Ricardo Zuniga is a career Foreign Service Officer, who served as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
Prior to joining the National Security Staff, Zuniga served as the Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil, from 2010 to 2012. He previously served as the acting Director of the Office of Cuban Affairs in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. In this position, he was responsible for the full scope of U.S. relations with Cuba and for coordinating the formulation and implementation of interagency initiatives related to Cuba. He also served as the Political Counselor at the U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States (OAS), with responsibility for U.S. political relations with OAS member states. He was the Deputy Political Counselor in Madrid from 2004 to 2007, where he was responsible for fostering counter terrorism cooperation between the United States and Spain.
Since joining the Foreign Service in 1993, Zuniga has also worked in Mexico, Portugal, and Havana, and in the State Department in Washington D.C. as the Desk Officer for Uganda and Tanzania in the Office of East African Affairs, and in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) as a Cuba/Caribbean Analyst. He received a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and Latin American Studies from the University of Virginia. He is married and has two daughters.