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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Electronic Information and Publications Office > Biographies > Biographies Listed Alphabetically by Last Name
Picture of Eduardo Aguirre, Jr.BIOGRAPHY

Eduardo Aguirre, Jr.
Ambassador, Spain
Term of Appointment: 06/24/2005 to present

Eduardo Aguirre, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and the Principality of Andorra, was appointed by President George W. Bush upon confirmation by the U.S. Senate. He was sworn-in by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He presented diplomatic credentials to H. M. King Juan Carlos I of Spain on June 29, 2005. He also presented credentials to President Jacques Chirac and Bishop Joan Enric Vives Sicília, Co-Princes of Andorra.

Previously, Ambassador Aguirre served, for 2 ½ years, as the first Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an Under Secretary rank position in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He led a team of 15,000 employees serving over 6 million annual applicants seeking immigration benefits. Under his leadership, USCIS made significant and measurable progress towards eliminating the application backlog, improving customer service, and enhancing national security.

Earlier, Ambassador Aguirre served as the Acting Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), a federal agency of the U.S. Government. During his 20 month tenure at Ex-Im, he also served as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer.

Prior to his 5 years in President Bush’s administration, Ambassador Aguirre was President of Bank of America’s International Private Bank. Over the course of his 24-years with Bank of America, his team was consistently acknowledged for excellence in customer service, profitability, regulatory compliance as well as high employee satisfaction. His banking career spans over three decades.

Before his full-time Federal service, Ambassador Aguirre has a long record of non-remunerative public and community service. He was appointed, by then Governor George W. Bush, to the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System, for a six-year term, serving from 1996 - 1998 as Chairman. Former President George H. W. Bush appointed him to the National Commission for Employment Policy. The Supreme Court of Texas appointed him to the State Bar as a non-attorney Director. Additionally, he has served on other public, professional and civic boards, including the Texas Children's Hospital, Texas Bar Foundation, Operación Pedro Pan Foundation, Bankers Association for Finance and Trade, and the Houston chapters of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

Ambassador Aguirre has been bestowed the highest civilian decorations by the Governments of Pakistan (the Order of Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam), the Republic of El Salvador (the Order of José Matías Delgado – Grand Officer) and the Dominican Republic (the Order of Christopher Columbus – Grand Officer). The Daughters of the American Revolution awarded him their 2004 Americanism Medal. In June 2007, Ambassador Aguirre was recognized by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service’s Director Emilio Gonzalez as an “Outstanding American by Choice,” an award given to outstanding naturalized citizens. In July 2007, Ambassador Aguirre was made an honorary member of the Foundation for the Spanish Royal Academy of the Sea, and a meritorious member of the Royal Academy of the Sea.

Ambassador Aguirre earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University (LSU). He is a graduate of the American Bankers Association's National Commercial Lending Graduate School. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Connecticut, the University of Houston and the Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago in the Dominican Republic.

Born in 1946, Ambassador Aguirre emigrated from Cuba as an “unaccompanied minor” at the age of 15. He maintains his permanent home in Houston, where he has lived for three decades.

Released on May 17, 2007

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