WASHINGTON DC — Ending weeks of speculation, President Joe Biden named Ken Salazar — former Secretary of the Interior under President Barack Obama, former US Senator from Colorado and native of the San Luis Valley — as the new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.
The announcement was largely expected. But came while Biden was traveling overseas.
Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (Democrat) and John Hickenlooper (Democrat) released the following joint statements after President Biden announced his intent to nominate Salazar.
“President Biden has made a terrific choice in nominating Ken Salazar as the next Ambassador to Mexico. Ken is a tremendous public servant with a strong record of bipartisanship in the United States Senate. He has always led with integrity, and I have great confidence in his ability to represent the United States. We, in Colorado, are proud of him and grateful for his service once again,” said Bennet.
Salazar is a former Colorado state attorney general and a former Democratic senator who left the Senate to join President Barack Obama’s administration in 2009 and lead the Interior Department.
During the 2020 presidential race, Salazar chaired Biden’s Latino Leadership Committee and served as an honorary co-chair of the Biden campaign’s Colorado Latino Leadership Council.
“Ken Salazar is an exceptional leader who has served Colorado and our country at the highest levels. As ambassador to Mexico, he will revitalize the relationship with a neighbor, ally, and one of our biggest trading partners,” said Hickenlooper.
If Salazar is confirmed by the Senate, he will have a difficult task ahead of him, helping to repair a U.S.-Mexico relationship that has become deeply frayed in recent years.
Salazar, 66, is a lawyer and native Spanish speaker who was born in Alamosa. He grew up near Manassa, in the community of Los Rincones in the San Luis Valley.