Roberta S. Jacobson was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs on March 30, 2012. As Assistant Secretary, she is responsible for managing and promoting U.S. interests in the region by supporting democracy, trade, and sustainable economic development; and fostering cooperation on issues such as drug trafficking and crime, expanding economic opportunity for all, and environmental protection.
Ms. Jacobson had been the Acting Assistant Secretary since July 18, 2011. Previously, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs with responsibility for regional political, economic, and security issues, as well as Bureau management and personnel issues. In addition to her role as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, she was the senior coordinator for the citizen security initiatives in the Western Hemisphere.
Prior to that, Ms. Jacobson served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Canada, Mexico, and NAFTA issues; Director of the Office of Mexican Affairs; Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru; Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination, covering civil-military relations, human rights, foreign assistance, and counternarcotics issues in the Western Hemisphere; and Coordinator for Cuban Affairs. She has also worked at the National Security Council and the United Nations Center for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs.
Ms. Jacobson holds a Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University. She is the author of articles on “The Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women” and “Liberation Theology as a Revolutionary Ideology.”