Office of Civil Rights
May 1, 2013


Date: 05/01/2013 Description: Celebrating Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2013: Aruna Amirthanayagam - State Dept Image Aruna Amirthanayagam is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. He is currently the Counselor for Public Affairs in Bolivia where he was posted in 2011. He grew up in Sri Lanka and Britain before moving to the U.S. in 1975 when his father joined the East-West Center in Hawaii.

Aruna has a BA with distinction in international relations from Stanford University and an MBA in finance and international business from Cornell University.

After several years in the private sector with Bank of America and IBM, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1990. He served as an economic officer in Haiti, the Philippines, and India as well as a Deputy Director for Mexican Affairs at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Since 2000 Aruna has worked in public affairs, first as the cultural attache in Ethiopia, as desk officer for West Africa in Washington, and as the cultural attache in Kenya. He arrived in Bolivia from Singapore where he spent three years as the Counselor for Public Affairs.