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Arturo Sarukhan

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy

Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan is the founder and president of Sarukhan + Associates, a strategic consulting firm in Washington, D.C. He is a an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and distinguished visiting professor at the Annenberg School of Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. He is a digital diplomacy pioneer and the first ambassador accredited in Washington, D.C. to use Twitter in an official capacity as a public diplomacy and outreach and engagement tool. He writes a biweekly column in Mexico City’s El Universal newspaper, has a weekly radio and TV show in Mexico, and frequently publishes op-ed’s in U.S. media outlets.

He served as a career diplomat in the Mexican Foreign Service for 22 years and received the rank of career ambassador in 2006. Ambassador Sarukhan has held numerous positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He first served as deputy assistant secretary for inter-American affairs in 1991, where he 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, at the onset of negotiations with the U.S. Congress over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he was posted to the Embassy of Mexico in the United States, where he served as chief of staff to the ambassador. In 1995, he was appointed as head of the Counter-narcotics Office at the Embassy. In 2000, he was designated by the foreign secretary of Mexico as chief of policy planning at the Foreign Ministry, and in 2003 was appointed by the president of Mexico as consul general of Mexico in New York City, where he worked closely with Wall Street, the media, and the growing Mexican diaspora in the tri-state area. 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 President-elect Calderón. In February 2007, after Senate confirmation, he was appointed as Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, where he served until 2013. He was the youngest and longest-serving Mexican ambassador in Washington in modern times and led a team of 250 diplomats, plus an additional staff of 1,500 in Mexico’s 50 consulates across the U.S. He became the dean of the Group of Latin American Ambassadors (GRULA) to the United States during his tenure.

Before joining the diplomatic service, Ambassador Sarukhan served as executive assistant of the Ford Foundation-funded Bilateral Commission on the Future of US-Mexico Relations, a non-governmental commission aimed at improving the Mexico-U.S. relationship that comprises Mexican and U.S. commissioners from the private sector, academia, the legislative branch, non-governmental organizations, and former government high-level officials. He also taught courses and was a lecturer 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. He has published numerous articles and essays on foreign policy issues.

Ambassador Sarukhan has been a member the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), the Foreign Policy Association in New York City, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, and most recently the Transatlantic Task Force on Latin America of the Atlantic Council, which resulted in the creation of the Arsht Center for Latin America at the Council. He was a 2014 Pacific leadership fellow at the University of California at San Diego and a distinguished diplomat in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2014. He is currently a co-chair of a Ford Foundation/Global Americans task force on inter-American relations.

He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Americas Society in New York City, the Inter-American Dialogue, the National Immigration Forum, and the Open Society Foundation’s International Migration Initiative. He also sits on the advisory boards of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Latin American Law at the University of Texas at Austin. During his tenure as ambassador to the U.S., he also served as vice-chairman, and then chairman, of the Executive Council on Diplomacy’s Ambassadors Advisory Board, as a member of the International Advisory Council of Worldfund, and as an ex officio member of the US-Mexico Foundation.

Ambassador Sarukhan studied history at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from El Colegio de Mexico. He earned a master’s degree in American foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he was a Fulbright scholar and Ford Foundation fellow. In 2008, Marian College in Indianapolis, Indiana, conferred upon him a honoris causa doctorate degree in international relations. He has been decorated by the governments of Spain and Sweden and has received several awards in recognition of his diplomatic achievements. In 2010, Ambassador Sarukhan was included in the “List of Global Leaders” of Monocle magazine and for six years in a row has been on “The List of 300 Most Influential Mexican Leaders” of Líderes Mexicanos magazine. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan is the founder and president of Sarukhan + Associates, a strategic consulting firm in Washington, D.C. He is a an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and distinguished visiting professor at the Annenberg School of Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. He is a digital diplomacy pioneer and the first ambassador accredited in Washington, D.C. to use Twitter in an official capacity as a public diplomacy and outreach and engagement tool. He writes a biweekly column in Mexico City’s El Universal newspaper, has a weekly radio and TV show in Mexico, and frequently publishes op-ed’s in U.S. media outlets.

He served as a career diplomat in the Mexican Foreign Service for 22 years and received the rank of career ambassador in 2006. Ambassador Sarukhan has held numerous positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He first served as deputy assistant secretary for inter-American affairs in 1991, where he 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, at the onset of negotiations with the U.S. Congress over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he was posted to the Embassy of Mexico in the United States, where he served as chief of staff to the ambassador. In 1995, he was appointed as head of the Counter-narcotics Office at the Embassy. In 2000, he was designated by the foreign secretary of Mexico as chief of policy planning at the Foreign Ministry, and in 2003 was appointed by the president of Mexico as consul general of Mexico in New York City, where he worked closely with Wall Street, the media, and the growing Mexican diaspora in the tri-state area. 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 President-elect Calderón. In February 2007, after Senate confirmation, he was appointed as Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, where he served until 2013. He was the youngest and longest-serving Mexican ambassador in Washington in modern times and led a team of 250 diplomats, plus an additional staff of 1,500 in Mexico’s 50 consulates across the U.S. He became the dean of the Group of Latin American Ambassadors (GRULA) to the United States during his tenure.

Before joining the diplomatic service, Ambassador Sarukhan served as executive assistant of the Ford Foundation-funded Bilateral Commission on the Future of US-Mexico Relations, a non-governmental commission aimed at improving the Mexico-U.S. relationship that comprises Mexican and U.S. commissioners from the private sector, academia, the legislative branch, non-governmental organizations, and former government high-level officials. He also taught courses and was a lecturer 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. He has published numerous articles and essays on foreign policy issues.

Ambassador Sarukhan has been a member the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), the Foreign Policy Association in New York City, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, and most recently the Transatlantic Task Force on Latin America of the Atlantic Council, which resulted in the creation of the Arsht Center for Latin America at the Council. He was a 2014 Pacific leadership fellow at the University of California at San Diego and a distinguished diplomat in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2014. He is currently a co-chair of a Ford Foundation/Global Americans task force on inter-American relations.

He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Americas Society in New York City, the Inter-American Dialogue, the National Immigration Forum, and the Open Society Foundation’s International Migration Initiative. He also sits on the advisory boards of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Latin American Law at the University of Texas at Austin. During his tenure as ambassador to the U.S., he also served as vice-chairman, and then chairman, of the Executive Council on Diplomacy’s Ambassadors Advisory Board, as a member of the International Advisory Council of Worldfund, and as an ex officio member of the US-Mexico Foundation.

Ambassador Sarukhan studied history at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from El Colegio de Mexico. He earned a master’s degree in American foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he was a Fulbright scholar and Ford Foundation fellow. In 2008, Marian College in Indianapolis, Indiana, conferred upon him a honoris causa doctorate degree in international relations. He has been decorated by the governments of Spain and Sweden and has received several awards in recognition of his diplomatic achievements. In 2010, Ambassador Sarukhan was included in the “List of Global Leaders” of Monocle magazine and for six years in a row has been on “The List of 300 Most Influential Mexican Leaders” of Líderes Mexicanos magazine. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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