Innovations in Education Throughout the WACA Network
TypeAnnual Member Celebration
WhenMay 20, 2014 @ 6:30 PM
About the Speaker
Join us for an engaging evening of dialogue in celebration of our Council members and sponsors' dedicated support and finishing another successful programming season. Find out what's in store for the World Affairs Council's next season!
Additionally, the Governance Committee has been working to fill open positions of the Board of Directors. The election of the proposed slate will be held that evening.
Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cash bar provided.
About our Featured Speaker:
For almost 40 years, John Caulfield was a career American diplomat who managed some of the most complex relations in Latin America for the United States, most recently as Chief of the US Interests Section in Havana, Cuba.
While in Cuba, he negotiated pragmatic agreements on immigration, environmental protection, civil aviation and cultural affairs. He also supported the aspirations of ordinary Cubans for political rights and economic opportunities in a difficult environment.
During John's assignment, he saw Cuba begin to implement changes to its Soviet-style economic system. Remittances from Cuban-Americans to their families grew dramatically and made the US Cuba’s second largest source of foreign currency after Venezuela.
As Chief of the US Interests Section, John led a team that provided a window for the US Government to view the developments in Cuba. His analysis was critical to the formulation of US policy.
Assigned in 2008 as Deputy Chief of Mission in Caracas, Venezuela, he assumed charge of the Embassy on an indefinite basis after President Chavez expelled the Ambassador.
In that position, he guided the Embassy through a tense period, maintaining communication with the government, opposition and the business community in Venezuela where the US has important commercial and energy interests. He also interpreted for Washington the impact on the Venezuelan economy of large price swings for its oil exports, the impact of increasing nationalizations and national elections.
In 2005 he was Consul General in London, UK, where he supervised consular services to the largest American expatriate community in the world, and US visa services to UK and foreign citizens.
While assigned in 2002 as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Lima, Peru, John supported Peru’s return to democratic governance and economic growth after years of terrorism and destructive economic policies. After the untimely death of the Ambassador he assumed charge of the Embassy for a year.
As Consul General in Manila, Philippines, in 1999, he directed the second largest facility for the issuance of US immigrant visas “green cards” in the world. He also headed an Interagency Counter-terrorism Task Force that responded to kidnapping of American citizens by Islamic terrorists.
In 1997, as Director for Legislative and Public Affairs for the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, he was the State Department’s liaison with the US Congress on immigration and consular legislation. During this period he made several proposals that were enacted into law to streamline consular operations.
Prior to that, he was US Consul in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in 1993, the Foreign Service post which issues the largest number of US immigrant visas in the world. He also coordinated US and Mexican federal, state and local officials to address trans-border issues in the Ciudad Juarez–El Paso, Texas area.
Earlier in his career abroad, he served as Special Assistant to the Ambassador in Brasilia, Brazil; Political-Economic officer in Lisbon, Portugal; and Vice Consul in Cali, Colombia. In Washington, John was Deputy Director for Brazil, Deputy Director of the Office of Consular Anti-fraud programs, Country Officer for Argentina and Press Officer for Consular Affairs. Prior to entering the Foreign Service he worked in international banking.
John has received many awards during his career including a Presidential Meritorious Service Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award and the Secretary of State’s Award for Innovation in the Use of Technology. He received his BA from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pa. in International Relations and Latin American Studies, and is a graduate of the Department of State’s Senior Seminar in National Security and international Affairs.
He's also a baseball fan who had the honor to be a guest TV and radio commentator during the broadcast of professional baseball games in Venezuela. He was a more discrete fan in Cuba. He's also a jazz aficionado and has hosted performances of American jazz musicians in Peru, Venezuela and Cuba. He's married to Nancy Aker Caulfield. They have one daughter.Return to Calendar