U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala: Who Is Todd Robinson?
On July 10, 2014, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony from Todd D. Robinson on his nomination by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. ambassador to Guatemala. It would be the first ambassadorial post for Robinson, a career Foreign Service officer, but it is not his first posting to Guatemala.
Robinson is from Fanwood, New Jersey and graduated from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School in 1981. He went on to attend Georgetown University, earning a B.S. in Foreign Service in 1985. Robinson’s first job out of college was as a journalist. He joined the State Department in 1986.
Most of Robinson’s career has been spent in Latin America. His first overseas postings were to Colombia in 1987 and El Salvador in 1989, returning to Washington in 1991 to serve as a watch officer at the State Department operations center. Robinson was sent to Rome in 1993 as staff assistant to the U.S. ambassador to Italy. In 1995, he moved across town to the U.S. mission to the Holy See (Vatican City), serving as political officer.
Robinson was sent back to Latin America in 1997 as political officer at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia. He came home in 1999 as special assistant to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In 2000, Robinson was named deputy counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic. He was sent back to Europe in 2004 as chief of the Political and Economic Section in the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania.
Robinson was named consul general in Barcelona, Spain in 2006. In 2009, Robinson was sent to Guatemala as deputy chief of mission, serving there until 2011. He then returned to Washington as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, beginning in June 2011.
In his confirmation hearing, Robinson was closely questioned, particularly from Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), on the flow of undocumented children from Guatemala into the United States. Robinson replied that it would be among his highest priorities to address that issue with the Guatemalan government.
Robinson speaks Spanish, Italian and Albanian.
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