Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow has been the President of the Institute of the Americas since 2003. The Institute of the Americas, founded in 1983, is an independent, non-profit institution at the University of California, San Diego. Its mission is to be a catalyst for promoting development and integration as a means to improve the economic, political, and social well-being of the people of the Americas. He became a Visiting Fellow at Harvard in 2001 at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and worked extensively with undergraduate and graduate students during the 2002-03 academic year and wrote an insightful book on U.S.-Mexican relations “The US and Mexico:The Bear and the Porcupine”
Ambassador Davidow was a career foreign service officer and retired in 2001 after 34 years service as America\'s Highest Ranking Diplomat, one of only three people to hold the personal rank of Career Ambassador Davidow joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1969 and began his career as a junior officer at the American Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala from 1970 to 1972. From 1972 to 1974, he was a U.S. political observer in Santiago, Chile, and held the same position in Cape Town, South Africa from 1974 to 1976. He returned to Washington, D.C. in 1976 to take a position as a desk officer in the Office of Southern African Affairs, and he went on to be a Congressional fellow from 1978 to 1979. He later became the head of the liaison office at the U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 1979 to 1982. He returned shortly thereafter to pursue a fellowship at Harvard University, as well as to take-over as Director of the Office of Southern African Affairs in 1985.
On May 5, 1988, U.S. President Ronald Reagan nominated Davidow to be U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, a position he held until 1990. In 1991, U.S. President Bill Clinton nominated Davidow to be U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela. Davidow remained Ambassador until 1996. From 1996 to 1998, he was the State Department\'s Chief Policy maker for the Western Hemisphere, serving in the position of Assistant Secretary of State.
Clinton again nominated Davidow in 1998, this time as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Davidow held this post until mid 2001 also serving for 18 months during the administration of President George W. Bush.
Ambassador Davidow received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts in 1965 and an MA from the University of Minnesota in 1967. He also did postgraduate work in India l968 on a Fulbright travel grant. He holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Massachusetts granted in 2002. He has received numerous decorations, awards and recognition for his contributions.