Arturo Zavala

Arturo Valenzuela is Senior Advisor for Latin America based in Washington, DC. Dr. Valenzuela, a non-lawyer, is a highly regarded diplomat, scholar, and international business consultant. He provides strategic advice, risk assessment and consulting services to US and international clients with investments and operations in Latin America and Latin American clients interested in expanding their operations overseas. His clients have included Fortune 500 firms and leading Latin American multinationals. Until 2009, he served as a Member of the Board of Directors of CorpBanca in Santiago, Chile and on the International Advisory Board of Repsol in  Madrid, Spain.  Prior to his association with Covington, Dr. Valenzuela was Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the U.S. Department of State in the first Obama Administration. In that position he was responsible for the formulation, execution and management of US policy towards the countries of the Americas. During President Clinton's second term, he served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council. In that capacity, he advised the President and the National Security Advisor on foreign, defense, intelligence, economic, and other policy issues and helped to manage the formulation and implementation of multilateral and

bilateral foreign policy initiatives in the Americas. In President Clinton’s first term, Dr. Valenzuela was appointed by the White House as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs with primary responsibility for the implementation of US foreign policy toward Mexico, including the NAFTA side agreements. He was also responsible for regional issues such as democracy, human rights, environment, and immigration for Latin America and the Caribbean.


A noted scholar, Dr. Valenzuela headed the Council of Latin American Studies at Duke University before moving to Georgetown University where he founded and headed the Center for Latin American Studies and remains on the faculty of the Department of Government. His academic work has focused on the origins and consolidation of democracy, electoral systems, civil-military relations, political parties, regime transitions, constitutional reform, and US Latin American relations. In his scholarly capacity he has served as an advisor on political and constitutional reform in Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico. In his academic and governmental roles, he interacted regularly with Latin American presidents, cabinet level officials, scholars and leaders in the private and non-governmental sector.

Dr. Valenzuela has been an advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and consultant to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. Throughout his career he has testified frequently before congressional committees and has served

as a keynote speaker or panelist at major foreign policy, business and trade association meetings and conferences throughout the world.


Previous Experience


Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Department of State (2009-2011) Senior Advisor, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Department of State (2009) Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Inter-American Affairs, National Security Council, The White House (1999-2000) Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, United States Department of State (1994-1996) Professor of Government, Georgetown University (1987-) Professor of Political Science, Duke University (1970-1987)



Columbia University, Ph.D., 1971. Political Science Columbia University, M.A., 1967.

Political Science Drew University, B.A., 1965. American Politics; Religion summa cum laude

Government Service White House U.S. Department of State





Spanish, French


Memberships and Affiliations

Member Latin America Task Force, Atlantic Council (2013). Member, Council on Foreign Relations (1992-present). Membre du Conseil Scientifique, Institut des Amériques, Paris (2008-2009). Board of Directors, National Democratic Institute for

International Affairs (1997-1999; 2002-2009). Board of Trustees, Drew University, Madison, New,Jersey (2002-2009). Board of Trustees, Santiago College, Santiago, Chile (1998-1999), (2001-2009).Board of Directors, CORPBANCA, Chile (2007-2009). Board of Directors, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), (2004-2009)

International Advisory Board, REPSOL (2007). Board of Directors, Hispanic Council on International Relations, (1996-1999).


News and Insights

"Books, Articles, Journals, Commentaries and Editorial Boards," 1975-present

"Speaking Engagements," 1975-present

"Television," 1995-present

"Update On U.S. Relations With Mexico," January 7, 2015, The Diane Rehm Show

"Obama's Cuba opening hits early obstacles, faces struggle with Congress," January 3, 2015, Reuters "A deal with Castro, for a post-Castro future," December

21, 2014, The Washington Post "Relations With Cuba Thaw and Work Could Heat Up Business of Law," December 19, 2014, Bloomberg "President Obama Announces Significant Relaxation of U.S. Sanctions Against Cuba," December 17, 2014, Covington E-Alert "Colombian elections: The Battle for the Second Round," May 30, 2014, South and Central America – Global Policy Watch.

"Venezuela: What is Next?," May 27, 2014, South and Central America – Global Policy Watch "Nicole Duclos Joins Covington’s International Arbitration and Latin America Practices," September 9, 2013.

"Mexico Enacts Comprehensive Reform in its Telecommunications and Broadcast Media Sectors," June 13, 2013, Covington E-Alert.

"Covington’s Arturo Valenzuela at 2013 World Economic Forum on Latin America," April 25, 2013.

"Senior State Department Official With Expertise in Latin America Joins Covington," November 8, 2011.

"Régimen político y gobernabilidad: La reforma pendiente en América Latina," 2009, Iberoamérica 2020: Retos ante la Crisis

"Los partidos politicos y los desafios de la gobernabilidad democratica en America Latina," 2008, Reforma de los Partidos Políticos en Chile "Os Mitos de Pinochet," March-May 2007, Política Externa, Vol. 15, No. 4

"A Left Turn in Latin America? Problems of Success in Chile," October 2006, The Journal of Democracy, Vol. 17, No. 4

"El Desafío de la Democracia en América Latina," January-June 2006, Stromata, Vol. LXII, No. 1-2

"Is Latin America Moving Left?," 2006, The Latin America Competitiveness Review 2006: Paving the Way for Regional Prosperity

"Putting Latin America Back on the Map," December 2005,

F&D Finance and Development: A quarterly Magazine of the IMF, Vol. 42, No. 4

"Estados Unidos y el Hemisferio Occidental: Hacia Un Compromiso Efectivo," Spring 2005, Quórum Revista Iberoamericana

"Beyond Benign Neglect: Washington and Latin America," February 2005, Current History, Vol. 104

"The United States and Latin America: The Road Ahead," Winter 2005, Lasa Forum, 35:4

"Presidencies Interrupted," October 2004, The Journal of Democracy, Vol. 15, No. 4: 5-19

"External Actors in the Transitions to Democracy in Latin America," 2000, Pathways to Democracy: The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions



Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa, Drew University

Who’s Who in America

Who’s Who in Higher Education

Visiting Scholar, universities of Chile, Catholic of Chile,

Oxford, Sussex, Florence (Italy)

Fellow Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Hispanic Business “100 Most influential Hispanics in America”

Poder Magazine, “60 Most Influential Latinos in the United States”

Poder Magazine, “100 Most Influential Individuals in Latin America”

Awarded highest distinction by the countries of Central America (through SICA --Latin American Integration System) and by the governments of Brazil and Colombia