Mr. Francisco L. Palmieri, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, serves as the Chief of Mission of the Venezuelan Affairs Unit (VAU), located in the U.S. Embassy to Colombia, as of May 19, 2023. Mr. Palmieri is also the Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim, of the U.S. Embassy in Colombia.
Mr. Palmieri is a 36-year veteran of the Foreign Service. Over the course of his career, he has held leadership positions across the Department and has extensive expertise in U.S. Western Hemisphere relations. Mr. Palmieri previously served as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs from January 2017 to November 2018. He managed the successful U.S. participation in the 2018 Summit of the Americas in Peru, as well as U.S. engagement with the Lima Group unifying 15 Western Hemisphere democracies in a multilateral diplomatic response to the crisis in Venezuela, and the reorientation of U.S. foreign assistance in support of the Colombia peace process. Mr. Palmieri most recently served as a Senior Fellow and faculty member at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University.
Mr. Palmieri also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America and the Caribbean, and Director of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs’ Office of Policy Planning and Coordination. He was the Director of Embassy Baghdad’s INL Office and served as Director of the Near East and South and Central Asia Office in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). Mr. Palmieri was the senior Venezuela Desk Officer (1995-1997). Overseas, he also served in San Salvador as the Human Rights Officer (1988-1990) and in Madrid as a Political-Military Affairs Officer. He has served Secretaries Baker, Albright, Powell, Clinton, and Kerry in key team positions as a member of the Executive Secretariat.
Mr. Palmieri obtained a M.S. in International Strategic Studies from the National War College in June 2006. He received his A.B. in Politics from Princeton University in 1983, and attended the University of Texas’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs from 1985-1986, where he studied under the Honorable Barbara Jordan.