Julissa Reynoso

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Official portrait

Julissa Reynoso is a New York City lawyer who is a partner at the international law firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP, practicing in the firm's International Arbitration and Latin America groups.[1][2] Reynoso is also affiliated with the faculty at Columbia University School of Law and the School of International and Public Affairs.[3][4] From March 2012 until December 2014, she served as United States Ambassador to Uruguay. She is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the United States Department of State.

Early life and education[edit]

A native of the Dominican Republic, Reynoso immigrated to the United States in 1982.[citation needed] She graduated valedictorian of her class at Aquinas High School in the Bronx.[citation needed] She was admitted to Harvard University, where she helped found several student groups and was active with The Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.[citation needed]

After obtaining a B.A. at Harvard University in 1997,[5] Reynoso was named the John Harvard Scholar and obtained an M.Phil. degree in 1998 from the University of Cambridge in England. Reynoso received her law degree from Columbia Law School in 2001.[citation needed] At Columbia, she was the editor for The Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. After Law School, she clerked for the Honorable Federal Judge Laura Taylor Swain.[citation needed]


In 2008, Reynoso was active in former Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign for the presidency [6] before joining the campaign of then Sen. Barack Obama.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Reynoso was an attorney in private practice at the international law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York. Reynoso resided in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan and served on the boards of several non-profit groups. She also served as a legal fellow at Columbia Law School and the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law.

In 2006, Reynoso served as Deputy Director of the Office of Accountability at the New York City Department of Education. Reynoso has published widely in both Spanish and English on a range of issues including regulatory reform, community organizing, housing reform, immigration policy and Latin American politics for both popular press and academic journals.

In 2009, Reynoso joined former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. During her tenure, Reynoso was charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive Security and Rule of Law Strategy for Central America and the Caribbean.

In October 2011, President Barack Obama expressed his intention to nominate Ms. Reynoso as United States Ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, a nomination that required the advice and consent of the United States Senate.[7][8] On March 30, 2012, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ms. Reynoso as United States Ambassador to Uruguay. As an Ambassador, Reynoso focused on Trade and Commerce, with particular interest in agricultural trade, and on science, technology and education cooperation.

Reynoso is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations[9] and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Reynoso is the recipient of various public interest awards, including recognitions from Columbia University, New York University, the North Star Fund, the Legal Aid Society and the Hispanic National Bar Foundation. She also serves on the boards of several nonprofit and advocacy organizations.[10]