Claudia Sheinbaum, the first female and Jewish mayor of Mexico City, addressing the public during her term.
Political Leaders

Claudia Sheinbaum – A Trailblazing Leader in Politics and Environmental Engineering

Claudia Sheinbaum (born June 24, 1962, Mexico City, Mexico) is a prominent Mexican politician and environmental engineer celebrated for her groundbreaking roles as the first female and first Jewish mayor of Mexico City. Sheinbaum held the mayoral office from 2018 to 2023 before resigning to run in the 2024 presidential election as a candidate for the National Regeneration Movement (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional; MORENA). Renowned for her expertise in energy efficiency, sustainability, and environmental advocacy, she was among the contributors to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Claudia Sheinbaum, the first female and Jewish mayor of Mexico City, addressing the public during her term.

Early Life and Education

Claudia Sheinbaum is the second daughter of Annie Pardo Cemo, a biologist and professor emeritus at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and Carlos Sheinbaum, a chemical engineer. She spent her childhood in Mexico City before enrolling at UNAM to study physics. Pursuing higher education, Sheinbaum earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in energy engineering at UNAM, with her doctoral research conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, USA. Her dissertation examined energy consumption trends in Mexico compared to other industrialized nations. In 1995, Sheinbaum returned to UNAM as an engineering faculty member.

Political Activism

Active in political spheres as both a student and professor during the 1980s and ’90s, Sheinbaum co-founded the student-led Revolutionary Democratic Party in 1998, although she did not hold public office until the early 21st century. In 2000, she was appointed Mexico City’s environmental minister by Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a close political ally. In this capacity, she introduced the city’s Metrobus system and oversaw the construction of a second tier on the Periférico beltway.

Following López Obrador’s unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2006, Sheinbaum returned to academia, contributing to the climate change mitigation sections of the IPCC’s fourth and fifth assessment reports. The IPCC’s work on the fourth assessment earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

In 2015, Sheinbaum was elected mayor of Mexico City’s Tlalpan district, prioritizing water rights and fair usage. Despite facing criticism for infrastructure failures during her tenure, including fatalities from a 2017 earthquake, Sheinbaum’s political influence grew. In July 2018, she was elected mayor of Mexico City with 50 percent of the vote in a seven-candidate race. As mayor, Sheinbaum focused on public transit and environmental reforms, including rainwater collection expansion, waste management reformation, and reforestation initiatives. She also planned a substantial overhaul of the city’s subway system, despite ongoing safety concerns.

Presidential Election of 2024

On June 12, 2023, Claudia Sheinbaum announced her candidacy for Mexico’s 2024 presidential election as a MORENA candidate, stepping down from her mayoral role. Viewed as an ideological successor to President López Obrador, Sheinbaum supports similar leftist positions advocating for universal healthcare, education, shelter, and job rights. However, she diverges on key policies, particularly regarding climate change and job creation. Unlike López Obrador’s focus on the petroleum industry, Sheinbaum champions a transition to renewable energy through national subsidies, reflecting her commitment to environmental sustainability.



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