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Oliver Pastrano Garza
Ambassador to Nicaragua

Oliver Pastrano Garza was sworn in as United States Ambassador to Nicaragua on August 13, 1999. He presented his credentials to Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman on September 14, 1999.

Prior to being sworn in, Ambassador Garza served as U.S. Consul General in Guadalajara, Mexico from July 1998 until July 1999.

Prior to his assignment to Guadalajara, Ambassador Garza served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. Ambassador Garza, a career Senior Foreign Service Officer, has served in distinguished fashion to U.S. Diplomatic Missions in Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America; and in the Middle East and Latin American Bureaus in Washington.

Ambassador Garza's most recent assignments have been: Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Panama City, Panama; Minister Counselor for Administrative Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea; Deputy Executive Director for the U.S. State Department of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs; and International Affairs Advisor in the Executive Office of the Vice President of the United States.

As a U.S. Diplomat, Ambassador Garza has completed extended tours in Colombia, Panama, South Korea, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay. He speaks fluent Spanish.

Beginning his professional career in education, Ambassador Garza worked as a Neighborhood Youth Corp and Community Action Counselor, Juvenile Probation Officer and Associate Director of the Upward Bound Program before becoming director of Admissions at St. Mary's University of San Antonio, Texas. He was also an education consultant to the University of Texas at Austin.

Ambassador Garza started his government career in 1971 when he joined the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. He served briefly with the U.S Department of Justice as a Special Agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and after that resumed his Foreign Service career.

Ambassador Garza holds a B.A. degree from St. Mary's University of San Antonio, Texas. In addition, he has completed advanced studies at the University of Oklahoma and Sam Houston State University of Texas. Ambassador Garza is a 1988 graduate of the National War College of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

He is married to Yolanda DeLeon Garza, and they have two daughters, two sons and four grandchildren.

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