Hugo Llorens is a recently retired (December 31, 2017) U.S. Ambassador. He currently makes his home in Marco Island, Florida. On a part-time basis, he does international business and security affairs consulting. Llorens provides advice to U.S. and international firms on political, trade and investment matters pertaining to markets in Latin America, Europe, South Asia and the Western Pacific. He utilizes his 36 years of diplomatic experience and leverages his network of global contacts to enhance his clients’ business prospects. He also does public speaking on leadership and foreign affairs issues, and is currently writing a book about his diplomatic experiences.
In 2016-2017, Llorens served as the Special Charge D’Affaires and Chief of Mission in Kabul, Afghanistan. In Kabul he led the largest U.S. Embassy in the world with a staff of 8,500 U.S., Afghan and Third Country National employees representing 22 U.S. government agencies. During his tenure in Afghanistan, Llorens spearheaded the U.S. diplomatic effort in a priority conflict-ridden nation in both the Obama and Trump Administrations. He worked closely with the incoming Trump national security team in developing a new strategic approach towards Afghanistan that encompasses governance, military and security, development and trade and investment components.
Prior to his tenure in Afghanistan (2013-2016), Llorens was the principal officer in Sydney, Australia, the United States’ oldest diplomatic mission in the Asia Pacific region (established in 1836). In Sydney he served as the lead U.S. diplomat responsible for promoting trade and investment and managing U.S. ties with the vast and resource-rich states of New South Wales and Queensland, which together account for over 50% of Australia’s GDP. Sydney is the business and financial capital of Australia and is the corporate headquarters for the lion’s share of major U.S., and Australian firms operating in this rapidly growing Asia-Pacific nation.
Ambassador Hugo Llorens was the Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan from May 2012 to June a 2013. In that senior position, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of the largest Embassy in the world, and played a prominent role in negotiating the Bilateral Security Agreement, which defines the long-term U.S.-Afghan relationship following the end of the large U.S. combat presence.
Previous to his first assignment in Afghanistan, Llorens was Ambassador-in-Residence and a faculty advisor for diplomatic statecraft at the National War College in Fort McNair Washington DC — the pre-eminent educational institution training senior military officers and diplomats on the art and science of grand strategy. At the War College, Llorens directed an effort to strengthen the strategic leadership components of the curriculum. He also provided substantive expertise on diplomatic statecraft, governance, rule of law, combatting organized crime, Western Hemisphere issues, and international trade/investment/energy issues.
Llorens served as U.S. Ambassador to Honduras from September 2008 to July 2011. In Tegucigalpa he was a key Administration player in managing the Honduran coup crisis of 2009. His on the ground efforts resulted in the successful negotiation of the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord, the holding of free and fair elections, and the restoration of the democratic and constitutional order. In Honduras he led an Embassy team of 450 American and Honduran staff representing 12 U.S. government agencies with a combined operating budget of $20 million, plus 175 Peace Corps volunteers. He also coordinated a combined USAID and MCC economic development portfolio totaling $150 million in annual disbursements, plus sizeable military and counter narcotics assistance programs.
Prior to his nomination and confirmation as Ambassador, he served for two years as the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the American Embassy in Madrid, where he took up his duties on September 1, 2006. Ambassador Llorens was also Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he served for three years from August 2003 until July 2006.
From 2002-2003, Mr. Llorens was Director of Andean Affairs at the NSC, where he was the principal advisor to the President and National Security Advisor on issues pertaining to Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. Prior to the NSC, he served for three years (1999-2002) as Principal Officer at the Consulate General in Vancouver, Canada. In Vancouver, he created a novel multi-agency “Law Enforcement Hub” that included the opening of FBI, ATF, U.S. Customs, Secret Service, and Regional Security offices to work with Canadian counterparts on counterterrorism and international crime investigations.
From 1997-1999, Mr. Llorens was Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Policy in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs where he helped launch the FTAA negotiations in 1998. As a veteran diplomat who began his career in 1981, he has served in economic, commercial, consular and counter drug positions in Tegucigalpa, La Paz, Asunción, San Salvador, and Manila.
Mr. Llorens received his Master of Science in National Security Studies, National War College in 1997; Master of Arts in Economics, University of Kent at Canterbury, England in 1980; and Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1977.
Mr. Llorens has earned numerous awards for distinguished performance, including eight Superior Honor and six 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.
He is married to Lisett Aparicio Llorens, and they have two sons, Andrew and Dirk.