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The Envoy

New U.S. ambassador to Mexico

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The Obama administration is expected to tap veteran diplomat Earl Anthony "Tony" Wayne to be the next U.S. ambassador to Mexico, former administration officials who work on Western Hemispheric affairs and legislative aides said.

Wayne, currently the deputy  U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, has previously served as U.S. ambassador to Argentina, interim undersecretary for economics, business and agriculture, and former assistant secretary for economic and business affairs. A career diplomat since 1975, Wayne has won awards for his work to counter human trafficking and the sale of conflict diamonds.

Wayne could not be immediately reached for comment. The State Department won't comment on appointments until they are announced, and the rumored nomination could not be officially confirmed. Al Kamen previously noted Wayne may be in line for Mexico envoy.

The outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, said he would step down from the post this spring after the release of U.S. diplomatic cables by Wikileaks. The communiques highlighted Pascual's concerns about the Mexican government's ability to combat powerful paramilitary organized crime cartels--and the fallout from the memos'  release created friction between him and the administration of Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Pascual this month as the new State Department special envoy and coordinator for international energy issues. Pascual is reportedly scheduled to depart Mexico this week.

(Diplomat Earl Anthony "Tony" Wayne: State Department)

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