Juan Sebastian Gonzalez is Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, with responsibility for U.S. diplomatic engagement and policy implementation in Central America and the Caribbean. He was previously at the White House, most recently as Special Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden from 2013-2015, where he advised and represented the Vice President on all policy matters related to the Western Hemisphere. Juan also served at the White House from 2011 – 2013 as National Security Council Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, coordinating U.S. policy development and implementation in the Andean region (Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela).
Before joining the White House, Juan served in various capacities in the Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, including Chief of Staff to Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Huehuetenango, Guatemala and worked in the New York State Assembly as a Legislative Assistant to Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-144). Juan received an M.A. with distinction from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and a B.S. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and speaks fluent Spanish. He is a native of Cartagena, Colombia.