A CURRENT ASSESSMENT OF THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP
His Excellency Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernandez
Ambassador of Mexico to the U.S.
ACIR, October 5, 2017
His Excellency Gerónimo Gutiérrez has been Ambassador of Mexico to the United States since March 2017. Ambassador Gutiérrez served as Managing Director of the North American Development Bank (NADB) headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, where his professional activity was focused on infrastructure development and financing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Under his leadership—centered on strategic planning, business development and project management—NADB grew its loan portfolio at an average annual rate of 32%, reaching US$1.4 billion in 2016, and placed several successful bond issues in the U.S. and European markets, while maintaining a strong financial position and AA credit ratings.
With a diverse 15-year career in the Mexican federal government, Gutierrez previously served in prominent positions in the areas of trade, finance, diplomacy and national security under four presidents. In 2009 and 2010, he served as Deputy Secretary for Governance and Homeland Security, where his main responsibilities were identifying threats to the country’s democratic governance and national security, and coordinating prevention and response measures. He was also part of the National Security Council’s Executive Committee.
From 2006 to 2009, he served as Under Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (State Department). In that capacity, Gutierrez was responsible for normalizing the Mexico-Cuba relationship following a period of strained relations, including the signing of agreements on migration and economic cooperation, as well as the re-establishment of ambassadors with Venezuela. He led Mexico’s negotiations with Mesoamerican countries (Mexico to Colombia) for the creation of the Mesoamerican Project (Proyecto Mesoamerica), a multilateral cooperation mechanism for the development of regional infrastructure. Also, he actively worked, along with other government agencies, on strengthening security and anti-narcotics cooperation with several Latin American and Caribbean countries.
As Under Secretary for North America, from 2003 to 2006, he coordinated day-to-day trilateral and bilateral affairs with Mexico’s North American partners (United States and Canada) and supervised the operations of over 50 Mexican consular offices in the region. He led negotiations for the creation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America (SPP)—a prelude to the present day North American Leaders Summit—and also worked closely with other agencies on border and regional security cooperation with the U.S. and Canada.
Gutierrez has also held other federal government positions as Under Secretary of Governance in the Secretaría de Gobernación (Interior Ministry), Secretaría de Economía (Commerce Department), Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (Treasury Department), the Office of the President, and Banobras (Mexico’s national public works bank).
On the political front, he worked as part of President-elect Vicente Fox’s transition team; as Director of the Miguel Estrada Iturbide Foundation, the think-tank wing of Mexico’s center-right party, PAN (Partido Acción Nacional); and as Chief of Staff of the party’s Parliamentary Group.
Gutierrez holds both a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, for which he received a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholarship. He has contributed editorials to several Mexican and U.S. newspapers and magazines, and also participates regularly as a keynote speaker in conferences related to U.S.-Mexico relations, border affairs and international business.