Ambassador Jose S. Sorzano
Ambassador Jose S. Sorzano was born and raised in Havana and came to the United States in 1960, fleeing communist Cuba, with his basketball shoes (he was on the Cuban national championship team) and five dollars. His first job was mopping floors in the Key Bridge Marriott kitchen. In 1965 he graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and in 1972 obtained a doctorate from the Government Department. He went on to become first an assistant professor, and later an associate professor in Georgetown’s Government Department, specializing in political theory.
Professor Sorzano paused his teaching career at Georgetown to lead “the Peace Corps in Colombia, South America from 1976 to 1979,” which during his tenure became the second largest Peace Corps program in the world.
In 1983 President Ronald Regan appointed him Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, under Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. He previously served as the Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. In 1985, he returned to Georgetown University to teach political philosophy.
In 1986, he was appointed Director of Latin American Affairs under President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor Frank Carlucci.
After leaving government service, he was President of the Cuban American National Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a free, independent, and democratic Cuba, after which he established his own international consulting group, the Austin Group, specializing in joint ventures between US and foreign firms. He was a founding member of the Center for a Free Cuba in 1997.
Ambassador Sorzano died December 29, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia.