With landslide of 98 votes to 3, Tufts University academic Miguel Basáñez has been officially declared Mexico’s newest Ambassador to the United States. He was sworn in yesterday at a plenary session held by Mexican Senate.
“He’s a democrat,” said Gabriela Cuevas, a federal member of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies as she presented the ruling. “And furthermore, a man who is fully prepared.”
An academic with an extensive résumé as a researcher and a public servant, Basáñez’ field of expertise is the use of opinion polls to measure cultural values and how they affect “political, economic, and social development.” He has served as adjunct professor at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy since 2008.
Basáñez’ approval marks the end of a 6 month long period in which the position was officially vacant, albeit occupied by novelist and former diplomat Alejandro Estivill as chargé d’affaires.
In early August, the Mexican government had announced its decision to propose Basáñez as Mexico’s top diplomat to the U.S. His official designation, however, would have to wait until the Senate’s review and approval by vote, which was held on Wednesday. The vote and official swearing in was held on the same day President Enrique Peña Nieto gave his political message concerning his administration’s yearly governance report.
Though some expressed doubts citing his lack of diplomatic experience, the number of votes and comments from Senators reflected confidence in Basáñez, citing his ample experience in government and living in the United States.
During a meeting with Senate members in late August, Basáñez had proposed a six point plan he would work towards if he was designated Ambassador: designing a new architecture in the bilateral relationship; empowering Mexican communities in the U.S.; putting together a dynamic and competitive economic plan; communication of the transformations Mexico has undergone; working to ensure a secure and modern border; and deepening the shared responsibility in security.