Francisco “Paco” Perez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His father is from Puebla, Mexico and has always spoken to him in Spanish. His mother is Italian-American from New York and has always spoken to him in English. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Paco studied international business at the University of Tampa where he played soccer and served as student government president his senior year. Upon graduation, he returned to his home state of New Mexico and earned a legal degree. Paco completed two internships with the Department of State during law school. The first was in the Office of Civil Rights at main building in Washington, D.C. and the second was in the political and economics section of Embassy Lisbon in Portugal.
After passing the bar exam he was awarded a fellowship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington, D.C., where he was an international public policy fellowship on the Congressional Subcommittee for the Western Hemisphere. Paco joined the Foreign Service as a public diplomacy officer in November 2008, six days after President Obama was elected. A member of the 142 A-100 class, Paco’s first assignment was Matamoros, Mexico. He met his wife, a member of the 143rd A-100 class in Washington, D.C. and the two married in November 2009 in Santa Fe, N.M. The two are now united and are living their dream of serving as a tandem couple in the consular section of Embassy Santo Domingo.