Jaime Areizaga-Soto

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Jaime Ariel Areizaga-Soto (array – saga – soto) is an attorney, Latino leader in Virginia, and Colonel in the District of Columbia National Guard Judge Advocate General JAG Corps, who serves as the Deputy Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs of Virginia in the Administration of Governor Terry McAuliffe. He also serves as a Vice President of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Mr. Areizaga-Soto served as the Deputy Director for Hispanic Affairs at the DNC during President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign. He is a graduate of Stanford Law and Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, a former President of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia, and a former White House Fellow at the U.S. Treasury Department.


As the Deputy Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs of Virginia. Mr. Areizaga-Soto works with Secretary John Harvey (retired Navy Admiral) in advising Governor McAuliffe on all matters related to the approximately 800,000 Virginia veterans and in ensuring an efficient collaboration between the Commonwealth and all Department of Defense (DoD) assets in Virginia. The Secretariat leads Governor’s McAuliffe’s initiatives to ensure Virginia remains DoD’s base and installation location of choice and is the most “military-friendly” state in the Nation.

Mr. Areizaga-Soto graduated with honors from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and upon graduation was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. After graduating from Stanford Law School, he practiced for twelve years with large U.S. law firms focusing on cross border infrastructure project finance. He is a former White House Fellow at the U.S. Treasury Department and also served as the Senior Attorney Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Concurrently, he has served as an Army National Guard JAG, holds the rank of Colonel, and is the commander of the National Guard Bureau's Legal Support Office. In 2013, he was called to active duty to attend the war college course in Fort McNair, where his fellow senior officers from the various U.S. services and 15 other nations elected him Class President. He graduated from the Inter-American Defense College (IADC) and attended coursework at the National War College (NWC) and the Eisenhower School (formerly known at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces - ICAF).

He is admitted to the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of New York, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia. He is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, the American Bar Association, and the Virginia Hispanic Bar Association. In 2013 he served as the President of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA-DC) and from 2014 to 2016 he served as Vice President for Regions and Affiliates of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). He currently serves as the Vice President of Membership for HNBA.

Mr. Areizaga-Soto holds a Masters of Science in Security and Defense from the Inter-American Defense College, a Mágister from the Academia Nacional de Estudios Políticos y Estratégicos (ANEPE) of Chile, and a juris doctor and Masters of Arts in Latin American Studies from [1] Stanford University. He received a B.S. with honors from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he completed the Hoya Battalion ROTC Program. He is fluent in Portuguese, French and Spanish and has travelled extensively throughout the world, including Latin America, Canada, Turkey, Europe, Israel, Russia, Jordan, and Southeast Asia.

For over 12 years and until 2007, Mr. Areizaga-Soto worked as an international lawyer concentrating in the areas of infrastructure, transportation, electricity, and renewable energy. He worked as an attorney for over eight years in the Global Project Finance Group of Clifford Chance out of the São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, New York and Washington offices. His work entailed structuring and negotiating infrastructure projects resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs and social, economic and sustainable development. Before Clifford Chance, he worked with White & Case LLP, Hogan & Hartson LLP, and Paul, Weiss LLP in Washington, DC.

Mr. Areizaga-Soto was born and raised in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and is the son of an elementary school teacher and a Korean War veteran.[2] He was the President of the National Honor Society at Colegio San Jose in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico where he graduated from high school and received the El Conquistador Award. He became an Eagle Scout in 1987 in Troop 95 in Ft. Buchanan, Puerto Rico. He is currently a member of the board of the Heart of Virginia Council of the Boys Scouts of America.

Political career[edit]

Areizaga-Soto served as the Deputy Director for Hispanic Affairs at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign. His tasks included gaining the support of Latino voters for President Obama in the battleground states. Exit polls indicate that 72-75% of Latinos supported President Obama in the 2012 election.

From January 2012 to July 2013, he served as the President of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia (DLOV), the Hispanic Caucus of the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA). In 2011, he was a candidate for the Virginia State Senate. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in the newly created and open 31st Senate District, which included parts of Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun County.

From 2010 to 2011, he was appointed by the Obama Administration to serve as a Senior Attorney Advisor in the Office of the General Counsel of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, DC.[1]

During the 2011 Virginia General Assembly session and during the 2010 session, he served as the Advisor to the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus. In 2009, he served as the Principal Advisor for Latino Affairs to the 2009 Democratic candidate for Governor of Virginia.

In 2007 after a long and rigorous selection process, Areizaga-Soto was selected as a White House Fellow by a Presidential Commission. The White House Fellows program, founded by President Johnson, is considered the most prestigious leadership and public service program in the United States. Areizaga-Soto was assigned to the Department of Treasury until 2009.[3]

Civic Engagement[edit]

From 2011 to 2014, Areizaga-Soto served in the Arlington County Transportation Commission. Mr. Areizaga-Soto is an officer in a number of Hispanic civic and political organizations. He served as Deputy Finance Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC). Areizaga-Soto was selected to participate in the 2009 leadership program of the University of Virginia's Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.[1] In 1998, he served as an international election observer in Venezuela under a delegation led by former President Jimmy Carter, and in 1996 he served as an election observer in Nicaragua.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Jaime Areizaga-Soto Joins USAID's General Counsel Office". Sorensen Institute. August 12, 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-02. 
  2. ^ "About - Jaime for Senate". Jaime for Senate. Retrieved 2011-06-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Jaime Areizaga-Soto". New America Alliance. Retrieved 2011-06-02. 

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