President Barack Obama plans to nominate Roberta S. Jacobson, the lead negotiator on his new Cuba policies, to be the next U.S. ambassador to Mexico, the White House announced Monday.
Jacobson, currently the assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the State Department, has been working to open a U.S. embassy in Cuba and iron out other wrinkles in the administration's attempt to ease the long icy relationship between the U.S. and Cuba.
Her career includes overseeing the negotiations with Canada and Mexico on the North American Free Trade Agreement and serving as director of the State Department's office of Mexican Affairs. She also helped craft the Merida Initiative, through which the U.S. provides equipment, funding and training to Mexico to counter drugs, organized crime and political corruption.
On Friday, the U.S. removed Cuba from its list as state sponsors of terrorism, which has been part of the negotiations Jacobson has helped steer.
Obama's previous nominee for U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Maria Echaveste, withdrew after growing frustrated with the confirmation process. The nomination must be officially made by Obama and then approved by the Senate.