He was born in the city of Fort Worth, Texas, of
a Mexican father and a Texan mother. He
completed his undergraduate studies at Lawrence
University in Appleton, Wisconsin and received
his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees at Texas
Christian University. Juan Hernandez has
dedicated himself to the study of Mexico-U.S.
relations for many years. He has
been a professor at various
universities, creating a Center for U.S.-Mexico
Studies at the University of Texas, Dallas.
In 1996, Hernández
invited Vicente Fox (then Governor of the
Mexican State of Guanajuato) to speak at UT,
Dallas and meet George W. Bush (then Governor of
Texas) -- a historical meeting that marked a new
outlook in Mexico-U.S. relations.
During this Texas trip, Fox asked Dr. Hernandez
to help create
“Guanajuato Trade Offices,” in the United States
(New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas-Fort
Worth) and serve as his representative in the
US. Soon, Fox invited Hernandez to be his
“gate-keeper” and close confidant in his
After beating the party that had ruled for over
71 years, President Fox hired Hernandez as the
first US-born cabinet member, heading the
President’s Office for Mexicans Abroad.
Operating from Los Pinos (the Mexican White
House), the Office had as its principal
objective to serve and dignify the 24
million whom President Fox has called heroes --
the countrymen who live in foreign lands.
Described as one of the most brilliant men in
the world (Fortune
2001), named Humanitarian Man of 2001 by
Magazine (2001), and classified as one of the
100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S. (Hispanic
Business Magazine 2001), he is known
for his passion for the defense of the rights of
immigrants. He has been showcased on
the Peter Jennings show, and is a regular on
Univisión , CNN
and Fox News.