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Name: Arvizu, Alexander
Current Position: Previous Ambassador

A career Foreign Service officer, and avid baseball fan, Alexander A. Arvizu has served as U.S. ambassador to Albania since November 10, 2010. His posting to the small European country comes after spending most of his time handling U.S. foreign policy for Asia.

Born on a U.S. Army base in Japan, Arvizu is a first-generation American. His mother, from Kyoto, and his father, an American soldier originally from Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico, with Basque heritage, met during the U.S. occupation of Japan after World War II. The family settled in Colorado Springs, where Arvizu grew up.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1980, and the following year, Arizu joined the Foreign Service.
During his career, his overseas and domestic assignments have tended to cover East Asia and the Pacific. He worked as a staff officer in the State Department’s Executive Secretariat early in his career, then served two tours in South Korea and one in Osaka-Kobe, Japan.
He was deputy director of the State Department’s Office of Japanese Affairs, followed by the role of Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council during President Bill Clinton’s second term in office.
From 2000-2003, he was deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He returned to the states to attend the 46th Senior Seminar, an executive leadership program, for one year. From 2004-2007, Arvizu served as deputy chief of mission in Bangkok, Thailand.
From 2007 to 2009, he was the deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, In October 2007 he led a delegation to that met with North Korean officials in New York, and he was a leading participant in subsequent talks with the North Koreans when Barack Obama took over as president.
He was director of entry-level assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources before receiving his nomination as ambassador to Albania.
Arvizu has studied several Asian languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai and Khmer.
When not conducting foreign diplomacy, he enjoys following the Detroit Tigers and the Washington Nationals.
Official Biography (State Department)
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