US ambassador to Mexico unexpectedly resigns amid increased tensions under Trump

  • The US ambassador to Mexico plans to leave her post in May.
  • Her nomination was delayed in the Senate for 10 months, and she was not confirmed until April 2016.
  • Much of her time in Mexico has been spent managing rocky US-Mexico relations under President Donald Trump.

Roberta Jacobson, the US ambassador to Mexico, announced her resignation on Thursday, saying on Twitter she would be leaving her post at the beginning of May "in search of other opportunities."

"I do it knowing that the US-Mexico relationship is strong and crucial and that the incredible team in our mission in Mexico will continue making sure that it is so," Jacobson wrote.

Jacobson said she had no information about her successor, though a US official with knowledge of the decision told The New York Times that the Trump administration had selected a nominee.

Jacobson, a career diplomat, was nominated for the post by President Barack Obama in June 2015, but her confirmation was held up for 10 months in the Senate — led by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez — over objections to the Obama administration's reestablishment of diplomatic ties with Cuba, which she helped negotiate as assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs.

Jacobson was not in her post long before relations between Washington and Mexico City became strained under President Donald Trump. Much of Jacobson's time was focused on working with her Mexican counterparts to soothe concern and displeasure in Mexico over Trump's policies and rhetoric toward the US's southern neighbor, according to The Times.

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White House Communications Director Hope Hicks reportedly announced her resignation after testifying about her job and being required to tell "white lies."

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H.R. McMaster was replaced by John Bolton as national security advisor in March 2018.

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Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn announced his resignation in March 2018 after becoming a key architect of the 2017 tax overhaul 

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Sally Yates was fired from her post as acting attorney general when she refused to enforce President Trump's travel ban. 

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Michael Flynn resigned as national security adviser in February after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his interactions with Russian officials. 

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President Trump announced David Shulkin was out as secretary of veterans affairs by sending a tweet announcing he had nominated his personal physican, Ronny Jackson, to replace him on March 28, 2018.

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Trump fired Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh amid White House leaks in April.

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President Trump fired U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Preet Bharara in March.

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Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in early May.

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Mike Dubke resigned as White House communications director in late May.

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Walter Shaub, former Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics in Washington, DC resigned in July.

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Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned in July.

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Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus resigned in July.

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Former advisor to President Donald Trump Steve Bannon resigned in August.

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Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director was fired in July after just 10 days on the job. 

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Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigned in late September. 

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White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter arrives with U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump aboard Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. February 5, 2018. Picture taken February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Under Trump, many of the US's communications with Mexico's government have been routed through the White House and Jared Kushner, a senior adviser and Trump's son-in-law, who has developed close ties to Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, who is himself close to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Those dealings have largely excluded officials in the US State Department, though their status going forward is uncertain, as Kushner recently had his top-secret security clearance revoked.

Jacobson was a member of the State Department's civil service, not the foreign service, from which ambassadors are typically drawn.

But she was held in high regard for her experience and connections in Mexico, considered vital to managing the closely intertwined politics and economies of both countries at a time of particular tension.

"No career official has more consummately understood US-Mexico relations," Carlos Pascual, a former US ambassador to Mexico and Ukraine, told The Times.

Jacobson is only the latest high-profile departure from the State Department, which has shed many of its most senior officials under Trump and failed to fill many vacancies.

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U.S. Border patrol agents open a single gate to allow families to hug and talk along the Mexico and U.S border in Tijuana, Mexico, November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes
U.S. resident Brian Houston arrives to marry Evelia Reyes as Reyes' daughter Alexis looks on when U.S. Border patrol agents opened a single gate in the border wall to allow selected families short visits visit along the U.S. Mexico border at Border Field State Park in San Diego, California, U.S., November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A member of the U.S. Border patrol agent watches as she open a single gate to allow families to hug and converse along the Mexico and U.S border in Tijuana, Mexico, November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes
U.S. resident Brian Houston marries Evelia Reyes as U.S. Border Patrol agents open a single gate in the border wall to allow selected families to visit along the U.S.-Mexico border at Border Field State Park in San Diego, California, U.S., November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. resident Brian Houston marries Evelia Reyes as U.S. Border Patrol agents open a single gate in the border wall to allow selected families to visit along the U.S.-Mexico border at Border Field State Park in San Diego, California, U.S., November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
U.S. resident Brian Houston marries Evelia Reyes as U.S. Border patrol agents open a single gate for in the border wall to allow selected families to visit along the U.S.-Mexico border at Border Field State Park in San Diego, California, U.S., November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
U.S. resident Brian Houston marries Evelia Reyes as U.S. Border patrol agents open a single gate to allow families to hug and converse along the Mexico and U.S border in Tijuana, Mexico, November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes
Bride Evelia Reyes and groom Brian Houston, living on different sides of the US-Mexico border, stand for a family portrait after getting married during a briefly reunited during the 'Opening the Door of Hope' event at the border fence gate in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on November 18, 2017. The event was organized by the Border Angels migrant advocacy group, in coordination with the Tijuana city government and the US Border Patrol. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. resident Brian Houston marries Evelia Reyes as U.S. Border Patrol agents open a single gate in the border wall to allow selected families to visit along the U.S.-Mexico border at Border Field State Park in San Diego, California, U.S., November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Bride Evelia Reyes and groom Brian Houston, living on different sides of the US-Mexico border, stand for a family portrait after getting married during a briefly reunited during the 'Opening the Door of Hope' event at the border fence gate in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on November 18, 2017. The event was organized by the Border Angels migrant advocacy group, in coordination with the Tijuana city government and the US Border Patrol. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Bride Evelia Reyes (C) and groom Brian Houston (out of frame), living on different sides of the US-Mexico border, speak after getting married during a briefly reunited during the 'Opening the Door of Hope' event at the border fence gate in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico on November 18, 2017. The event was organized by the Border Angels migrant advocacy group, in coordination with the Tijuana city government and the US Border Patrol. / AFP PHOTO / GUILLERMO ARIAS (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A family embraces as U.S. Border patrol agents open a single gate in the border wall to allow selected families to embrace along the U.S. Mexico border at Border Field State Park in San Diego, California, U.S., November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
U.S. Border patrol agents open a single gate to allow families to hug and converse along the Mexico and U.S border in Tijuana, Mexico, November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes
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In January, US ambassador to Panama John Feeley, a career diplomat and retired Marine pilot, announced his resignation, saying he did not feel able to serve Trump. Feeley was considered by many to be one of the US's most talented officials on Latin American matters.

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