WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's choice to be U.S. ambassador to Mexico has withdrawn from consideration.
The White House says Maria Echaveste cites a prolonged confirmation process as well as her family's best interests.
A native of Texas who grew up in California, Echaveste would have been the first American woman to be ambassador to Mexico.
Obama nominated Echaveste, a corporate lawyer, last September.
A graduate of Stanford University and Berkeley Law School, Echaveste was deputy chief of staff and a presidential assistant during the Clinton administration. When Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state, she appointed Echaveste a special representative to Bolivia.
Echaveste is a partner in the consulting firm Nueva Vista Group in San Francisco.
Her withdrawal was first reported by Politico.
“She embodies diversity of influence, knowledge and I think that´s very special,” David Ayón, an expert with the Wilson Center and former coworker and friend told Fox News Latino back in September.
“I think it is a great advantage that she's a Mexican American, and she's going to be the right ambassador, just right for the times that we´re living,” he said.
A White House official during the Clinton administration, where she served as Deputy Chief of Staff from 1998 to 2001, Echaveste compensated her lack of diplomatic experience with her great influence in Washington, where she is well known as an authority on immigration and public policy issues.
“Maria Echaveste is among the best and brightest that our community has to offer. Her roots are in Texas and California, two states who understand well the importance of the U.S. –Mexico relationship. She´´ll be an excellent ambassador,” said Texas Congressman Pete Gallego when she was nominated.
Mexico is the U.S. second largest export market, and its third largest trading partner and energy supplier. According to figures by the State Department, the U.S. buys over 75 percent of Mexico’s exports – in 2013 bilateral trade in goods and services was over $500 billion, having grown in each of the last three years.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.