Ambassador Alexander A. Arvizu was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in February 2015. He directs INL program activities in Africa and the Middle East, as well as INL’s Criminal Justice Assistance and Partnership (U.S. federal, state, and local levels) program.
Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Arvizu served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Albania from 2010 until 2015. He served twice as Deputy Chief of Mission: in Bangkok, Thailand from 2004 to 2007, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 2000 to 2003. His other overseas postings include the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea, and the American Consulate-General in Osaka-Kobe, Japan.
In Washington, Ambassador Arvizu was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific with primary responsibility for U.S. policy toward Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and Asian Regional Security from 2007 until 2009. From 1998 until 1999, he was assigned to the National Security Council, where he was the Director for Southeast Asia and Oceania. Earlier in his career, he was a staff officer in the Department of State’s Executive Secretariat, and later a Special Assistant in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Ambassador Arvizu is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor. From 2003 until 2004, he was a member of the 46th Senior Seminar, recognized as the most prestigious Executive Leadership Program for senior U.S. Government officials.
Ambassador Arvizu was born on a U.S. Army base in Gumma, Japan, and is a first-generation American. His mother was from Kyoto, Japan, and his father – a veteran of the World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War – was a native of Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico. The family settled in Colorado Springs, where he grew up. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1980. Ambassador Arvizu has studied several Asian languages, namely, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Khmer.