AS/COA Applauds President Barack Obama’s Nomination of First U.S. Ambassador to Cuba in More than 50 Years

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis has played a critical role in managing the normalization of relations as the current charge d'affaires to Cuba.

New York, September 28, 2016Americas Society and Council of the Americas commends President Obama's nomination of Jeffrey DeLaurentis to be the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba since 1960. Ambassador DeLaurentis is a seasoned member of the Senior Foreign Service who has held the position of chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana since 2014, having served previously as consular officer in Cuba from 1991 to 93, as well as political-economic section chief from 1999 to 2002.

“A highly-respected diplomat with deep experience in Cuba and Latin America, Ambassador DeLaurentis has played a critical role in managing the normalization of relations as the current charge d'affaires to Cuba. We can think of no one more qualified for this important, historic posting,” said AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal.

“Ambassador DeLaurentis has been a great advocate for people on both sides of the Florida Straits throughout his many years in Havana,” said AS/COA Policy Senior Director and Cuba Working Group head Alana Tummino.“We look forward to continuing the process of fully normalizing our relations with Cuba, and hope that a confirmation hearing is held to approve this important appointment.”

For almost a decade, AS/COA has stood at the forefront of supporting U.S. policy opening, economic development, entrepreneurship, and engagement in Cuba. In May 2016, AS/COA led its fourth business delegation to Havana to continue promoting the benefits of economic ties between both countries.

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Americas Society is the premier organization dedicated to education, debate and dialogue in the Americas. Established by David Rockefeller in 1965, our mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship. 

Council of the Americas is the premier international business organization whose members share a common commitment to economic and social development, open markets, the rule of law, and democracy throughout the Western Hemisphere.

AS/COA's Cuba Working Group (CWG) includes corporate leaders from the worlds of banking, financial services, energy, telecommunications, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, and law. Working group meetings look at the steps companies can take under current U.S. restrictions to pre-position themselves for future investment. This effort has produced a series of papers on regulations and laws affecting U.S. business activity under the U.S. embargo and in Cuba.