academics and former civil servants

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s new president, Claudia Sheinbaum began naming her Cabinet on Thursday, showcasing an even gender split as well as a strong academia presence and her previous administration as mayor of Mexico City.

Sheinbaum, himself a climate scientist and former academicappointed former Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard as Minister of Economy of her government. Ebrard stepped down from that position in 2023 to run against Sheinbaum for their party’s nomination.

Sheinbaum stormed to victory in the June 2 election.

Ebrard, 63, was the official President Andrés Manuel López Obrador responsible for obtaining foreign-made vaccines for Mexico during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From 2006 to 2012 he was also mayor of Mexico City, traditionally the launching pad for the presidency.

Although he was once seen as the second most important figure in the Morena Party, his position was affected by two major events. First, in 2021, a metro line that had been hastily and poorly constructed during his mayoralty collapsed. which killed 26 passengers. Second, in 2023, he entered a primary race against Sheinbaum for Morena’s presidential nomination, but instead of quickly conceding defeat, he alleged irregularities and continued legal challenges.

Sheinbaum chose Juan Ramón de la Fuente as her foreign minister.

De la Fuente, 72, is the former chancellor of Mexico’s largest university, the public National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, where Sheinbaum attended and where he worked.

He was Mexico’s ambassador to the United Nations under López Obrador and is known for his calm and diplomatic demeanor.

In the late 1990s he was Minister of Health. De la Fuente is trained as a psychiatrist, is a good listener and has an academic appearance, just like Sheinbaum himself. He held the key position as her transition coordinator, so he’s as close to her as anyone.

Mexico’s current Secretary of State, Alicia Bárcena, will now serve as Minister of Environment and Natural Resources.

Sheinbaum said Thursday she will create a new ministry that will oversee science, humanities, technology and innovation. For that role, she chose Rosaura Ruiz Gutiérrez, a biologist who previously headed UNAM’s school of sciences. Ruiz Gutiérrez had also served as Mexico City’s education minister during Sheinbaum’s mayoralty.

Sheinbaum brought in Ernestina Godoy, who was Mexico City’s chief prosecutor when Sheinbaum was mayor, as her government’s legal adviser.

Julio Berdegué Sacristán, an agricultural engineer with a long academic track, was her choice for Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Sheinbaum said she would present more Cabinet picks next week.

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