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UCLA Luskin Alumna Confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to Croatia

UCLA Luskin Public Policy alumna Nathalie Rayes has been confirmed as U.S. ambassador to Croatia. “I promise to always lead and serve with integrity and in the best interest of our country, while continuing to strengthen our diplomatic relations with the people of Croatia,” Rayes said after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm her nomination on Dec. 6. The double Bruin who earned a bachelor’s in sociology in 1996 and a master of public policy in 1999 has had a distinguished career in public service. Rayes most recently served as president and CEO of Latino Victory, an advocacy group focused on increasing Latino representation. Prior to that, she was vice president of public affairs for the Mexican conglomerate Grupo Salinas and executive director of its philanthropic arm, Fundación Azteca America. She also served in Los Angeles city government, including as deputy chief of staff to then-Mayor James K. Hahn. President Biden appointed Rayes to the board of the United States Institute of Peace, and she has served on the boards of numerous organizations in the fields of politics, civil rights, education and health. During her time at UCLA Luskin, she was a Department of State Fellow in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. She was named the UCLA Luskin Public Policy Alumna of the Year in 2014. Earlier this year, in comments to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, California Sen. Alex Padilla cited Rayes’ “unwavering commitment to public service, a drive to diversity the highest levels of leadership in our nation, and a fundamental understanding of the hope and stability America’s leadership brings to the world stage.”


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