The United States Senate approved the appointment of Christopher Landau as ambassador to Mexico on Thursday, filling a post that has been vacant for 15 months.
Landau, 55, will now take office at the embassy in Mexico City, which has been without a chief since the resignation of Roberta Jacobson in May 2018. Landau will take the place of John S. Creamer, who has been serving as interim ambassador.
Although he has no diplomatic experience, Landau was born in Spain and spent parts of his childhood in Latin America when his father, George Landau, was an ambassador to Paraguay, Chile and Venezuela. He speaks Spanish and French, and has a certificate in Latin American studies from Harvard.
As a young lawyer, he clerked for Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas before moving to private practice.
Since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Landau has been considered for a variety of appointments, including attorney general. He was first floated as a possible successor to Jacobson in November 2018, and in March of this year he was appointed by Trump and approved by the Mexican government.
A former Mexican ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, lauded the confirmation of Landau and expressed his optimism for the bilateral relationship.
“Finally, after 15 months, the U.S. has a new ambassador in Mexico,” Sarukhan wrote. “I wish Chris Landau the best in what will be a trying and challenging posting. Our two countries deserve better than the Mexico policy — and that’s being overly generous and diplomatic — emanating from the Oval Office.”