Alexander A. Arvizu was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Albania on November 10, 2010.
Ambassador Arvizu is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, rank of Minister Counselor. He joined the Foreign Service in 1981 and has served in numerous assignments abroad and domestically related to U.S. foreign policy in East Asia and the Pacific. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for Japan, Korea and Regional Security from 2007 to 2009. Most recently, he was Director of Entry-Level Assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources.
Overseas, Ambassador Arvizu served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangkok, Thailand (2004-07) and in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2000-03). He also served two tours in Seoul, Korea and one in Osaka-Kobe, Japan. In Washington, he was Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council in the Second Clinton Administration, prior to which he was Deputy Director of the Department of State’s Office of Japanese Affairs. From 2003 to 2004, Ambassador Arvizu was a member of the 46th Senior Seminar, an Executive Leadership Program for senior U.S. Government officers. He also worked as a staff officer in the Department of State’s Executive Secretariat earlier in his career.
Ambassador Arvizu was born on a U.S. Army base in Japan and is a first-generation American. His mother was from Kyoto, Japan and his father is 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, including Japanese, Korean, Thai and Khmer. His pastime is tracking the fortunes of his beloved Detroit Tigers and the Washington Nationals.