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Ken Salazar nominated by Joe Biden to be U.S. ambassador to Mexico

Former interior secretary and U.S. senator has been working in the private sector
With the ridgeline of Chimney Rock behind him, Ken Salazar, then-secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, dedicates the Chimney Rock National Monument in 2012. (Durango Herald file)

Ken Salazar, a Coloradan who served as interior secretary and in the U.S. Senate, will be nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, the White House announced on Tuesday.

Salazar’s nomination has been rumored for weeks. He’s a Colorado College graduate who has recently been working in the private sector at the Denver branch of the sprawling law firm WilmerHale.

In addition to his time in President Barack Obama’s administration and in Congress, Salazar served as Colorado’s attorney general.

Salazar is from the San Luis Valley and, according to the White House, Spanish is his native language. He is highly active in Democratic politics and considered a 2018 bid to become Colorado governor, ultimately deciding against launching a campaign, saying “my family’s well-being must come first.”


“President Biden has made a terrific choice in nominating Ken Salazar as the next Ambassador to Mexico,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, said in a written statement. “Ken is a tremendous public servant with a strong record of bipartisanship in the United States Senate. He has always led with integrity, and I have great confidence in his ability to represent the United States. We, in Colorado, are proud of him and grateful for his service once again.”

Salazar, who was an early backer of the president’s 2020 campaign, served as co-chairman of Biden’s Latino Leadership Committee. Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tapped Salazar to chair her transition team in 2016.

Salazar’s nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported, nonpartisan news organization dedicated to covering Colorado issues. To learn more, go to coloradosun.com.

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