Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Miguel Basáñez Ebergenyi?
Miguel Basáñez Ebergenyi, a pollster and political scholar, was nominated on September 2, 2015, to be Mexico’s ambassador to the United States. It’s the first such assignment for Basáñez.
Basáñez was born October 24, 1947, in Tuxpan, Veracruz state. He earned a bachelor’s degree in law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1969 and followed that in 1974 with an M.A. in public administration from Britain’s University of Warwick. Basáñez then earned a Ph.D. in political sociology from the London School of Economics in 1980.
By the mid-1980s, Basáñez was attorney general of the state of Mexico, which surrounds Mexico City. Beginning in 1986, he was private secretary to Secretary of Energy Alfredo del Mazo.
Basáñez pioneered modern political polling in Mexico. In 1988, he conducted the first public opinion polls for a Mexican election. He continued conducting polls, often for U.S. and Canadian media outlets and was on the board of Este Pais, a magazine that used monthly opinion polls to explore public feelings on political and social issues. From 1999 to 2000, Basáñez was president of the World Association for Public Opinion Research.
In 2005, Basáñez became chief pollster and advisor to state of Mexico then-governor del Mazo. More recently, Basáñez has been professor of values, culture and development at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Diplomacy. He also served as director of special research and educational projects.
When Basáñez was appointed ambassador, it created some controversy among some who pointed out he had no diplomatic experience and that it was his close association with del Mazo, a cousin of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, that accounted for his appointment.
Basáñez is married; he and his wife Tatiana have four children.
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