The White House announced this evening that President Obama has nominated veteran diplomat Earl Anthony Wayne as the next U.S. ambassador to Mexico, a post that has been vacant since the March resignation of Carlos Pascual.
Wayne is the current deputy ambassador to Afghanistan and has been a member of the U.S. Foreign Service since 1975, according to his biography on the White House website. His Latin American experience includes serving under President George W. Bush as the U.S. ambassador to Argentina. Wayne’s nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate and accepted by Mexico.
If confirmed, Wayne may immediately be charged with repairing the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico during a time of increasing tensions between the two countries over the several issues, including the raging war in Mexico between rival cartels and law enforcement and immigration. Pascual resigned after private conversations he had were made public on the WikiLeaks website. In them, Pascual raised concerns about whether the Mexican government, under the direction of President Felipe Calderón, was doing its best to combat the criminal elements battling each other and the government for control of the country’s lucrative drug plazas.
In addition to serving in Argentina, Wayne also served as first secretary at the U.S. embassy in Paris, a political officer in Morocco, and China analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He also worked as a journalist covering national security issues for the Christian Science Monitor in the 1980s.
In addition to Wayne’s nomination, Obama also announced the nomination of Arnold A. Chacon as the U.S. ambassador to Guatemala. Chacon is the current deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Madrid, according to the website.
“Our nation will be greatly served by the talent and expertise these individuals bring to their new roles," Obama said in a statement. "I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."