US State Department sending new consul general to Juarez


John Tavenner reassigned to Peru after two years on border as part of normal Foreign Service rotation, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico says

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EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The U.S. Consulate in Juarez is getting a new consul general this fall.

Eric Cohan will be taking over for John Tavenner, who concluded his two-year assignment last Friday and will be going to Peru next.

“I leave satisfied that I was able to act as a bridge of mutual understanding between our countries here in Chihuahua,” Tavenner said on a video posted on the consulate’s Facebook page. “I know the consulate will be in good hands. I hope he (Cohan) can get the same hospitality and cooperation that I received.”

Cohan previously worked in Juarez as a staff consul and is fully bilingual, the outgoing consul general said. The role of a consul is to assist and protect U.S. citizens abroad and to facilitate trade and goodwill with the host country. For a full list of consulate services, visit the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs page.

John Tavenner (photo courtesy U.S. State Department)

Tavenner has worked in Mexico for 11 years, including stints in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Hermosillo. He was minister counselor for consular affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Rome. He was appointed consul general in Juarez on September 2018. His tenure ran from the start of the migrant surge from Central America to the height of the COVID-19 pandemic on the border.

“This was a particularly special assignment. I’m originally from this region and I was able to represent my country in the largest state in Mexico,” Tavenner said, adding that Mexico “will always have a place in my heart.”

Tavenner has two adult sons who “like many residents of the border” are citizens of both the United States and Mexico, he said.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau said six of the nine consul generals assigned to Mexico are being replaced this year as part of a normal State Department rotation.

“It depends on the place. In general, they serve two or three years, which I think is too short a period. You are barely beginning to know people during that time. Four or five years would be better,” Landau wrote on his Twitter feed.

He went on to say that the rotation is normal in the Foreign Serve and good for the diplomats’ careers.

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