Camilo Reyes Named Colombian Ambassador to the United States After Resignation of Juan Carlos Pinzón
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has appointed Camilo Reyes Rodríguez as the nation’s new ambassador to the United States.
The career diplomat and former foreign minister who has headed the Colombo-American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) since 2010 will replace Juan Carlos Pinzón, who resigned from his post last week just one day after Santos met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington.
Photo: Camilo Reyes, the former foreign minister of Colombia and outgoing head of the Colombo American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), speaks at an event in Bogotá. (Credit: Jared Wade)
Pinzon, a centrist politician and former defense minister who “is not disqualifying” a presidential run in 2018, according to local newspaper El Tiempo, served as ambassador in the Colombian embassy in the U.S. capital for just under two years. ”I firmly believe that the nation needs to build consensus to achieve the best destiny of our beloved Colombia,” wrote Pinzon in a resignation later.
In the letter, the outgoing ambassador also outlined what he views as the key achievements in bilateral relations during his time in the post, including the increase in U.S. aid for “Plan Colombia” this year to $450 million USD, the creation of the United States-Colombia Business Council in March, and the upcoming visit to Colombia by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence scheduled for August.
Camilo Reyes, as he assumes the role of ambassador, will bring 35 years of experience as a diplomat and “continue our strategic alliance with the United States,” said Santos on Twitter.
In addition to his time as minister of foreign affairs, Reyes has served as deputy minister of foreign affairs, ambassador to the United Nations, and ambassador to Prague. In 2001 at the United Nations in Geneva, Reyes chaired the UN Conference on Illicit Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons as well as the Conference for Development.
As the head of AmCham for the past seven years, he has worked closely with U.S. companies, business leaders, and public officials while seeking to promote greater trade and economic activity between Colombia and the United States. Following the passage of the U.S./Colombian free trade agreement in 2012, bilateral trade reached a record high.
In addition to serving as a professor at the Rosario University and Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, Camilo Reyes has also earned degrees in international relations-related disciplines from Jorge Tadeo Lozano and University of the Andes in the Colombian capital.