Michelle G. Los Banos is the Deputy Division Chief in the Cultural Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. Her division develops, coordinates, and directs the implementation of cultural exchange programs in the arts and humanities worldwide in support of U.S. foreign policy objectives. In 2013, her division’s programs reached more than 9 million foreign participants in 132 countries and territories across the globe.
In August 2014, Michelle will begin her next assignment as Diplomat in Residence at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Previously, Michelle served as the public affairs officer and alternate permanent representative at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome, Italy, where she directed the Mission’s media relations and public outreach. She facilitated international media reporting tours in Asia and Latin America to highlight the cooperative work of the U.S. Government and the UN agencies to improve agricultural outputs, food safety, nutrition, and childhood development in those regions.
Prior to her assignment in Italy, Ms. Los Banos served as cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, overseeing all educational, sports, and cultural programming. She also served as a watch officer in the State Department Executive Secretariat's Operations Center (2006-2007), where she prepared the Secretary of State’s daily briefings on world events and directly assisted the Secretary in her telephone diplomacy with world leaders. Michelle also completed a two-year, rotational tour as a consular/economic officer at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
Ms. Los Banos holds a master's in public policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor of science in foreign service from Georgetown University. She spent the 1998-1999 academic year as a student at the Sorbonne-Nouvelle in Paris, France.
Ms. Los Banos has studied Italian, Spanish, French, and Turkish. She also speaks Tagalog. Michelle hails from California.