On August 1, 2019, Christopher Landau was confirmed as United States Ambassador to Mexico. He speaks fluent Spanish, and earned a Certificate in Latin American Studies at Harvard College. He was born in Madrid, Spain, and attended the American School of Asunción, Paraguay, for five years. Landau is a Director of the Diplomacy Center Foundation, which supports the United States Diplomacy Center at the United States Department of State.
Landau 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, and received the Sophia Freund Prize for the highest grade point average in his graduating class. 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. 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.
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.
In 1993, Landau joined Kirkland & Ellis as an associate, and became 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. 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. In 2017, the Chief Justice of the United States appointed him to the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. He is a Trustee of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society, and Chair of the Society’s Programs Committee.
He is married to Caroline Bruce Landau. The Landaus have two children: Nathaniel (18), and Julia (12).