Christopher Landau, nominee to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Photo: Angulo7


The Mexican Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE) announced late Tuesday, March 19, that it had granted its bene placito (formal diplomatic approval) to the nomination of U.S. veteran appellate lawyer Christopher Landau to serve as ambassador to Mexico.

Landau, who has no formal diplomatic experience but an impressive legal career, was officially nominated for the post earlier in the day by U.S. President Donald J. Trump, although he is believed to have been vetted as a potential nominee as far back as November of last year.

Landau, who will need the approval of the U.S. Senate before his appointment can be formalized, is a partner at the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

He is a Harvard Law School graduate who clerked for two Supreme Court justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, and argued eight cased before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2017, he was appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts to the U.S. Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.

Having lived in Paraguay, Chile and Venezuela, Landau is fluent in Spanish.

In a printed statement, SRE stated that the Mexican government had been consulted about Landau’s possible appointment in late February through a communiqué from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

In that statement, the Foreign Relations Secretariat said “the Mexican government trusts that the formalization of Christopher Landau’s designation will contribute to stimulating and strengthening a bilateral relationship based on respect and mutual understanding.”

Washington has not had an ambassador to Mexico, its third largest trade partner, since career diplomat Roberta Jacobson, an appointee former U.S. President Barack Obama, resigned in May of last year.

If confirmed by the Senate, Landau will join several other “Big Law” veteran U.S. ambassadors, including A.B. Culvahouse, who is serving in Australia, and David Friedman in Israel.

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