Antonio Oscar "Tony" Garza, Jr. (born July 7, 1959, in Brownsville, Texas), an American lawyer and former county judge in Texas, was the United States Ambassador to Mexico. Garza, the grandson of Mexican immigrants to the U.S, graduated from Saint Joseph Academy in Brownsville, the seat of Cameron County on the Gulf of Mexico coast in far south Texas.
Antonio O. Garza, Jr. was named U.S. Ambassador to Mexico by President George W. Bush in the summer of 2002. He presented his credentials to Mexican President Vicente Fox on November 22 of that year and took charge of one of the largest diplomatic missions in the world. At the time, he was the United States’ youngest Chief of Mission serving abroad. Announcing the appointment, President Bush said, “The United States and Mexico share not only a border, but a rich history of common economic and cultural interests. Tony Garza has an in-depth understanding of the relationship between the United States and Mexico and its impact on the people of both nations.” During his tenure, Mr. Garza has focused his attentions on American interests abroad, as well as the law enforcement and counterterrorism aspects of this most important, and indeed unique, bilateral relationship.
Before being sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Mr. Garza served from 1999-2002 as Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, a statewide regulatory body charged with overseeing Texas’s then-$60 billion energy sector. With his election to the Commission, he became the first Hispanic Republican elected to statewide office in Texas history. As Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Garza was a strong advocate for the protection and responsible stewardship of Texas’s natural resources and was hailed by the state’s leading newspapers for bringing balance to an otherwise industry-dominated commission. During this time, Mr. Garza also served as vice-chairman on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, which brings together 39 oil- and gas-producing states. The Commission seeks to promote responsible energy policy and adoption of best practices in the United States. Prior to his election as Railroad Commissioner in 1998, Mr. Garza was a partner in the Austin office of Bracewell & Patterson, L.L.P. (now Bracewell & Giuliani), a Houston-based law firm.