Roberta Jacobson, the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, arrived in Mexico City, Mexico Thursday, saying she is excited and confident the two countries will have "excellent communication."
"I have the intention to travel far and wide in Mexico to get to know the unique attributes of each region and to be able to listen to Mexicans in person," Jacobson said to the press in Spanish upon her arrival.
Jacobson, formerly the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, has worked in numerous presidential administrations. In her career as a negotiator for the U.S., she worked with Canada and Mexico on the North American Free Trade Agreement. Her latest accomplishment was leading the Obama Administration's Cuba negotiations in June.
Jacobson's confirmation took almost 10 months; she faced opposition and resistance by lawmakers such as Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who has opposed the restoration of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra said in a statement April 29 that Jacobson's expertise in Latin American affairs makes her an "excellent" choice as Ambassador.
"This was never about her qualifications — there is no doubt that her decades of experience at the State Department and her expertise in U.S.-Latin America relations will make her an excellent Ambassador," Becerra said.
He said at the time that after the Senate "did its job, we look forward to a renewed relationship with our southern neighbor and strong diplomatic leadership from our next U.S. Ambassador, Roberta Jacobson," Becerra said.
Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) had also applauded the Senate for moving the nomination forward, noting she has "extensive expertise" in Latin American diplomacy because of her nearly 30-year career, which includes time at the State Department’s Office of Mexican Affairs under President George W. Bush.
“The position of ambassador to Mexico is crucial to the United States,” Congressman Cuellar said April 29. “The U.S. and Mexico share a 2,000-mile border, and Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner overall and second-largest export market, with nearly $240 billion worth of U.S. exports going to Mexico."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.