Roberta S. Jacobson
Roberta S. Jacobson has been the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs since March 30, 2012.
Life and governmental career
Jacobson completed her undergraduate education at Brown University, then spent 1982 through 1984 at the United Nations Center for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. She then attended The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, receiving a master's degree in Law & Diplomacy in 1986.
In 1988, she worked at the United States National Security Council. The next year, she joined the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in the United States Department of State as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, becoming Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary in 1992. She also served as Coordinator for Cuban Affairs. From 1996 to 2000, she was director of the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, covering issues such as civil-military relations, human rights, foreign assistance, and counternarcotics throughout the hemisphere.
She was then Director of the State Department's Office of Mexican Affairs from December 2002 to June 2007. At that point, she became Deputy Assistant Secretary for Canada, Mexico and NAFTA issues in the Bureau. She was next Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs from December 2010 until July 2011, with responsibility for regional political and economic issues, management and personnel, and regional security issues.
When Arturo Valenzuela left the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, she became Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. U.S. President Barack Obama subsequently named her the new Assistant Secretary of State and she was sworn into office on March 30, 2012.
Jacobson is married with two sons, Gil and Daniel.
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