On August 26, 2010, Consul General Valerie Belon assumed her responsibilities as Consul General for the United States of America in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. As Consul General and Chief of Mission, she will remain responsible for Aruba and all islands of the Netherlands Antilles throughout the dissolution process as the senior representative of the United States Government.
Valerie Belon has enjoyed a 20-year career as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. State Department, specializing primarily in economic development, regulation, investment, and environmental issues. Most recently, she was the Senior Benelux Desk Officer at the State Department, taking the lead role for all Dutch and Luxembourg issues as well as overseeing the desk officer for Belgium.
From August 2008 until June 2009, Valerie Belon managed all outreach and public diplomacy efforts related to the Summit of the Americas in the Bureau for Western Hemisphere Affairs, which culminated in President Obama's participation in the Summit hosted by Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009. Her overseas postings began in 1991 with a war-time assignment to Congo-Brazzaville, where she coordinated the evacuation of over 3,000 American citizens, including many remotely-located Peace Corps volunteers and missionaries. She ended her Africa tour as Acting Deputy Chief of Mission during a period of civil unrest with dusk-to-dawn curfews. She also completed assignments at the U.S. Embassies in Belize City (1995-1998), Panama City (1999-2002), and Paris (2002-2006).
Consul General Belon is fluent in French and Spanish. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she worked in the U.S. Senate as a legislative staff assistant. She earned a degree in Economics from Princeton University, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of California Los Angeles, and a Master's degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University.