and longest serving Mexican ambassador in Washington in recent history. He became the dean of the Group of Latin American Ambassadors (GRULA) to the United States during his tenure.

Ambassador Sarukhan has undertaken various activities beyond the scope of the Mexican Foreign Service. Before joining the diplomatic service, he served as executive assistant of the Bilateral Commission on the Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations, a non-governmental effort aimed at improving the Mexico-U.S. relationship and comprised of Mexican and U.S. leaders from the private sector, academia, the legislative branch, NGOs and former government high-level officials. Additionally, he has taught courses and lectured at several academic institutions, including the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM), the National Defense College (COLDEF), and the Center for Advanced Naval Studies (CESNAV) in Mexico, and the Inter-American College of Defense and National Defense University in the United States. He has also published numerous articles and essays on foreign policy issues.

He has also been a member of several organizations, including the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), the Foreign Policy Association in New York City and the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He is member of the Board of Directors of the Americas Society in New York City, the Advisory Board of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, the boards of the Post-Classical Ensemble and of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation, and of the International Advisory Council of Worldfund. He is also a member of the Transatlantic Task Force on Latin America of the Atlantic Council. During his tenure as Ambassador to the U.S., he was vice-chairman and then chairman of the Advisory Board of the Executive Council on Diplomacy Ambassadors.

Ambassador Sarukhan studied history at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and has a B.A. in international relations from El Colegio de Mexico. He earned a M.A. in American foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he was a Fulbright scholar and Ford Foundation fellow. He has been decorated by the governments of Spain and Sweden, and has received several awards in recognition for his diplomatic achievements. These include: the annual recognition of the National Democratic Network (NDN), for "his contribution to strengthening relations between the U.S. and Mexico”; the Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award of the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C.; the Vision, Innovation, Dedication, and Advocacy (VIDA) Award of the National Alliance of Hispanic Health; the Excellence in Diplomacy Award of B'nai B'rith International; and the annual Gesher Award of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

In 1987, Ambassador Sarukhan participated in the first International Visitors Program of “Mexican Young Leaders” that travelled to the United States. He was also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies "New Faces" Group for 1991. In 2010, Ambassador Sarukhan was included in the List of Global Leaders of Monocle magazine, and, for five years in a row, has been on the list of the 300 most influential Mexican leaders by Líderes Mexicanos magazine.

Arturo Sarukhan is a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy and Metropolitan Policy programs at Brookings. He focuses on hemispheric issues, Mexico-U.S. relations, immigration policy, new security threats, and the role of cities in the 21st Century. He is chairman of Global Solutions/A Podesta Company, a global strategic consulting and risk assessment firm. The grandson and son of conflict refugees in Mexico, he served as a career diplomat in the Mexican Foreign Service for 20 years and received the rank of career ambassador in 2006.

Ambassador Sarukhan held numerous positions in the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1991, he first served as deputy assistant secretary for inter-American affairs, and was responsible for Latin American regional coordination mechanisms (Rio Group, G-3, Ibero-American Summit). At that time he was also Mexico’s permanent representative to the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL). In 1993 he was posted to the Embassy of Mexico in the United States, at the outset of negotiations with the U.S. Congress over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), where he served first as chief of staff to the ambassador. In 1995 he was appointed as head of the embassy’s counternarcotics office. In 2000, he was designated chief of policy planning at the Foreign Ministry, and in 2003 was appointed by the President as Consul General of Mexico in New York City. In 2006, after requesting a leave of absence from the Foreign Service, he joined the presidential campaign of Felipe Calderón as foreign policy advisor and international spokesperson. He then became coordinator of the foreign policy transition team for then President-elect Calderón. In February 2007, after Senate confirmation, he was appointed ambassador of Mexico to the United States, where he served until 2013. He was the youngest and longest serving Mexican ambassador in Washington in recent history. He became the dean of the Group of Latin American Ambassadors (GRULA) to the United States during his tenure.

Ambassador Sarukhan has undertaken various activities beyond the scope of the Mexican Foreign Service. Before joining the diplomatic service, he served as executive assistant of the Bilateral Commission on the Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations, a non-governmental effort aimed at improving the Mexico-U.S. relationship and comprised of Mexican and U.S. leaders from the private sector, academia, the legislative branch, NGOs and former government high-level officials. Additionally, he has taught courses and lectured at several academic institutions, including the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM), the National Defense College (COLDEF), and the Center for Advanced Naval Studies (CESNAV) in Mexico, and the Inter-American College of Defense and National Defense University in the United States. He has also published numerous articles and essays on foreign policy issues.

He has also been a member of several organizations, including the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), the Foreign Policy Association in New York City and the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He is member of the Board of Directors of the Americas Society in New York City, the Advisory Board of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, the boards of the Post-Classical Ensemble and of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation, and of the International Advisory Council of Worldfund. He is also a member of the Transatlantic Task Force on Latin America of the Atlantic Council. During his tenure as Ambassador to the U.S., he was vice-chairman and then chairman of the Advisory Board of the Executive Council on Diplomacy Ambassadors.

Ambassador Sarukhan studied history at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and has a B.A. in international relations from El Colegio de Mexico. He earned a M.A. in American foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he was a Fulbright scholar and Ford Foundation fellow. He has been decorated by the governments of Spain and Sweden, and has received several awards in recognition for his diplomatic achievements. These include: the annual recognition of the National Democratic Network (NDN), for “his contribution to strengthening relations between the U.S. and Mexico”; the Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award of the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C.; the Vision, Innovation, Dedication, and Advocacy (VIDA) Award of the National Alliance of Hispanic Health; the Excellence in Diplomacy Award of B’nai B’rith International; and the annual Gesher Award of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

In 1987, Ambassador Sarukhan participated in the first International Visitors Program of “Mexican Young Leaders” that travelled to the United States. He was also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies “New Faces” Group for 1991. In 2010, Ambassador Sarukhan was included in the List of Global Leaders of Monocle magazine, and, for five years in a row, has been on the list of the 300 most influential Mexican leaders by Líderes Mexicanos magazine.