Christopher Landau

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Christopher Landau
Christopher T. Landau official portrait (cropped).jpg
United States Ambassador to Mexico
Assumed office
August 12, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byRoberta S. Jacobson
Personal details
Christopher Thomas Landau[1]

(1963-11-13) November 13, 1963 (age 55)
Madrid, Spain
Political partyRepublican
Caroline Bruce Landau (m. 1997)
RelationsGeorge W. Landau (father)
Children2 (Nathaniel, Julia)
EducationHarvard University (AB, JD)

Christopher Landau (born November 13, 1963) is an American lawyer and diplomat who currently serves as the United States Ambassador to Mexico.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Landau was born in Madrid, Spain, where his father, George (later United States Ambassador to Paraguay, Chile, and Venezuela), was then stationed with the Foreign Service. He attended the American School of Asunción, Paraguay, for five years, where he learned his fluent Spanish.[4] He graduated from Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts, summa cum laude, in 1981.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts in history, summa cum laude, from Harvard College in 1985, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year, earned a Certificate in Latin American Studies, and received the Sophia Freund Prize for the highest grade point average in his graduating class.[5] He wrote his senior thesis, which was awarded the Hoopes Prize, on United States relations with the leftist government of Venezuela in the mid 1940s.[1] He received his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1989, where he was articles co-chair of the Harvard Law Review and won the Sears Prize for the highest grade point average in his second year.

Legal career[edit]

After graduating from law school, Landau clerked for then-Judge Clarence Thomas of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He later clerked for Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1990 and 1991 Terms, respectively. During the former clerkship, Landau was co-clerk with Lawrence Lessig; during the latter clerkship, he was co-clerks with Gregory G. Katsas, Gregory E. Maggs and Stephen R. McAllister.

In 1993, Landau joined Kirkland & Ellis as an associate, becoming a partner in 1995. He was chairman of the firm's appellate practice until he left after 25 years to join Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in 2018.[6][7][8] He has argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including two on behalf of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and has briefed and argued appeals in all of the U.S. Courts of Appeals.

From 1994–1995, Landau was an adjunct professor of administrative law at the Georgetown University Law Center.[4] In 2017, the Chief Justice of the United States appointed him to the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.[9] Landau served as a Trustee of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society, and Chair of the Society's Programs Committee.[10] He was also a Director of the Diplomacy Center Foundation, which supports the United States Diplomacy Center at the United States Department of State.[11]

Landau sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas as ambassador to Mexico, with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo looking on

United States Ambassador to Mexico[edit]

On March 26, 2019, President Donald J. Trump nominated Landau as United States Ambassador to Mexico.[12] On August 1, 2019, the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination by voice vote.[13][14] He was sworn into office on August 12, 2019, arrived in Mexico on August 16, 2019, and presented his credentials to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on August 26, 2019.[15][16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The rise and fall of petro-liberalism : United States relations with socialist Venezuela". Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  2. ^ "PN523 — Christopher Landau — Department of State". United States Congress. August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  3. ^ "Rinde protesta Christopher Landau, nuevo embajador de EU en México". August 12, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Tillman, Zoe; Tamkin, Emily (November 19, 2018). "A Lawyer With Conservative Ties And No Diplomatic Experience Is Being Vetted For US Ambassador To Mexico". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "Who won the Sophia Freund prize in 2009 and before 1997?". College Confidential.
  6. ^ "Christopher Landau, P.C. - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP". Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Lat, David. "Prominent Supreme Court Lawyer Jumps From Kirkland & Ellis To Quinn Emanuel".
  8. ^ Olson, Elizabeth. "Quinn Emanuel Lands Lauded Top Court Litigator Landau".
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Supreme Court Historical Society - Society Info".
  11. ^ "Board of Directors – Diplomacy Center Foundation".
  12. ^ "Seven Nominations Sent to the Senate". The White House.
  13. ^ "PN523 — Christopher Landau — Department of State". United States Congress. August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  14. ^ "Congressional Record".
  15. ^ "Christopher Landau rinde protesta como embajador de EU en México" (in Spanish). August 12, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  16. ^ "Christopher Landau new US ambassador arrives in Mexico with his family". August 16, 2019.
  17. ^ "AMLO se reúne con el embajador de EU en México, Christopher Landau". August 26, 2019.

External links[edit]