Ambassador to Guatemala: Who is Arnold Chacon?
Saturday, August 20, 2011
After 30 years in the Foreign Service, Arnold A. Chacon received his first appointment as ambassador, to Guatemala, in June 2011. He was confirmed by the Senate on August 2.
Originally from Denver, Chacon is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, with a BA in international affairs. From 1974-1980, he was involved in Amigos de las Américas (AMIGOS), a program that encourages young adults to volunteer in Latin America. Chacon began as a volunteer in Nicaragua and Honduras; worked as staff in Nicaragua, Ecuador and Mexico; and then served on the International Office staff.
He began his diplomatic career in 1981.
He has served in a number of overseas posts including and political/consular officer in Honduras, staff assistant to the chief of mission in Mexico, political officer in Italy and Chile, political counselor in Peru, and deputy chief of mission in Ecuador (2002-2005).
Chacon also served as an American Political Science Association Fellow, watch officer in the State Department’s Operations Center, political advisor at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Italy desk officer, special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, and deputy director of Central American affairs.
His last three assignments before becoming ambassador were deputy executive secretary in the State Department’s Executive Secretariat (2005-2007), director of Andean affairs in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Madrid, Spain.
Chacon and his wife, Alida (originally from Honduras), have two daughters and a son.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
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