Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena on Visit to Chicago


“Chicago Tonight” visited with Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., Martha Bárcena, on her first visit to Chicago. 

Bárcena is the first woman to be named Mexican ambassador to the U.S. She was appointed to the post in December 2018, the same month that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador assumed office in Mexico. She presented her diplomatic credentials to the U.S. in January.

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Bárcena is scheduled to deliver a speech Tuesday night at the Chicago History Museum during an event headlined by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Bárcena’s speech is titled “Migrant Women From Mexico and The World.”

Born in Veracruz, Mexico, Bárcena joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 1979 and has served as the Mexican consul in Barcelona, ambassador to Denmark and ambassador to Turkey. Bárcena is also a permanent representative of Mexico to the United Nations Agencies, based in Rome.

Bárcena has a degree in communication from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and a degree in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. She holds a master’s degree in international studies from the Diplomatic School in Spain and a master’s degree in philosophy from the Universidad Iberoamericana. She speaks English, French and Italian and has knowledge of German, Danish and Mandarin.

A former professional ballet dancer at the Compania Nacional de Danza, she says that dancing every day from ages 13 to 30 gave her the discipline for a career in diplomacy.

Bárcena speaks with Phil Ponce about immigration and the political relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.


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