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Ricardo Zúñiga

Former Interim Director, Brazil Institute; Former Senior Diplomatic Fellow

Professional affiliation

Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle, U.S. Department of State

Full Biography

Ricardo Zúñiga is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service and the Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle. Until March 15, 2021, he was the Interim Director of the Brazil Institute and a Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center Latin America Program, on detail from the U.S. Department of State. Ricardo arrived at the Wilson Center after completing a tour as the Director of the International Student Management Office at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Previous assignments include service as U.S. Consul General in Sao Paulo, Brazil from 2015 to 2018, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council from 2012 to 2015, and Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil from 2010 to 2012. Ricardo also worked in the State Department's Office of Cuban Affairs, the U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and as the Desk Officer for Uganda and Tanzania. He served overseas at U.S. missions in Matamoros, Mexico, Lisbon, Havana, and Madrid. Ricardo was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and has a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and Latin American Studies from the University of Virginia. He and his wife Christina have two daughters, Caroline and Sarah.