Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan is the founder and president of Sarukhan + Associates. A consultant and public speaker, he is also a nonresident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, a distinguished visiting professor at the Annenberg School of Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California, an Associate Fellow at The Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in the UK, and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center's Mexico Institute. He writes a biweekly column in Mexico City's El Universal newspaper and frequently publishes op-eds in U.S. media outlets. He also participates in a weekly Mexican television newscast on Milenio TV and a weekly radio segment on Enfoque Noticias.
Ambassador Sarukhan served as a career diplomat in the Mexican Foreign Service for 22 years, receiving the rank of career ambassador in 2006. From 2007 to 2013, he served as Mexico's ambassador to the United States. He was the youngest and longest-serving Mexican ambassador in Washington in modern times and led a team of 250 diplomats, plus an additional staff of 1,500 in Mexico's 50 consulates across the U.S. He became the dean of the Group of Latin American Ambassadors (GRULA) to the United States during his tenure. Ambassador Sarukhan is a digital diplomacy pioneer and the first ambassador accredited in Washington, D.C. to use Twitter in an official capacity as a public diplomacy and outreach and engagement tool.
Ambassador Sarukhan lives in Washington, D.C. He is married and has two young daughters. In his spare time, he is a music aficionado and a rabid soccer player and fan.
The grandson and son of Armenian and Catalan conflict refugees in Mexico, Ambassador Sarukhan lived in the United Kingdom as a child and experienced a multicultural, multilingual upbringing and early education.
He read history at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has a Bachelor Degree in international relations from El Colegio de Mexico. He earned a Master Degree in American foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he was a Fulbright scholar and Ford Foundation fellow.
MEXICAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Ambassador Sarukhan has held the following positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
• He first served as deputy assistant secretary for Inter-American Affairs in 1991,
where he was responsible for Latin American regional coordination mechanisms
(Rio Group, G-3, Ibero-American Summit). At that time, he was also Mexico’s
permanent representative to the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL).
• In 1993, at the onset of negotiations with the U.S. Congress over the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he was posted to the Embassy of
Mexico in the United States, where he served as chief of staff to the ambassador.
• In1995, he was appointed as head of the Counter-narcotics Office at the
• In 2000, he was designated by the foreign secretary of Mexico as chief of policy
planning at the Foreign Ministry.
• In 2003, he was appointed by the president of Mexico as consul general of
Mexico in New York City, where he worked closely with Wall Street, the media and the growing Mexican diaspora in the tri-state area.
In 2006, after requesting a leave of absence from the Foreign Service, he joined the presidential campaign of Felipe Calderón as foreign policy advisor and international spokesperson. He then became coordinator of the foreign policy transition team for President-elect Calderón.
Before joining the diplomatic service, Ambassador Sarukhan served as executive assistant of the Ford Foundation-funded Bilateral Commission on the Future of US-Mexico Relations, a non-governmental commission aimed at improving the Mexico-U.S. relationship that comprises Mexican and U.S. commissioners from the private sector, academia, the legislative branch, non-governmental organizations, and former government high-level officials.
He taught courses and was a lecturer at several academic institutions, including the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM), the National Defense College (COLDEF), and the Center for Advanced Naval Studies (CESNAV) in Mexico.
He has published numerous articles and essays on foreign policy issues.
Ambassador Sarukhan has been a member the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI); the Foreign Policy Association in New York City; the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London; and, most recently, the Transatlantic Task Force on Latin America of the Atlantic Council, which resulted in the creation of the Arsht Center for Latin America at the Council. He was a 2014 Pacific leadership fellow at the University of California at San Diego and a distinguished diplomat in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2014. He currently co-chairs a Ford Foundation/Global Americans task force on Inter-American relations.
During his tenure as ambassador to the U.S., he served as vice-chairman, and then chairman, of the Executive Council on Diplomacy’s Ambassadors Advisory Board; a member of the International Advisory Council of Worldfund; and an ex officio member of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation.
Ambassador Sarukhan currently serves on corporate boards, and as a member of the board of directors for the Americas Society in New York City; the Inter-American Dialogue; the National Immigration Forum; and the Open Society Foundation’s International Migration Initiative. He also sits on the advisory boards of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Latin American Law at the University of Texas at Austin.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
Ambassador Sarukhan has received a number of awards in recognition of his diplomatic achievements, including:
• Recently honored by inclusion in Líderes Mexicanos magazine's new 2020
"The List of the 101 Global Mexicans”, the first time this list has been compiled
• Included in Líderes Mexicanos magazine's “The List of 300 Most Influential
Mexican Leaders” for six years in a row
• Annual recognition by the National Democratic Network (NDN) for his
contribution to strengthening relations between the U.S. and Mexico
• In 2010, Ambassador Sarukhan was included in the “List of Global Leaders”
of Monocle magazine
• Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award of the World Affairs Council of
• Annual recognition by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute for his
dedication to the U.S. Hispanic community
• Vision, Innovation, Dedication, and Advocacy (VIDA) Award of the National
Alliance of Hispanic Health
• Excellence in Diplomacy Award of B'nai B'rith International
• Annual Gesher Award of the American Jewish Committee (AJC)
He has been decorated by the governments of Spain and Sweden.
In 2008, Marian College in Indianapolis, Indiana, conferred upon him a honoris causa doctorate degree in International Relations.