Ambassador Gaddi H. Vasquez is the 8th United States Representative to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organizations. He was nominated by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on June 29, 2006. Mr. Vasquez was sworn into office on September 7, 2006 by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Mr. Vasquez most recently served as the Director of the United States Peace Corps and became the third-longest serving Director in the Peace Corps' 45 year history. Under Mr. Vasquez's leadership, the Peace Corps realized a 30-year high of Volunteers in the field, significantly enhanced the safety and security systems world wide, and also oversaw the largest congressional appropriation in the Peace Corps' history for three consecutive years. During his tenure, the Peace Corps also worked with six countries to participate in the President's Emergency Plan for AI DS Relief, opened an historic program in Mexico, and directed the entry or re-entry into 21 Peace Corps countries.
Ambassador Vasquez's public career includes service at the city, county, state, and federal levels of government. He began his 29-year career in public service as a police officer in Orange, California. Mr. Vasquez served as an appointee of three former California Governors and was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush to federal commissions.
Mr. Vasquez is an active public servant and has received numerous awards for leadership and community service, including: the Outstanding Alumni Award by the American Association of Community Colleges, the Coro Foundation Crystal Eagle Award, and the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund Globe and Anchor Award. He is the recipient of the Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce Award for Community Leadership, the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award, and the B'nai Brith Award for Leadership and Community Service.
A native of Carrizo Springs, Texas, Mr. Vasquez is the son of migrant farm workers of Mexican descent who instilled in him a strong work ethic and the value of always giving his utmost to any endeavor. Mr. Vasquez became the first member of his family to earn a college degree. He is a graduate of the University of Redlands and has served as a trustee professor at Chapman University. In addition, he has been the recipient of three honorary doctorate degrees.