'81 alumnus to chair Mexican embassy in Greece
April 05, 2017
Mexican lawmakers have appointed Daniel Hernandez ’81 as ambassador to Greece, Cyprus and Moldova, continuing his storied career in international relations.
The career diplomat will be based in the Greek capital of Athens, and chair the Mexican Embassy, beginning this month.
“Greece and Mexico are very similar in terms of our approach to trade and the flow of immigration in and out of our countries,” Hernandez says. “We have a lot to learn from each other.
“We’re at a point now where there is a lot of uncertainty in our relationship with the United States,” he says. “Because a lot of our trade is with the U.S., we’re going to have to look for new markets. There’s no better time than now.”
Hernandez previously was general director of Protection of Mexicans Abroad and was a key government official charged with shaping the nation’s policies on the migration of its citizens to the United States. One of his primary responsibilities was to form a bilateral approach dealing with issues related to Mexican citizens who immigrate to the United States, particularly those who do so legally. Prior to that role, Hernandez served in various roles in consulates in Texas and Massachusetts.
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At Earlham, Hernandez majored in International Relations, now called International Studies. But he sampled widely from the curriculum, including biology and chemistry as he contemplated a variety of careers. Although he did not set out to work in the Mexican Foreign Ministry, Hernandez believes that his Earlham experience was ideal preparation for work in any chosen field.
"Earlham taught me how to question everything, and to make sure that every argument had evidence to back it up," he says. "That way of thinking has become fundamental to who I am, and I believe that approach is helpful in every line of work."
Hernandez has strong views about the current state of politics following U.S. President Donald Trump’s signing of controversial executive orders on immigration and international trade.
“What I’ve noticed is that there is a very wide space between what is said and what is being done,” Hernandez says. “There has been a lot of talk about erecting a border wall between the U.S. Mexico border, but when you come down to building it, then reality sets in. There has been a lot of talk about revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement, but when it comes to doing it, then all of a sudden it doesn’t seem so.
“In the relationship between our countries words matter,” he says. “Yet, in this specific case, we are at a point where we need to place more attention on what is being done and a little less shaken by what is being said.”
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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."
Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and firstname.lastname@example.org.