News Release

Arturo Sarukhan, Former Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Joins Brookings as a Distinguished Affiliate

April 5, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican ambassador to the United States, has joined the Brookings Institution as a distinguished affiliate, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

“We are honored that Ambassador Sarukhan has agreed to join the Brookings family,” Talbott said. “Arturo has been a friend and colleague to a number of us here, as well as an invaluable friend to the U.S. He’s been a leader in his country’s political life and its foreign-policy establishment for more than a decade. We look forward to his participation in the work we do at Brookings and in the wider public-policy community of which we’re a part.”

A career Mexican diplomat, Sarukhan recently served as Mexico’s ambassador to the United States from 2007 to January 2013. At Brookings, Sarukhan will affiliate with the Foreign Policy and Metropolitan Policy programs.

From 1988-89, Sarukhan began his career in public service as the executive secretary of the Commission for the Future of Mexico-U.S. Relations, a non-governmental initiative funded by the Ford Foundation created to recast the relationship between the two countries. After joining Mexico’s Foreign Service, Sarukhan held a number of different posts within the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs. In 1991, he was named deputy assistant secretary for Inter-American Affairs, representing Mexico at the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL). In 1993, Sarukhan held his first posting to the Embassy of Mexico to the United States, where he served as the Mexican ambassador’s chief of staff during the NAFTA negotiations. In 1995, Sarukhan was put in charge of the embassy’s Office for Antinarcotics. From 2000 to 2003, Sarukhan was designated chief of Policy Planning to Mexico’s secretary of Foreign Affairs, before moving to New York and serving as Mexico’s consul general from 2003 to 2006.

Sarukhan took a leave of absence from the Mexican Foreign Service in 2006 to join Felipe Calderón’s presidential campaign, where he served as international spokesman and foreign policy coordinator. Following Calderón’s election and the presidential transition, Sarukhan was appointed ambassador to the United States in January 2007.

As an academic, Sarukhan has taught several courses at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), at the National Defense College, at the Inter-American Defense College and at the National Defense University of the United States.

“For more than 20 years, Ambassador Sarukhan has had an outstanding career within Mexico’s Foreign Service, serving the Mexican government and its people with distinction,” said Martin Indyk, vice president and director of Foreign Policy. “Foreign Policy and its Latin America Initiative will benefit greatly from Arturo’s involvement in our research activities as well as our many public and private events.”

“Ambassador Sarukhan has been an avid practitioner of Metro Diplomacy, recognizing that the dominant trend of this century is the rapid rise of cities as the engines of national economies and the vanguard of policy innovation,” said Bruce Katz, vice president and director of Metropolitan Policy. “He will be an invaluable partner in helping Brookings create a network of global cities, linked together by trade, that will learn from each other about the challenging issues of urbanization.”

Sarukhan graduated from El Colegio de México with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and received a master’s degree in U.S. Foreign Policy from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., where he studied as a Fulbright scholar and Ford Foundation fellow.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.