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Foreign Policy Group


Ambassador Timothy Towell's Blog

About Timothy L. Towell

A seasoned veteran of the United States Foreign Service, Ambassador Timothy L. Towell began his three-decade diplomatic career in 1963, during the presidency of John F. Kennedy. Ambassador Timothy L. Towell served in Spain, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Paraguay, and Bolivia, in addition to holding prominent positions with the Department of State in Washington, D.C. In 1993, Ambassador Timothy L. Towell retired from the Foreign Service to launch a consultancy firm, The Foreign Policy Group.

At The Foreign Policy Group, Ambassador Timothy L. Towell advises agencies ranging from governments to nonprofits and multinational corporations. Drawing upon his extensive international experience, Ambassador Timothy L. Towell assists in the development of policies for dealing with population, environmental, and human rights issues; drug trafficking; money laundering; and the development of international trade.

Ambassador Timothy L. Towell's first Foreign Service position was as the U.S. Vice Consul in Valencia, Spain, where he worked for two years before being promoted to Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador in Madrid.

After two years in Madrid, Ambassador Timothy L. Towell spent most of the subsequent decade living in Latin American with appointments that included U.S. Consul in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Ambassador Timothy L. Towell also held advisory positions at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., as the Desk Officer first for Bolivia and then for Spain. Following a five-year appointment in Belgium, Ambassador Timothy L. Towell returned to Latin America, overseeing the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba.

Since Fidel Castro took power, the United States has not maintained an official embassy in Cuba, but the U.S. Interests Section provides emergency services to American citizens traveling in Cuba for humanitarian or diplomatic reasons. As a result of this appointment, Ambassador Timothy L. Towell receives an annual invitation from the Commodore of the Havana Yacht Club, inviting him to attend the Ernest Hemmingway Big Game Fishing Tournament, an honor he has been unable to accept.

Ambassador Timothy L. Towell also served as the Deputy Chief of Protocol of the United States and as the United States Ambassador to Paraguay. Ambassador Timothy L. Towell has received honors for his service through the U.S. State Department Superior Honor Award, and he sits on the boards of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the Council of American Ambassadors, and the Advisory Council of the U.S. Cuba Chamber of Commerce.

Ambassador Timothy Towell: Latin American Global Trade

Ambassador Timothy Towell served the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations as the chief diplomatic representative from the United States to Paraguay. Since his 1993 retirement as Peace Corps director for Africa, he has maintained a steady interest in events in the developing world through The Foreign Policy Group, which he founded in Washington, D.C., shortly after his retirement.Trade between the United States and the nations of Latin America surpassed $800 billion in 2011, and today the U.S. remains Latin America’s largest trading partner. Although some analysts have expressed concern about the increasing role played by China and countries of the European Union in Latin America’s growing economies, this amount represents approximately three times the volume of trade between Latin America and China. In addition, U.S. trade with Latin America has increased by more than 80 percent over the past decade, which puts it among the fastest growing economic exchanges in the world. In 2011, direct U.S. foreign investment in the region south of its borders reached $25 billion.Most of the economic exchange involves U.S. trade with Mexico, although exchanges with Venezuela and Brazil are also significant. Most of the imports flowing from Latin America to the U.S. consist of petroleum, mineral, and farm products. The nations of Latin America import high-technology goods such as computers and their accessories, communications equipment, vehicles, and machinery from the U.S.The 17th round of talks for a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) taking place in May of 2013 in Peru have increased the world’s focus on Latin America as a trading partner. Supporters of the TPP believe that it will unite one dozen Pacific Rim countries, including the U.S. and, most recently, Japan, into a core free-trade agreement. At present, only three Latin American governments—Chile, Peru, and Mexico—have become part of the TPP, and all have put decisive efforts into liberalizing their trade practices.In addition to his service in Paraguay, Ambassador Timothy Towell held foreign service posts in Bolivia and Brazil during the course of his career. Tim Towell also served as U.S. deputy chief of protocol for half a decade.