Office of Civil Rights
September 15, 2011

Date: 09/15/2011 Description: Hispanic Heritage Month 2011: Gilberto Toress-Vela - State Dept Image

Gilberto “Beto” TorresVela is a Foreign Affairs officer with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator for Cuban Affairs (CCA). Previous to joining CCA, Beto served as an intern in the Bureau of Human Rights and Labor’s Office of Religious Freedom during the summer of 2007.

Prior to joining the Federal Government, Beto worked with international visitors for a DC-based consulting group promoting cross-cultural understanding by educating delegates about the structure of U.S. Government, the overall process of formulating government policy, and the decision-making process with special emphasis on foreign, defense, and trade policies.

Beto is a native of Guanajuato, Mexico. He earned his degree in industrial engineering in Altamira, Mexico in 1995. As a recent graduate, he worked for the multinational Gerber in Bogotá, Colombia just before moving to the United States. A few years later, when he relocated to Washington DC and found himself surrounded by the national monuments, Beto was inspired to learn about the founding fathers’ philosophy and U.S. history ultimately returning to school to pursue a career in international relations. He earned a B.A. in government and international politics in 2007 from George Mason University and a M.A. in international relations in 2010 from Webster University. He believes that every day, employees of the U.S. Department of State are shaping history, and that is an honor and a privilege.