Photo of Alex Lee
Alex Lee
Deputy Assistant Secretary for South America and Cuba
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Term of Appointment: 02/10/2014 to present

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, Alex Lee was designated Deputy Assistant Secretary for South America and Cuba in February, 2014. Throughout 2013, he was an Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs: for five months he oversaw the Public Diplomacy portfolio; subsequently, he acquired the responsibilities for managing relations with Cuba, Brazil and the Southern Cone countries, and the Andean nations.

In 2012, Mr. Lee was the Senior Latin American Advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by then Senator John Kerry.

As Director of the Office for Canadian Affairs and then as Director of the Office for Mexican Affairs, Mr. Lee worked on North American trade facilitation, environmental programs and defense/law enforcement cooperation. During 2008-2011 he helped develop the Merida Initiative in coordination with Mexican authorities, and to secure the initial congressional funding of $1.2 billion to launch it.

Mr. Lee led the U.S. delegation to the Migration Talks between Cuba and the United States in July 2013 and January 2014, and he was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Interest Section in Cuba in 2004-2006. He was Deputy Director of the Office of Caribbean Affairs between 2001 and 2002.

Mr. Lee contributed to the creation of Plan Colombia and to its initial implementation, first as the Senior Colombia Desk officer in 1999-2001 and subsequently as the Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota in 2002-2004.

Mr. Lee’s extensive Latin American experience includes Foreign Service assignments in Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Paraguay; he has also served in Afghanistan and Malaysia.

Prior to joining the State Department, Mr. Lee was a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.