Hugo Llorens (born September 7, 1954) is a Cuban American diplomat, the former Special Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the former United States Ambassador to Honduras (2008-2011). Posted to a variety of countries in his thirty six year career, in 2002-03 he was the principal advisor to the President and National Security Advisor on issues pertaining to Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador.
|United States Ambassador to Afghanistan|
December 3, 2016 – November 17, 2017
|Preceded by||Michael McKinley|
|Succeeded by||John Bass|
|United States Ambassador to Honduras|
September 19, 2008 – July 3, 2011
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Charles A. Ford|
|Succeeded by||Lisa Kubiske|
|Born||September 7, 1954|
|Spouse(s)||Lisett Aparicio Llorens|
Llorens obtained a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University in 1977. He then went on to receive a Master of Arts in economics from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England in 1980. In 1997 he gained a Master of Science in National Security Studies from the National War College.
Pre-State Department careerEdit
Llorens served as Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Policy and Summit Coordination in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, in which capacity he "played an important role in the launch of the historic Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations in 1998". From 1999 to 2002 Llorens served for three years as Principal Officer at the United States Consulate General in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. During his tenure in Vancouver he created opened FBI, Secret Service, ATF, DEA and legacy Customs and Immigration offices at the Consulate, a significant enhancement of U.S. and Canadian coordination in the fight against organized crime and terrorism. Llorens was also the senior U.S. official in British Columbia during the January 1, 2000 arrest of Millennium Bomber Ahmed Ressam in Washington state.
In 2002 and 2003, he served in Washington, D.C., as Director of Andean Affairs at the National Security Council. There he was the principal advisor to the President and National Security Advisor on issues pertaining to Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. As National Security Council Director he drafted and managed inter-agency coordination for a new U.S. policy approach on Colombia (NSP-18) in the wake of the election of President Uribe. Llorens also managed the successful official visits to Washington of President Toledo (Peru), President Sanchez de Lozada (Bolivia), President Uribe (Colombia), and President Gutierrez (Ecuador).
Following his tenure on the White House staff, Llorens was Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, until July 2006. Beginning September 2006, Llorens served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Madrid.
In 2008, President George W. Bush nominated Llorens to be U.S. Ambassador to Honduras. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June 2008 and in August was sworn-in by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Llorens presented his credentials as ambassador to the government President Manuel Zelaya Rosales on September 19, 2008. In describing the looming Honduran political crisis, Llorens publicly declared - in reference to President Manuel Zelaya's planned referendum on a proposed constitutional assembly - that:
...One can't violate the Constitution in order to create another Constitution, because if one doesn't respect the Constitution, then we all live under the law of the jungle.
In Honduras, Llorens skillfully dealt with the first major international crisis faced by the incoming Obama Administration. He worked with all political factions in seeking to resolve the political tensions caused by President Zelaya's attempt to hold a referendum to modify the Honduran constitution. Nevertheless, he opposed the Honduran military's removal by force of the democratically-elected government on June 18, 2009. On the instruction of Secretary of State Clinton, Llorens stayed on in Honduras as the only remaining foreign Ambassador in Honduras following the military coup. During the coming months he worked intensely with all sides to prevent bloodshed, support the holding of free and fair elections that resulted in National Party standard bearer Pepe Lobo assuming the presidency, and ensure the restoration of the constitutional order. In an emotional and polarized situation in Honduras, Llorens's role was harshly criticized by those who supported the removal of Zelaya.
Llorens diplomatic dispatches released by Wikileaks, caused some controversy in Honduras as Llorens made the case to Washington policymakers that while Zelaya's actions had precipitated the crisis, the United States , like the rest of the international community, needed to oppose the illegal and unconstitutional manner in which the seating president was removed from office.
At the conclusion of his three year term in Honduras, Llorens returned to Washington in 2011 as Ambassador-in-Residence at the National War College. At National, Llorens taught the art and science of "grand strategy" to the elite student body of senior military officers and civilian officials, and led an initiative to strengthen the leadership curriculum at the school. In 2012, Llorens was assigned as the Assistant Chief of Mission (ACOM), an Ambassadorial-ranked position. As the ACOM, Llorens served as the Chief Operating Officer of the largest Embassy in the world. In 2013, Llorens was assigned to Sydney, Australia where he was the Principal Officer to this high profile diplomatic mission. In Australia, Llorens was known for his strong advocacy of clean energy, innovation, and the expansion of trade and investment links in the Asia Pacific. He also hosted visits by Secretary of State Kerry, Vice President Biden, and several dozen senior Congressional and military delegations.
In 2016, Secretary Kerry asked Ambassador Llorens to return to Afghanistan and lead our Embassy in Kabul. As the Special Charge D'Affaires, Lloresn was the senior U.S. diplomat in Kabul directing the largest Embassy in the world with a staff of more than 8,000 U.S., Afghan and Third Country Nationals representing 22 U.S. government agencies. In Afghanistan, Llorens deftly managed ties with the National Unity Government led by President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah. He also was the key U.S. civilian official in Afghanistan during the transition between the Administrations of President Obama and Trump. Llorens also worked closely with U.S. and NATO military counterparts, and senior Trump Administration officials, including Secretary Tillerson and National Security Advisor McMaster, in developing a new and more robust policy approach on Afghanistan announced in a speech given by President Trump on August 17, 2017.
Mr. Llorens has earned numerous awards for distinguished performance, including eight Superior Honor and five Meritorious Honor Awards. He is a past recipient of the Cobb Award for excellence in the promotion of U.S. business, was runner-up for the Saltzman Award for distinguished performance in advancing U.S. international economic interests, and was nominated for the James Baker Award for superior performance by a Deputy Chief of Mission. He speaks Spanish, Tagalog, and some French.
- Kirby Smith and Hugo Llorens (1998), "Renaisssance and Decay: A Comparison of Socioeconomic Indicators in Pre-Castro and Current-Day Cuba", Cuba in Transition: Volume 8: Papers and Proceedings of the 8th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE), Miami, Florida, August 6–8, 1998
- U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
- Honduras This Week, February 10, 2009, HTW Exclusive Interview: U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens: “I’m hopeful about the future of Honduras.”
- US State Department Office of the Historian, Hugo Llorens biodata, accessed August 2, 2009
- Hugo Llorens Opening Written Testimony, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Confirmation Hearing, April 16, 2008, accessed August 2, 2009
- Miamiherald.com, the network for Operation Pedro Pan, Article on Hugo Llorens Acosta in The Miami Herald
- Eva Golinger, July 15, 2009, "Washington behind the Honduras coup: Here is the evidence - Repression intensifies"
- State Department biography
Charles A. Ford
| United States Ambassador to Honduras